anonymous access

Definition of anonymous access in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Anonymous Access?

One of three authentication schemes for Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). Anonymous access allows anonymous users to gain access to Web content hosted on the IIS server by using the anonymous user account.

Anonymous access is usually reserved for low-security public Web sites, where the identity of the individual visiting the site is not important. By enabling anonymous access to the site, distrusted users from the Internet can access content on the site.

By contrast, private corporate intranets use a higher form of authentication, such as:

  • Windows NT Challenge/Response Authentication when clients are running Microsoft Windows and are using Microsoft Internet Explorer as their browser
  • Basic Authentication when clients are running another operating system or Web browser