I'm studying the 802.1.X authentication guidelines and the DIAMETER protcol as successor of RADIUS but i can't figure out what are the main difference between pure 802.1X Port-Based Authentication and DIAMETER. What are their differences?

  • 802.1X communicates with a server to determine authentication. DIAMETER is simply an alternative to RADIUS. You cannot compare 802.1X to a server, but you could compare RADIUS and DIAMETER.
    – Ron Maupin
    Jun 19, 2020 at 13:43
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    – Ron Maupin
    Dec 17, 2020 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


802.1X provides client-side/front-end port-level authentication (between suplicant and authenticator). RADIUS and Diameter provide back-end authentication (between authenticator and authentication server).

Essentially, they are different things. 802.1X is an application while RADIUS/Diameter can potentially provide authentication for various applications.

Note that Diameter is no acronym like RADIUS, but a play of words - the diameter is twice the radius.

  • 1
    ahahah didn't notice the joke, that's nice
    – Raydar
    Jun 19, 2020 at 14:07

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