Is there anything more awkward than not being able to load something on the internet when you’re in a meeting at work?
The WiFi was fine by your desk
You’ve taken 10 steps into a meeting room, and it’s gone.
Now you have a group of people waiting for you to show them something.
Of course, it would be on the internet, and now there isn’t a connection.
You overhear the IT department mutter something about Access Points.
But what exactly are access points?
How will they help you?
Wireless Access Points (WAP) are a wired network device that emits signals for wireless devices to connect and access the internet.
What Is A Wireless Access Point (WAP), And What Does It Do?
WAPs extend the wireless coverage of an existing network and router. They connect to the network via Ethernet cables. They are powered by Power over Ethernet (PoE), which is often provided by Ethernet network switches. These WAPs emit a wireless signal, usually WiFi or Bluetooth.
You might also recognise WAPs as WiFi Hotspots that you find in restaurants and parks. Most modern mobile phones also have hotspot functionality.
Basically, WAPs enable us to wander through large buildings and remain connected to the WiFi. As you move out of the range of one WAP, you will instantly be connected to another WAP. The better quality your WAP, the more seamless this experience can be.
WAPs can handle a number of devices. However, the more devices that are connected, the more bandwidth gets used.
Let’s just say that Wireless Access Points have our backs.
Say goodbye to awkward loading times in meetings.
What Is The Difference Between a WAP And Wireless Repeater?
You might have heard about Wireless Repeaters (or range extenders).
These are commonly used in home environments. Usually bought to maintain the peace between kids who want to stream Netflix upstairs and parents who would like some peace and quiet.
It is fair to say that extenders are like WAPs.
They have similarities but some very distinct differences.
You’ve probably seen it before.
You go to connect to WiFi in someone else’s home, and you see NETGEAR_4567 and NETGEAR_4567_5G.
Extenders connect to a router.
Extenders are great for home environments with few existing wireless connections.
It’s even better for homeowners who don’t want to route cabling all around their home.
This is where it gets a bit tricky.
Extenders can cut down your WiFi speed. Essentially, by using an extender, you’re splitting the WiFi into 2 paths.
You could be next to your router with a speed of 20mbps.
Connect to the extender upstairs and have 10mbps.
WAPs don’t have this problem. As you’re connecting to a wired connection, the WiFi speed is basically the same.
Using access points in large buildings is like having a mini wireless router in your pocket and being able to stay consistently connected to the internet.
What a time to be alive!
What Is The Difference Between a WAP And a Router?
So, if WAPs are like carrying around a mini router in our pocket – why do we have routers?
Here are the main differences:
- The router is a hub that sets up your Local Area Network and manages all devices connected to it
- WAPs are a sub-device within the LAN which provides another location for devices to connect to WiFi
Routers are basically the work donkey, and WAPs are the cart with wheels.
Therefore, making the job quicker.
What are some examples of WAP deployment?
Wireless Access Points are great for:
- Large offices where employees/customers need to roam and stay connected
- Coffee shops
- Train stations
Some areas have introduced city-wide WiFi using WAP technology. Newcastle, London, Manchester and Edinburgh all have free WiFi throughout the City. While the connection isn’t quite seamless yet, it is getting better.
So, you may not have heard of Wireless Access Points but they’re helping you out almost everywhere. If you want to know about how access points can help your business, contact our sales team free on 0800 488 0000.