An access point is a device that creates a wireless local area network, or WLAN, usually in an office or large building. An access point connects to a wired router, switch, or hub via an Ethernet cable, and projects a Wi-Fi signal to a designated area. For example, if you want to enable Wi-Fi access in your company’s reception area but don’t have a router within range, you can install an access point near the front desk and run an Ethernet cable through the ceiling back to the server room.
Difference between Access Point & Wi-Fi Extender
While range extenders are great for home Wi-Fi networks, they’re not efficient for modern businesses. This is because they can only support a limited number of devices at one time, usually no more than 20. While range extenders to increase the coverage of a Wi-Fi router, they do not increase its available bandwidth. Depending on the number of devices you have connected simultaneously, a range extender could end up weighing down your connection.
Access points, on the other hand, can handle over 60 simultaneous connections each. By installing access points throughout the office, users can roam freely from room to room without experiencing network interruptions. As they move through the building, their devices shift seamlessly from one access point to the next without dropping the connection—they won’t even realize they’re switching between networks.
Here are some benefits of setting up an access point:
More Users Access
An ordinary wireless router can only support 10-20 users access, while AP is able to allow over 50 or even hundreds of users access, and what’s more, it has stronger ability to send and receive signals. Especially in a large area needing wireless coverage, an AP has more advantages than a wireless router.
Wider WiFi Coverage
Generally, the range of signal transmission that a wireless router can cover is just dozens of meters, and if beyond this range, the signal will be lost. Nevertheless, an AP can cover further distances, up to 100-300 meters, and the increase of wireless access point will extend signal coverage proportionally, which enables users to roam freely in the network. Especially for enterprises, their office space is usually larger, and even some need to communicate across the buildings, and the number of users accessing the network is so large that they need a larger wireless network coverage, thus avoiding management of cabling.
The networking mode of the wireless router is relatively single with low flexibility. On the contrary, an AP has a variety of modes for you to choose, which meant to be very flexible, such as Simplex AP, Wireless Client, Wireless Bridge, Multi-point Bridge, etc. and it can be managed in a centralized way with the cooperation of wireless AP controller.
- Access Points