In general terms a supplicant is a software package installed on an end-user's client device. The device invokes the supplicant and submits credentials to connect the device to a secure network. If the authentication succeeds, the authenticator typically allows the device to connect to the network.
What is a WPA-Supplicant?
WPA supplicant is an implementation of the IEEE 802.11i supplicant for different operating systems like Linux, FreeBSD, Windows etc. The supplicant implements the security protocols and features addressed in the 802.11i standard. They include:
- WPA and full IEEE 802.11i/RSN/WPA2
- WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK ("WPA-Personal", pre-shared key)
- WPA with EAP ("WPA-Enterprise", for example with RADIUS authentication server)
- Key management for CCMP, TKIP, WEP (both 104/128- and 40/64-bit)
- RSN: PMKSA caching, pre-authentication