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Does 802.1X Multiple Hosts mode only work for access points or even through another switch?

September 26Hits:0
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802.1X Multiple Hosts mode is usually used when an access point acts as a supplicant and authenticates to the switch, then allows further hosts by bridging it to the wireless network.

My question is whether this will work with a second switch instead of the access point, where one of the hosts authenticates. Will the second switch forward the EAP-Request packets to its hosts?

Answers

EAPOL is done at layer 2, so it's frames not packets, and should be passed through except when the second switch has 802.1X enabled. If 802.1X is enabled on the second switch then it will either not allow clients to authenticate (if pae authenticator is not enabled on the port facing the host) or act as the authenticator (thus the switch you want to act as the authenticator won't see the frames).

The behavior could vary with cheap/low-end switches that don't handle 01:80:c2 frames as expected.

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