What is an Access Point?

Access Point Definition

An access point, also called a wireless access point and abbreviated either AP or WAP, is a device that transmits wireless signal. These network devices have to be configured in certain precise ways to achieve their optimum potential. When activated, they become the center of a wireless local area network, abbreviated WLAN. You have undoubtedly used these wifi networks many times before in your home, business, or in public at internet hotspots.

Are Wireless Routers Access Points?

Most people are familiar with routers providing their wireless internet, and this is not exactly a misconception- most consumer wifi routers are also their own access points. The internet you receive from your service provider, which will come through the wires in your wall, first needs to go through a modem. From there, it can go through wires to either a computer or a router. The router then needs to be connected to an access point, which broadcasts the networking signal over a small area. That signal is what your wireless computer, laptop, phone, or other internet device connects to.

Depending on your personal set-up, your modem and router might be in the same single device. Or, your router and your access point may be parts of the same device- this is common for consumer routers. It's also possible for all three devices to be combined, though this is less common. Usually, a router with its own single access point is fine for a home or small business. However, for large businesses, or areas such as factories or warehouses with complex layouts and zones of interference, multiple access points need to be used to efficiently provide fast wireless internet to every corner of the building. Having only one access point results in dead zones, interference, and slow experiences for everyone trying to connect- and that will cost your business time and money.

Wireless Network Set-Up

Setting up these large, scalable wireless network infrastructures is usually very tricky- the average person is not usually a wireless network engineer! Luckily, the internet technicians at BCI are standing by to help. Talk to us about your network solutions right away- use the form below or call us today at (847) 615-2933.

Powered by Alan Solutions