When you invest in a Wireless Access point, you’re improving the IT infrastructure of your house or office.
The wireless access point is a game changer for your house, office, or any commercial building. It ensures to have a robust and effective internet connection anywhere you need.
Now, the question arises, what is exactly this Wireless Access Point?
A wireless access point helps your existing network a little help to handle all the devices like smartphones, tablets, home devices, or computers.
Wireless access points provide the extra helping hand to upgrade the WiFi connectivity and improve your internet experience.
In this article, you’ll find every single detail about wireless access points, the benefits, different comparisons of access points with related devices, and so on!
So, with no further clear details, please continue reading.
What Is a Wireless Access Point?
A wireless access point(WAP) is a helping networking device that creates a connection to the wireless capable devices to a wired network.
WAP is used to provide stable and effective network connectivity in the office to let the employees work with less hassle.
An access point connects an ethernet cable, wired router, switch, and WiFi to a specific area.
Depending on the wireless signal, antenna, and power of the device, the access points can cover a range of areas.
Therefore, a wireless access point is used to create the wireless local area network(WLAN).
Types of Wireless Access Points
There Are multiple types of wireless access points available in the market.
1. Single/Dual Radio Access Points
Those access points with single radios work with either IEEE 802.11a or b/g. You can select from the options.
However, dual access points work-one for IEEE 802.11a and another one for IEEE 802.11b/g or even IEEE 802.11 b/g/n.
2. Controller Based and Stand Alone Access Point
Some access points work independently or others work with the controller.
Some other access points can work on a stand-alone basis but can be converted into controller-based ones.
If the wireless network is for a small distance, then standing alone is enough.
However, a higher distant controller-biased one is necessary.
3. External/Build-in Antennas
For smaller areas, built antennas can operate.
However, for larger areas where more coverage is necessary, external antennas should be used.
How does Wireless Access Point Work?
Wireless access points are connected to a wired network through any standalone modules or buses connected to any wired network.
Using radio techniques, they transfer data avoiding many obstacles.
Let’s see as an example- the wireless access point is the performer on a stage and the other wireless devices are the audience.
Now, WAP is delivering the message to the audience’s devices effectively without any interference. That’s how WAP works.
Pros & Cons of Wireless Access Point
A wireless access point is cheaper with straightforward configurations.
For home, students, and office workers this device ensures to have stable and efficient network connectivity even in dead zones.
Let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of WAP:
- Whereas other wireless devices like routers or boosters can cover zones like 10-20 meters, WAP can cover more than 100-300 meters.
- Through a booster, router, or any other device that can support 20-25 users, a WAP can support more than 50 users at once. This feature makes it suitable for business purposes.
- You can use WAP for residential or commercial purposes.
- WAP is a little bit more expensive than others. But for the greater good, it’s worth every penny.
- Using WAP can be less secure because of the radio waves transmission. Hackers can easily get into the traffic.
- Sometimes WAP can provide poor stability of the network compared to other network services.
Top 3 Wireless Access Points
In this segment, we’ll describe the best 3 WAPs in the market and the reasons to purchase those.
Let’s get into it:
1. Netgear WAX214 WiFi 6PoE+ Access Point
This one is one of the most affordable, convenient, easy to use and Wifi 6 access points.
- MAC-based access control list, WPA, WPA2 & WPA3 supported.
- Can support up to 128 clients with 40 devices.
- 2.4GHz & 5GHz connectivity.
- Extremely affordable.
- Easy configuration.
- Dual channel.
2. Cisco 240AC Wi-Fi 5 Access Point
Full of outstanding functions and supported with WiFi 5, this one is also affordable.
- WPA/WPA2/WPA3, 4×4 MU-MIMO supported, 1GB Ram.
- 802.11ac Wave 2 connectivity.
- Range extension.
- Affordable option.
- Powerful CPU.
- Takes time to boot.
3. TP-Link EAP660HD Wi-Fi 6 Access Point
This is the king of office access points. It has the ultimate goal to serve every table of office workers.
- Seamless roaming with PoE+, 2.4GHz and 5GHz support.
- It has connectivity of 802.11ax.
- It has great cloud support.
- 2.5GB ethernet port.
- It comes with a big case.
Wireless Access Point Vs Router
Generally, a WAP works to connect wireless devices through any common source.
However, the router is a network device that connects multiple devices from LAN(Local Area Network).
Devices get connected to routers through ethernet cable or WiFi. The router acts like a hub and manages all the devices for communication.
If you compare the modem with WAP, then it also works like a router.
They are almost alike. The modem is a simple device that helps to connect to the internet.
Sometimes modems aren’t enough alone to provide the internet connection, it needs help from the ethernet cable.
- Purpose: In WAP, it can support more than 50 users at a time. Whereas, a router can support only 10-20 users. WAP has the stronger stability to receive signals and can take a high usage load.
- Functionality: A WAP can cover almost 100-300 meters of area whereas a router can cover only a couple of dozen meters. That’s why for larger buildings or big businesses, not routers, WAP is more suitable.
- Cost: A WAP will cost more than a router as WAP serves you better coverage with a larger area. Even if it’s expensive, WAP is the most suitable option and worth every penny.
- Efficiency: WAP is more suitable than a router for big businesses and office buildings. For a small business or residential usage, the router can work.
Wireless Access Point Vs Extender
We already have a compact idea about WAP. Now, the extender is a device that extends the existing WiFi network.
As it works to strengthen the WiFi signal for the dead spots, it should be positioned in a place where the WiFi connection is naturally strong.
Simply a range extender repeats the existing WiFi signal from your router and expands it.
- Purpose: WAP allows wireless devices to connect through a wired network using WiFi. Whereas, the extender repeats the existing WiFi signals covering the area.
- Functionality: WAP is a device that works like a local network area and allows a variety of wireless devices to have permission to access. Range extenders repeat the WiFi signal and create a second network to boost the signal.
- Cost: WAP can be used in both office and residential areas. Plus, setting up the WAP is pretty tough. Whereas, the extender is suitable for residential usage and easy to set up.
- Efficiency: WAP is more efficient than extenders. The reason is the extender repeats the signal which makes it a bit weaker connection than regular.
Wireless Access Point Vs Mesh
The Mesh WiFi system also covers the dead zones of your place.
It’s a system that connects wireless nodes connected to a WiFi router which is connected to a modem.
Mesh is an easy and convenient system that needs no professional hands for setting up.
- Purpose: The main difference is WAP provides a much more stable and stronger internet connection than mesh technology. Mesh provides standard network speed whereas WAP provides high-quality speed.
- Functionality: A single WAP can support more than 60 devices simultaneously and a mesh system can support 35 devices maximum.
- Cost: WAP is way more expensive than a mesh system as it needs professional help to set up. In contrast, the mesh needs no professional helping hand.
- Efficiency: For larger buildings or offices WAP is more suitable than mesh networks However, for homes or small business mesh systems work much better.
Wireless Access Point Vs Bridge
The bridge is a system that can connect multiple routers into one WiFi connection.
It gives outstanding coverage in the home or office. Bride allows the routers to connect to one single WiFi to fix the coverage problem.
- Purpose: A WAP helps to deal with multiple wireless device users to connect from a common source. On the contrary, the bridge connects separate and divided network segments through WiFi or ethernet cable.
- Functionality: If you want to expand the WiFi signal and cover more area, then WAP is the best option. However, the router bridge has a different goal. It helps to transfer data between two different networks.
- Cost: In a WAP, you’ll need multiple devices and tools to set it up, for this reason, it’s an expensive option. On the contrary, a router bridge needs fewer configurations, so it’s less expensive.
- Efficiency: As two have completely different purposes and goals. So, be careful about your purpose and make an effective choice. For expanding the signal, use WAP and for easy & quick data transfer between two separate networks, rothe user is necessary.
What is the difference between a router and a wireless access point?
A router is a device that connects two or more computer networks, while a wireless access point is a device that connects computers and other devices to a wireless network.
Routers typically have built-in intelligence and can manage traffic between different networks, while wireless access points simply pass data between devices and the router.
Routers are commonly used in home networking because they allow users to connect to the Internet and share files and printers.
Wireless access points are also used in homes, but they are typically used in businesses where multiple users need to connect to the same network.
Is an access point the same as a Wi-Fi extender?
An access point connects to your home router and creates a new Wi-Fi network, while a Wi-Fi extender connects to your existing Wi-Fi network and extends the coverage.
Both devices can improve the signal in your home, but they work differently.
How much range does the access point have?
If you have a standard home router, your access point will likely have a range of about 40 feet (12 meters).
However, if you have a commercial-grade access point, such as those used in office buildings or public spaces, your access point could have a range of up to 150 feet (45 meters).
The range of your access point will also be affected by the environment in which it is used.
If there are walls or other obstacles between your access point and the devices you are trying to connect to it, the range will be reduced.
Does a WAP need Ethernet?
If you have a small home or office, and your router is in a central location, you may be able to get away with connecting your WAP directly to the router with an Ethernet cable.
However, if your home or office is large, or if your router is in a difficult-to-reach location, you may need to connect your WAP to an Ethernet switch instead.
Can 5Ghz Wi-Fi go through walls?
5Ghz signals are able to travel further than 2.4Ghz signals, but they are also more easily absorbed by objects.
This means that a 5Ghz signal will be weaker after passing through multiple walls or obstacles.
If you’re trying to extend your Wi-Fi signal to reach a specific area in your home or office, you may need to experiment with different positions for your router or access point.
You may also need to add additional access points to boost the signal in problem areas.
So, these are all the details about wireless access points.
We’ve discussed all the types, features, products, and different tools with the wireless access points.
This tool is a game changer for your home or office.
However, for a better experience in internet service and the utmost coverage, you can try the WAP service!