5 Best Wireless Access Points of 2017 | Buyer’s guide & Review

Best Wireless Access PointsA wireless access point provides and maintains a stable connection to the internet. It does so by providing an interface between electronic devices and wired network through Wi-Fi. An access point connects to a wired router, switch, or hub and sends out wireless signals.

Wireless access points are special-purpose communication devices that acts like a central receiver and transmitter of wireless radio signals. Mainstream WAPs are frequently used to support business networks such as public internet hotspots where larger spaces and buildings require wireless coverage among others.

 

Top 10 Best Wireless Access Points Comparison

Router NameTransfer Max SpeedConnectivityStandardsPriceCheck Now!
#1
TP-LINK TL-WA801ND
TP-LINK TL-WA801ND

 
3.9 Stars (3.9 / 5)
 
300 Mbps
 
Ethernet
 
802.11 N
 
$$
 

#2
Ubiquiti Networks Unifi
Ubiquiti Networks Unifi

 
4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)
 
1750 Mbps
 
Wireless
 
802.11 AC
 
$$
 

#3
SECURIFI ALMOND – TOUCHSCREEN
SECURIFI ALMOND – TOUCHSCREEN

 
4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)
 
300 Mbps
 
Wireless
 
802 11 N
 
$$
 

#4
LINKSYS WAP300N
LINKSYS WAP300N ACCESS POINT

 
3.9 Stars (3.9 / 5)
 
300 Mbps
 
Wireless
 
802.11 N
 
$$
 
#5
NETGEAR 802-11ac Wireless
NETGEAR 802-11ac Wireless

 
3.9 Stars (3.9 / 5)
 
1200 Mbps
 
Wi-Fi , Ethernet
 
802.11 AC
 
$$
 
#6
Ubiquiti Networks EnterpriseUbiquiti Networks Enterprise
 
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
 
300 Mbps
 
Wireless
 
802.11 N
 
$$
 
#7
ASUS 3-In-1 WirelessASUS 3-In-1 Wireless
 
4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
 
300 Mbps
 
Ethernet
 
802.11 N
 
$$
 
#8
TP-LINK CPE210 Access Point TP-LINK CPE210 Access Point
 
4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
 
300 Mbps
 
Wireless
 
802.11 N
 
$$
 
#8
Ubiquiti NanoStation locoUbiquiti NanoStation loco
 
4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
 
N/a Mbps
 
Wireless
 
802.11 N
 
$$
 
#10
D-Link Wireless AC1200D-Link Wireless AC1200
 
4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
 
1200 Mbps
 
Ethernet, wi-fi
 
802.11 AC
 
$$
 

 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Best Wireless Access Point

There are a broad range of wifi access point and if you’re planning to purchase this device, there are several critical factors you need to consider. Some of the most critical considerations include:

  • Range: WAPs with range enhancements are advantageous as they reduce the number and general costs of access points. In general, adequate range lowers overall expenses to the client since fewer access points are required. Majority of enterprise wireless LAN access points are able to give a coverage for an area between five thousand to ten thousand square feet.The range of a typical residential Wi-Fi network is dependent upon antenna sensitivity, WAP or the router as well as the precise 802.11 protocol being used.
  • Speed: This refers to the rate at which information is processed, usually measured in bps (bits per second), kilobits, and megabits.
  • Price: The price of best wireless access point hardware depends on several factors. A gadget with a higher price could have more enhancements over the cheap models and may offer the most features.They may also include critical support and installation tools that are invaluable during installation and support of the wireless LAN. It could be worth the extra bucks if the slightly expensive wireless access points saves you valuable time during installation and support of the wireless LAN.
  • Available features: There is a broad variety of features and the strength of these features is not always equal. Ensure that you conduct a thorough and careful research before you purchase a best wireless access point so that you choose the one that meets your minimum requirements.
  • WAP Capacity: Capacity is always a critical consideration when choosing the best wireless access point. While almost all manufacturers will advertise throughput, very few if any will reveal the exact number of users their gadgets are capable of hosting.

 

Top 5 Best Wireless Access Points of 2017

There’re many other factors you need to consider before choosing the right wireless access point. To sum up everything, the best wireless access point should have sufficient range for intended use, high bps (bits per second) production rate, a perfect blend for features, all while not forcing you to break your bank. With that said, the following 5 wireless access points are proven to have a healthy dose of all the above and other excellent features.

TP-LINK TL-WA801ND – Best Wireless Access Point For Home

Tp link access point router

TP-LINK TL-WA801ND is a pocket friendly solution that offers decent transfer rates and comes with a lower price tag. It comes with MIMO and CCA technologies, 3 omni-directional antennas that can deliver the best performance on its transmission rates, stability as well as wireless coverages.

The model functions with 802.11b/g gadgets. It can also function with wireless gadgets meaning that it can reach transfer rates of as much as 300/Mbps.The product can be used in five different modes which include Multi-SSID Mode, Bridge Mode, Wireless to Ethernet (Client Mode), Wireless Repeater or Extender and Wireless Access Point.

The model is extremely easy to configure as an AP and provides decent coverage making it the most suitable model for a small house or apartment.

 

What We Liked?

  • Small form factor and lightweight.
  • Extremely low price.
  • Wide coverage.
  • Compatibility with 802.11b, g and n.
  • Five connection modes.

What We Didn’t?

  • Relatively cheap quality.

 

The TL-WA801ND is a great AP for small businesses, offices or apartments due to its wide coverage and signal strength for an unusually low price. However, this AP barely offers any noteworthy features and its slow speed makes it ill-equipped when compared with higher-priced models. Thus, it can be best described as a budget model.

 

 

Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point – Our Top Pick

Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point

Ubiquiti Networks developed this enterprise solution that can begin small and develop as required. The small and round access point can be employed single or in series with many units communicating to each other. This provides you with unsurpassed flexibility for convenience. For instance, you can start from 2-3 and simply add more later if more coverage is required.

It features the most modern in WiFi 802.11AC multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) technology that can deliver up to 300Mbps speeds and with exceptional signal ranges of up to 400 feet. The device has exceptional design, super easy to install and can be comfortably mounted on the ceilings or the wall (accessories are included).

 

What We Liked?

  • 3 Dual-Band antennas ensure great range.
  • Extremely high max speed of 1750Mbps.
  • MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) functions.
  • 802.11at compatibility with included adapter.
  • Weatherproof; can be used outdoors.

What We Didn’t?

  • High price.

 

The Ubiquiti Unifi is the pinnacle in WAP design. Stylish, extremely fast and packed with high-end features to the brim, this Access Point will surely do more than just satisfy many around the world looking for a professional networking solution. However, the Unifi doesn’t come without one big flaw, and that is its high price of over $130. Though not a huge sum, this can and surely will keep many interested buyers from getting it. A sad fact, we think, as the Unifi is one of the best WAPs currently on the market.

 

 

Securifi Almond – Touchscreen Wireless Router / Range Extender

Securifi Almond - (3 Minute Setup)

Securifi is widely known for designing gadgets that are extremely easy to use and comes with an incredible design. Securifi almond is a very simple wireless router that can function as an AP. One of its most fascinating features is the added color LCD touchscreen. it can effectively be used to setup the wireless access point and according to its manufacturers it takes as little as three minutes to have it fully working.

Securifi Model supports 802.11b/g/n gadgets which means it is quick and reliable. In addition, it is compatible with almost all kinds of gadgets running iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows.

 

What We Liked?

  • Doubles as a router.
  • Touchscreen interface makes changing settings a breeze.
  • MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) support.
  • Support for 802.11b/g/n.
  • Unique looks.

What We Didn’t?

  • Top speed of 300Mbps seems too slow for such an ‘avantgarde’ product.
  • Only 2 Single-Band antennas mean subaverage range and connection quality.

 

The Securifi Almond looks great as a concept mock-up, but unfortunately not as a finished, mass-produced product, especially not at the MSRP of about $65 and the quality that comes with such a price tag. Simply put, the Almond lacks many features that you would commonly expect on a device this expensive. Its ability to work as both a WAP and a router as well as the interesting touchscreen LCD interface just barely make up for that.

However, a revised version equipped with technologies such as dual-band antennas, preferably three or more, 802.11ac support, higher connection speeds or even just an improvement in general build quality, even if that meant a higher price, would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Linksys WAP300N – Business Wireless Access Point

Wireless N Access Point, 300 Mbps, Black

The Linksys WAP300N is one of the most advanced Wireless Access Point which supports the most modern wireless technology. It features a 5-GHz band mode which translates into transfer speeds of as high as 300Mbps. It can function in four different modes that lets you grow, customize or develop your network with stunning ease.

It can be used as a bridge that allow connection of multiple AP, Range extender which is very instrumental for those who desire to boost wireless coverage. You can also use it as a media connector that facilitate connection of your wired devices to a wireless network as well as an access point.

 

What We Liked?

  • Wireless-N support allows access to 5GHz bands.
  • Detachable, external dual-band antennas.
  • 4-1: Can work as both a bridge, media connector, range extender or WAP.
  • Good coverage and range that can both be extended using one of the 4 modes.

What We Didn’t?

  • 300Mbps speed limit doesn’t make use of the 5GHz band’s capabilities.
  • High price for such a basic WAP.

 

The Linksys WAP300N is, at face value, just a basic WAP made for people looking for a quick solution to the annoying cable salad that traditional cable connections come with. However, on closer inspection, it turns out to be equipped with lots of high-end features and capabilities, such as dual-band (5 and 2.4GHz) antennas, a total of four modes, full Wireless-N support and more.

However, all that is hampered by the low speed of only 300Mbps, the lack of originality or special features to make it stand out and the high price of over $70, given that the WAP300N is barely any more effective than the much cheaper TP-LINK TL-WA801ND tested above.

 

 

NETGEAR Access Point – High Speed Wireless Access Point (AC1200)

 

netgear access pointThis is one of the wireless access point that have managed to survive the test of time. It doesn’t feature those stunning transfer rates but its unbeatable stability makes it the most reliable option for persons who are under a tight budget.

The model provides an excellent coverage and can operate between 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency ranges. This Negear gadget also have a router function, it can be connected by use of one of its Ethernet ports to another router that can be used to distribute internet over the network.

 

What We Liked?

  • 802.11ac and Wireless-N support.
  • Very high speed of 867Mbps in 5GHz mode.
  • Two external dual-band antennas offer good coverage and range.
  • Sturdy exterior; high-quality build.
  • Above average, but fair price.

What We Didn’t?

  • No special features.
  • Basic design.

 

The Netgear AC1200, also known as the WAC104-100NAS, is a curious WAP. It does not feature any alternative modes like some of the devices tested above, nor does it have any special equipment on board or any sort of stylish design. It is, to put it bluntly, one of the most basic incarnations of a WAP. However, it does that which it is meant to do remarkably well.

With a combined top speed of 1.3Gbps, second to only the Ubiquiti Unifi, our top pick, Wireless-N, dual-band antennas and much more, this WAP may be basic, may be bland on the outside and may be unoriginal, but it sure is very effective.

 

 

Benefits of buying a Wireless Access Point

Now, you may ask yourself, “What do I need a WAP for, anyway?”

This question can easily be answered by looking at an Access Point’s many advantages.

First of all, there’s connectivity.

Since a WAP makes connecting your devices to the Internet largely wireless, most of these devices as well as multi-purpose router/Access Point machines benefit from a much higher number of free ports. These can be USB, Ethernet, eSATA or any other kind of port that would be normally occupied when using a traditional cable connection for all devices in the household or office. Also, when placement is taken into account, an AP can greatly improve signal strength, and thus, internet speed.

And that’s not all! By choosing a high-speed WAP, you can not only surf faster, but also with more devices at a time. It is widely known that the more devices are actively accessing the Internet over the same router / modem, the slower the overall connection will get for all users. This is generally true, but by buying a WAP designed for optimal coverage, range and efficiency, you can create a workaround for this problem as connecting via a WAP is not the same as the traditional modem-router combo. Many of your devices, if not all of them will profit from a superior Internet experience.

And these are just a few of the reasons why you should consider buying a WAP instead of sticking with your current setup.

 

Final Verdict

  • The explained capacity of any wireless access point is also in most cases higher than what a majority of professionals recommend. A typical device will either provide three-radio access points, dual, or single access point. Every additional radio significantly improves the gadget’s throughput, allowing more users to connect. However, throughput and radios are only part of the equation. You also need to consider the number of gadgets you need to use, the type of applications you expect to access, and the number of projected users.