Anonymous user and Authentication Method

Anonymous is anything whose identity is known. On a computer network, we use it to refer to a user, authentication method, access type, and user account.

Anonymous authentication is one of the many authentication methods network services use to identify users. Anonymous users are generic users. They do not need any credentials to log in. They access network resources without providing a username or password.

Only selected services support anonymous authentication. If a service supports anonymous authentication, it uses an anonymous account to authenticate the user. An anonymous account is a public account. Anyone can access the resources available under the anonymous user account.

Based on network requirements, administrators can configure access permissions on anonymous accounts. For example, they can configure read-only, write-only, or both permissions on an anonymous account. The configured policy applies to all users who use the anonymous account to access the resource. For example, if an anonymous account has read-only permission, a user cannot use it to write.

Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) uses it to allow everyone (anonymous users) to access public content hosted on a Web server. It uses a default anonymous user account called IUSR_machinename. It creates this account during Setup and exclusively uses it to authenticate anonymous users and grant them access to resources on the machine. The IUSR_machinename account requires the Log On Locally system right to grant anonymous access to machine resources.

Anonymous FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

FTP is a file transfer protocol. It allows users to download and upload files from a remote machine. It supports anonymous access. It creates a default anonymous FTP account during the installation. If configured, it allows users to retrieve publicly available files from the server.

FTP protocol works in client/server architecture. FTP server installs on the system that provides resources. FTP client installs on the system you want to use to manage resources saved on the FTP server system.

There are many FTP programs. You can use any FTP program based on your requirements. FileZilla is one of the most widely used open-source FTP programs.

Using FTP client for anonymous login

The FTP client program needs the following information.


Name or IP address of the FTP server. If you have an FTP server, you can use its name or IP address here. If you do not have an FTP server, you can use one of the following for testing.



As mentioned earlier, FTP automatically creates an anonymous user account when we install it. The username of this account is anonymous.


An anonymous user account does not need a password. Keep the password field empty.


FTP uses port number 21 for file transfer.

Anonymous FTP example

Open your FTP client program and use the following information to connect to the public FTP server anonymously.

Username:- anonymous
Port:- 21

The following image shows the above example.

anonymous login

Anonymous remailer

An anonymous remailer is an Internet service that hides the origins of an e-mail message sent to someone. The anonymous remailer removes any source address information from a message, substitutes any specified pen name, and then sends the message to the specified destination.

ComputerNetworkingNotes Networking Tutorials Anonymous user and Authentication Method