I have a closed network of 3 switches and 40 computers. 35 of those computers (Windows 7 x64 Professional) need to be plugged into any of the 24 ports on 2 of the switches at any time depending on the need and location of the user. I want to secure the switch to only allow these specific computers to connect. If another computer plugs in I want the switch to disable the port.

On previous small networks with no movement I configured each port with Port Security and the correct MAC Address of the computer. But for this I have more MACs than the Port Security table can handle. I was thinking about using 802.1X but I don't have a router on this system of which I am told I need for 802.1X. When I Google information for 802.1X configuration I end up with a lot of information on Wireless of which we don't use.

So my question is can I do 802.1X without a router and if so is there information on how to configure a server if needed? I have the switches setup with RADIUS authentication to access the SSH and console which works great.

Switches are HP ProCurve 2910al-24G.

  • 802.1x does not require a router. You need a RADIUS server that is connected to the management VLAN (it's a good idea to separate management traffic from user traffic in any case, but RADIUS pretty much assumes to run inside a separate network). Oct 29, 2018 at 16:31
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    Dec 25, 2018 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


The 2910al supports 802.1X port security as authenticator, using RADIUS over EAP or PEAP. Depending on your exact goals, an additional router is not required but you do need a RADIUS server. Check the 2910's "Access and Security Guide" chapter 13. If you've got nothing local to use as a RADIUS server you'll need a router to connect elsewhere - however, you can also set up something like a Raspberry Pi for RADIUS.

MAC authentication is also possible in combination with RADIUS, see chapter 3. The 2910 can also use standalone Local MAC Authentication (LMA, chapter 4). I haven't done that yet and the manual doesn't list any table size restrictions, so you might need to give it a try.

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