Configuring PPP and Controlling Network Access

The CCNP Remote Access Exam requires you to have an in depth understanding of various WAN technologies. In this chapter the discussion focuses on Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). The typical implementation of PPP has traditionally been in dial-up and/or ISDN deployments.

The growing need of corporations to include dial-up access to network resources for remote users has created a high demand for point-to-point technologies. Telecommuting personnel require access to network devices and information that looks and feels as it would at the office (albeit at slower access rates). PPP and its options enable this type of access to become a reality. The capabilities of PPP give it the versatility to remain flexible, yet viable, in many situations.

Most remote access technology implementations center on PPP as the core access method. Dial-up clients require a means of accessing the network. Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, and so forth include dial-up networking client software as part of a standard installation. In addition, many companies have created proprietary dial-up clients. PPP is the underlying architecture that makes it all work.

PPP creates a single connection over which multiple protocols can be multiplexed. IP, IPX, and AppleTalk, for example, can all traverse PPP links. The actual configuration of the dial-up client is not discussed here. The discussions in this chapter center on the Access Server configuration. Whether the Access Server is a 3640 router or an AS5x00 router, the configuration is essentially the same.

Authentication plays a vital role in PPP connections. Having dial-up lines with no user authentication is a dangerous game to play. Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) and Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) authentications provide varying degrees of security.

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