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RADIUS is an authentication protocol that supports the use of username, password and sometimes one extra credential number such as a hardware token PIN.

In file transfer applications, RADIUS sign on information can be collected by web-based, FTP-based or other file transfer prompts and then tried against trusted RADIUS servers.  When a file transfer application gets a positive acknowledgement from a RADIUS server, it will typically need to look up additional information about the authenticated user from its internal user database or other external authentication sources (frequently LDAP servers such as Active Directory).