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Network Policies

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Network policies are sets of conditions, constraints, and settings that allow you to designate who is authorized to connect to the network and the circumstances under which they can or cannot connect. When you deploy Network Access Protection (NAP), health policy is added to the network policy configuration so that Network Policy Server (NPS) performs client health checks during the authorization process.

When processing connection requests as a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) server, NPS performs both authentication and authorization for the connection request. During the authentication process, NPS verifies the identity of the user or computer that is connecting to the network. During the authorization process, NPS determines whether the user or computer is allowed to access the network.

To make this determination, NPS uses network policies that are configured in the NPS Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. NPS also examines the dial-in properties of the user account in Active Directory┬« Domain Services (AD DS) to perform authorization.


In Internet Authentication Service (IAS) in the Windows Server® 2003 operating systems, network policies were called remote access policies .

Network policies can be viewed as rules. Each rule has a set of conditions and settings. NPS compares the conditions of the rule to the properties of connection requests. If a match occurs between the rule and the connection request, the settings defined in the rule are applied to the connection.

When multiple network policies are configured in NPS, they are an ordered set of rules. NPS checks each connection request against the first rule in the list, then the second, and so on, until a match is found.

Each network policy has a Policy State setting that allows you to enable or disable the policy. When you disable a network policy, NPS does not evaluate the policy when authorizing connection requests.


If you want NPS to evaluate a network policy when performing authorization for connection requests, you must configure the Policy State setting by selecting the Policy enabled check box.

Network policy properties

There are four categories of properties for each network policy:

  • Overview

    These properties allow you to specify whether the policy is enabled, whether the policy grants or denies access, and whether a specific network connection method, or type of network access server (NAS), is required for connection requests. Overview properties also allow you to specify whether the dial-in properties of user accounts in AD DS are ignored. If you select this option, only the settings in the network policy are used by NPS to determine whether the connection is authorized.

  • Conditions

    These properties allow you to specify the conditions that the connection request must have in order to match the network policy; if the conditions configured in the policy match the connection request, NPS applies the settings designated in the network policy to the connection. For example, if you specify the NAS IPv4 address as a condition of the network policy and NPS receives a connection request from a NAS that has the specified IP address, the condition in the policy matches the connection request.

  • Constraints

    Constraints are additional parameters of the network policy that are required to match the connection request. If a constraint is not matched by the connection request, NPS automatically rejects the request. Unlike the NPS response to unmatched conditions in the network policy, if a constraint is not matched, NPS denies the connection request without evaluating additional network policies.

  • Settings

    These properties allow you to specify the settings that NPS applies to the connection request if all of the network policy conditions for the policy are matched.

When you add a new network policy by using the NPS snap-in, you must use the New Network Policy Wizard. After you have created a network policy by using the wizard, you can customize the policy by double-clicking the policy in the NPS snap-in to obtain the policy properties.