What are Wi-Fi Access Points and Their Types?

Although Wi-Fi technology has advanced significantly in recent years, it is still not a one-size-fits-all solution, particularly for companies. Wi-Fi access points are common in large office areas with high traffic, whereas Wi-Fi routers and range extenders are more common in tiny workplaces with few users.

What is an Access Point?

A wireless network device that works as a way for devices to connect to a network that is local is known as an access point. Access points are used to further increase an existing network’s wireless coverage and increase the number of users that can connect to the network. 

An Ethernet cable that is high speed connects a router to a wireless access point, which converts a wired signal into a wireless signal. Wireless connectivity is often the sole option for access points, which establishes Wi-Fi connections with end devices.

Types Of Access Point Configurations 

  • Root Access Point – An access point is linked directly to a wired LAN in this type of access point, providing a connectivity point for wireless users. Users can travel from one section of a facility to another without losing their network connection if more than one access point is linked to the LAN.
  • Repeater Access Point – In this type of Wi-Fi Access point, a standalone repeater can be set as an access point or mesh extender to increase the range of your infrastructure or overcome a radio communication barrier. The repeater sends data to another repeater or an access point linked to the wired network to transfer traffic between wireless users and the wired network. The data is transmitted via the route that gives the customer optimum performance.
  • Central Unit – An access point serves as the root unit of an all-wireless network. It does not have a wired LAN connection. Instead, the access point serves as a hub that connects all of the stations. It acts as a transmission focal point, extending the range of wireless users’ interactions.
  • Workgroup Bridge – In this type of access point, the access points can “identify” as clients with other access points and offer network connections for devices attached to Ethernet ports. If your business requires a wireless connection for a set of network printers, for example, you may connect the printers to a hub or switch, link the hub or switch to the uplink Ethernet cable, and set up the access point as a workplace bridging. The workgroup bridge will then “connect” with a network access point.
  • Controlled Access Point – Controlled Access point is a managed access point. The Lightweight Access Point is the technical term for a restricted access point (LWAP). LWAP does not make any decisions about forwarding. Instead of sending a frame to the end device, it sends it to the WLC when it receives one from the connected device. The WLC, if the frame should be deleted or forwarded, depending on the security configuration. If a frame has to be forwarded, it is sent to that LWAPP, which is linked to the target device. This frame is then sent to the end device via LWAPP.
  • Multifunction Access Point – A multifunction access point is a device that combines two or more devices into one. In this configuration, an extra device or devices are merged with the access point to give additional functionality in addition to the access point’s existing capabilities. A multifunction access point is a wireless router that an Internet service provider (ISP) employs to give Internet access. An access point, a conventional Ethernet switch, and a router make up the system.

 Consumers should consider the pace at which the access point transfers data, the maximum output power, the number of channels, and the sensitivity when comparing access points. Sensitivity is a measurement of the receiver’s ability to dependably detect the lowest signal. The receiver is measured in dBm, and the lower the value, the better. It is important to consider all factors before going for an access point setup.

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