an authenticator is like a session. It authenticates an already authenticated user on subsequent requests to a page/app. A provider is the part which authenticates a user against an external (social provider, LDAP, CAS), against a credentials provider and so on. Typically authentication in Silhouette has two steps. First the user authenticates once against a provider and then you create an authenticator which authenticates the user on subsequent request against your page/app.
A request provider is a special kind of provider which can be directly hooked into the authentication process. It reads authentication data from the incoming request and authenticates the user. In this case an authenticator isn’t used, therefore it’s recommended to use the
DummyAuthenticator. The basic authentication provider is a request provider. It gets the authentication data from the
Let me know if something is unclear.