Buyer's Guide for Top Wireless Access Point

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Buyers Guide Content

  1. Wireless Access Point (WAP) Overview 
  2. What Is the Access Point in Wireless LAN 
  3. Why You Need Wireless Access Points for Your Business 
  4. Advantages of Wireless Access Point in Networking 
  5. Wireless Access Point Vs Router: Difference Between Access Point and Router 
  6. Wireless Access Point Vs Extender: Difference Between Access Point and Extender 

Wireless Access Point (WAP) Overview 

A WAP or wireless access point is a configured node or hardware device on a LAN (local area network) that connects wireless capable devices and wired networks using a wireless standard such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. WAPs have antennae or radio transmitters that make it easier for devices to connect to a network or the Internet. 

WAP is also labeled as a hotspot. While there are alternative wireless technologies, the phrases Wi-Fi hotspot and WAP are used interchangeably most of the time. 

To eliminate "dead spots" and ensure total wireless coverage, businesses can also utilize a WAP and enhance the power and signal range of their existing wireless network. This particular technology is especially beneficial for bigger office buildings. One of the greatest benefits of WAP is its mobility, as the WAPs' settings can all be controlled from a single device. 

What Is the Access Point in Wireless LAN 

An Access Point (AP) is a piece of networking equipment. An access point in wireless LAN (WLAN) helps to connect wireless-capable devices to a wired network. Installing APs helps connect all the devices and computers within a particular network, and this task of connecting multiple devices is easier and simpler using AP, as compared to using cables and wires. 

Why You Need Wireless Access Points for Your Business 

Nearly all businesses need reliable internet access so that their staff can complete their work conveniently and quickly. In this digital age, businesses cannot afford to operate without a reliable wireless network. This is where WAPs come to their rescue. 

A wireless access point is a must-have if your business has multiple employees working simultaneously. WAPs are used in office environments to provide superior network connectivity, allowing employees to operate from anywhere within the workplace by connecting their respective devices to the available network. 

WAPs could be the ideal solution for businesses because of the following reasons: 

  • Wide transmission range 
  • Increased user access 
  • Stronger signal sending and receiving capabilities 
  • Enhanced security 

Advantages of Wireless Access Point in Networking 

Any business organization looking forward to accommodating a large number of wireless Internet users requires a wireless access point. The WAP comes with numerous notable advantages as compared to a regular wireless router. Here are the most important advantages of WAP: 

Access to more number of users: While a regular wireless router can only serve 10-20 people, a WAP can support more than 50, sometimes even hundreds of users simultaneously. Additionally, WAP also has much better and stronger signal receiving and sending capabilities. 

Broader transmission range: A wireless router's signal transmission range is usually only a few meters, and the signal gets lost beyond a few dozen meters. However, a wireless access point has the capacity to cover greater distances, which can be as much as 100-300 meters. Additionally, increasing the number of wireless access points would proportionally enhance signal coverage, allowing users to wander freely within the network and still stay connected to it. 

Flexible networking: A wireless router's networking mode is limited in terms of flexibility and scope. However, that’s not the case with a wireless access point. To encourage usage flexibility, a wireless access point includes a variety of modes that you can choose from. Here are some of the standard modes available with WAP: Simplex AP, Wireless Bridge, Wireless Client, Multi-point Bridge, etc. 

Interconnection of Multiple Access Points: Business houses frequently use multi-access point applications. As it stands, a single AP's coverage may prove to be insufficient for a large organization. In such a scenario, a multi-AP interconnection can be used to extend wireless network coverage. The multi-AP interconnection facility gives network users the freedom to roam freely within the network coverage area, without compromising on connectivity strength. 

Wireless Access Point Vs Router: Difference Between Access Point and Router 

To understand the difference between a router and an access point, we first must figure out their functions. A router is a piece of network equipment that typically performs two functions. First, it connects several devices (computers, tablets, phones, etc) to establish a managed LAN. Second, it provides all connected devices access to the Internet. You need to simply deploy a router and link one or more devices to it in order to create a LAN. 

On the other hand, an AP is a wireless network device that operates as a portal that helps connect computing devices to a local area network. Access points are typically deployed to expand an existing network's wireless coverage and increase the number of users who can connect to it. 

Simply put, a router serves as a hub, establishing a local area network and overseeing all of its devices and their communications. In contrast, an access point is technically a sub-device deployed within a particular LAN that offers another point of connection that allows for more devices to be connected to the network. 

The following table reveals the key differences between an AP and a router: 

Access Point 

Router 

Allows devices to connect to a LAN 

Forwards packets of data among various computer networks and points traffic on the Internet 

Extends the coverage range of a wireless network to accommodate more users 

Establishes LAN and forms connection between devices and the Internet 

Suitable for large enterprises and massive workspaces 

Suitable for small businesses and households 

Different types of access points include: standalone AP, controller AP, single frequency AP, dual-band AP, in-wall AP, ceiling AP, commercial AP, enterprise-level AP, and multifunction AP 

Types of routers include the following: Wired routers, Wireless routers, Edge routers, Virtual routers, and core routers 

Wireless Access Point Vs Extender: Difference Between Access Point and Extender 

As we already know, an access point happens to be a wireless networking device that connects wireless devices and networks to a wired network via wireless technologies like Wi-Fi. On the other hand, an extender, also known as a repeater, is a networking device that extends the coverage area of an existing wireless network. 

The access point acts as a centralized hub on an existing wireless LAN. It is either connected to a router via Ethernet cable or is a part of a router. A wireless extender, on the other hand, extends the range of a router's wireless signal by forming a second network, gradually enhancing the main router's coverage. 

The following table shows the key differences between an access point and an extender. 

Access Point 

Extender 

Acts similar to a base station that enables multiple devices to connect to the same local area network. 

Boosts an existing connection to expand its network coverage area. 

AP creates its own network 

An extender merely mimics an existing network 

It is useful for business networks 

Suitable for home networks 

Never compromises with network quality 

Might deteriorate network quality by up to 50% 

Author: Kalpana Arya

Wireless Access Point (WAPs)

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SonicWall Email Security Appliances

By SonicWall

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SonicWall Email Security Appliances is an all-in-one Wireless Access Point designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Ag... Read More About SonicWall Email Security Appliances

Aruba 310 Series Access Points

By HPE Hewlett Packard Enterprises

5.0 (1 reviews)

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₹750

Inclusive of all taxes

Aruba 310 Series Access Points is a high density and high-performance 802.11ac Wave 2 Aruba access points. It has the fa... Read More About Aruba 310 Series Access Points

Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points

By Cisco Systems

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Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points is a wireless access point designed for providing integrated security for IoT devices... Read More About Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points

Cisco Router ISR 900

By Cisco Systems

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Integrated service routers (ISRs) from the Cisco 900 Series combine integrated security and internet access on one high... Read More About Cisco Router ISR 900

A WAP (wireless access point) is a piece of hardware equipment or configured node within a LAN (local area network) that enables wired networks as well as devices to connect to a wireless standard.

Wireless access points come with wireless traffic encryption schemes. Modern-day WAPs support WPA and WPA2 schemes. Both of them are extremely secure. However, you need to use a strong enough password for enhanced protection. 

Wireless access points are not routers since they do not route anything. They simply convert an existing wired local area network (LAN) into a wireless network (WLAN). A router can be considered an access point, however, an access point cannot be a router. 

Wireless access points having the same SSID is standard practice, especially in a multi-AP environment. 

Cisco Aironet 1800 Access Points

By Cisco Systems

Price On Request

Cisco Aironet 1800 Access Points is a complete Wireless Access Point designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies... Read More About Cisco Aironet 1800 Access Points

SonicWall SonicWave Series

By SonicWall

Price On Request

SonicWall SonicWave Series is an all-in-one Wireless Access Point designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies. T... Read More About SonicWall SonicWave Series

Last Updated on : 26 Sep, 2022

What is Wireless Access Point?

Wireless access points (WAPs) help connect traditional wired networks to wireless clients that want to gain access to the network. WSPs stands for a networking hardware appliance that assists Wi-Fi-capable devices to connect to a wired network.

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FAQs About Wireless Access Point

When it comes to Wi-Fi access points, they need not possess an IP address. However, some WAPs do come with IP addresses as they often operate as network gateways DHCP servers on the IP layer. 

No, wireless access points generally never slow down network speed or decrease bandwidth.   

A wireless access point generally works by connecting directly to a network switch or broadband router using a data cable or Ethernet. 

A wireless access point or WAP refers to a specialized network device that enables wireless-capable devices to connect to and access the Internet.

Yes, wireless access points require electrical power to work. 

Yes, wireless access points have ethernet ports. 

Wireless access points connect to a network switch using wired ethernet.   

Wireless access points use electromagnetic radiation in order to connect electronic devices to the Internet. However, there is no evidence suggesting any harmful consequences of this radiation.   

If placed correctly, wireless access points can boost your Wi-Fi signal. 

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