What is a WiFi Access Point? How is it Different from a WiFi router?
The terms “Access Point” and “WiFi Router” are constantly used for the same reason. This term is usually used incorrectly, because there is a significant difference. While the two devices usually emit a WiFi Signal and you connect devices to them both, they serve totally different purposes.
WiFi Router – What is it?
A WiFi Router, can be thought of, as the Air Traffic controller of the network system. There should only be one primary router in any network system. Whether you are using a home router, or it’s a large corporation, it will need a router in its network. This router, is responsible for assigning each and every device on the network its own unique ID (IP Address). It also tells that device how much traffic it can receive, where it gets its internet from and will allow or reject that device. There are a lot of functions a router does in a system, including protect you from intruders. A router generally has a WAN port connection on the rear allowing incoming internet from the world, as well as a Firewall that protects all devices on that network. RadioLabs High power routers, not only provide excellent firewall, but also have excellent WiFi Range. Our unique, high power, long range WiFi routers, usually have 5 – 15x more power and range than our competitor’s routers. Our high power, long range WiFi Routers, are not the fastest on the market nor do they need to be. The more speed, the lower the signal and the lower the range. All WiFi routers with ultra fast speed, have to substantially sacrifice Power and Range, for faster speeds.
As a rule, all Routers are not WiFi enabled, but all Access Points are WiFi enabled. A router can usually be configured to shut off all network traffic and disable the routing function as long as a router is working in the network. A router’s DHCP can be easily disabled, at which point you need to fill in the “Default Gateway” and “Primary DNS” functions. This function alone usually
WiFi Access Point – What is it and how is it different?
A WiFi Access Point, is a device that simply accepts a wired connection from a device that is connected to a Router (See Above) and then transmits a WiFi Signal, allowing Wireless / WiFi devices to connect. An Access Point is not responsible for providing any routing, nor is it responsible for controlling network traffic. An Access Point is simply responsible for connecting additional WiFi enabled devices to the same network. These devices can be indoors, as an extension to the network, or, outdoors, such as a full property outdoor Access Point. Other devices connect to an AP allowing for buildings or other locations being bridged to it.
Our high power outdoor access points, allow both WiFi enabled devices, such as laptops, tablets, security cameras or cellphones to connect via WiFi to the main network system, but they can also be placed into WDS Bridge Mode and Access Point mode simultaneously, allowing for a large network to be created extending your WiFi network to other buildings, shops, garages, barns or any outbuilding joining on.
An Access Point, sends and receives WiFi signal to and from remote devices, while simultaneously directing that device towards the router. These settings, such as Default Gateway, Subnet and Primary DNS, usually point back towards the main control Router. All Access Points have WiFi, whereas all routers do not. In many ways, you can think of an Access Point, as merely being a programmable switch in a wired network, but with some configuration. Access Points will never issue IP Addresses, and generally don’t provide a firewall or Quality of Service (QOS) protocol. They are simply a Network device that uses 1 IP Address in the network, then forwards all WiFi or Bridge Traffic back to the router.