Last Updated on
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Wireless Access Points In 2019: 7+ WiFi AP for Home, Business & Long Range
- 1.1 What is the difference between a wireless router and a wireless access point?
- 1.2 Indoors Vs. Outdoors: Types of Access points
- 1.3 Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at 7+ Best Wireless Access Points For Home & Business.
- 1.3.1 Ubiquiti Networks Unifi PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US)
- 1.3.2 Open-Mesh 2.4/5GHz 2×2 MIMO Access Point (A42)
- 1.3.3 TP-Link EAP225 V3 Wireless Ceiling Mount Access Point
- 1.3.4 EnGenius EAP350 N300 Wireless Indoor Access Point
- 1.3.5 NETGEAR Dual Band 802.11ac Wireless Access Point (WAC104)
- 1.3.6 Securifi Almond – Touchscreen Router / Extender
- 1.3.7 TP-Link Wireless N300 2T2R Access Point
- 1.3.8 EnGenius 11n 2.4GHz Access Point (ENH202)
- 1.4 What To Look For When Buying A WiFi Access Point – Key Considerations
- 1.5 1. Ubiquiti Networks Unifi PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US) – Best For Home
- 1.6 2. Open-Mesh 2.4/5GHz 2×2 MIMO Access Point (A42)
- 1.7 3. TP-Link EAP225 V3 Wireless AC1350 – Best For Small Business
- 1.8 4. EnGenius EAP350 N300 Wireless Indoor Access Point – Best For Long Range
- 1.9 5. NETGEAR AC1200 (WAC104-100NAS) Wireless Access Point – Best For SOHO
- 1.10 6. Securifi Almond – (3 Minute Setup) Wireless Router/Range Extender
- 1.11 7. TP-Link Wireless N300 2T2R Access Point (TL-WA801ND)
- 1.12 8. EnGenius 11n 2.4GHz Wireless Ethernet Bridge/Access Point (ENH202)
- 1.13 What Are The Benefits Of Buying A Wireless Access Point?
- 1.14 What Is a Wireless Access Point and How does it work? How Will You Set Up your first Access Point?
- 1.15 What Features Should You Look For In Wireless Access Points?
- 1.16 Tips & Tricks For Better Performance And Security Of An Access Point.
- 1.17 Conclusion
Best Wireless Access Points In 2019: 7+ WiFi AP for Home, Business & Long Range
A few years back, I was someone who had no idea about “what is a wireless access point and a wireless router.” I thought both are the same devices. However, they are not. If you don’t understand too. Then, you are in the right place. Before we go through my list of best wireless access points.
Let me clear your doubt first in straightforward words. If you want to read in details, please check my separate page about “difference between a WAP and a Wi-Fi router.” Here, I am going to let you know about some necessary information about these two bad boys. Lol
What is the difference between a wireless router and a wireless access point?
1. A wireless router works as a hub which creates a local area network and manages all the connected devices and communicates with them.
2. It can work as an access point.
1. A wireless access point needs an existing local area network in order to provide another location to more devices to connect via wireless connectivity, rather than wired.
2. It can’t work as a wireless router.
Now, I hope, we all know what the difference between these two networking devices is. Plus, We also should know about Indoor and Outdoor wireless access point.
Indoors Vs. Outdoors: Types of Access points
When setting up your access point, the chances are that you already have internet connectivity but want to extend its range. Extend your indoor range by installing the WAP away from physical obstructions (concrete walls and thick doors) and wireless interruptions (microwave and telephone frequencies). To increase your outdoor range, try to install your WAP device centrally and away from trees, walls, and other physical obstructions.
Now, we have gained enough knowledge about access points. Next step is to know the best.
So, What is the best wireless access point? I would love to recommend my favorite “Ubiquiti Networks Unifi PRO.” Whether you use it for home or business, it won’t disappoint you in any manner. However, the total units of WAP depend on the area of your house, department, and office.
Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at 7+ Best Wireless Access Points For Home & Business.
What To Look For When Buying A WiFi Access Point – Key Considerations
When it comes to buying a good wireless access point (WAP), there are a lot of factors you need to consider. Here are the two most common queries.
1. How and where you are going to use it should be among the first questions you need to answer.
2. The next question is how many people will be using WAP.
Once you have responded to these fundamental questions, the next step is to look at the features of the access point. The following points below will help you select the best features for your WAP:
The range of WAPs is the reach or distance the wireless signals travel. It is usually measured in square feet. You will find that most home WAPs produce a signal range of about 2000 to 5000 square feet. The ideal range of your WAP largely depends on the size of your home or office. If your Wi-Fi signal is affected by obstacles (thick walls), buy a range extender and install it somewhere strategic. These devices are handy when it comes to boosting the reach of your Wi-Fi’s strength and range.
WAP speed is measured in Mbps (megabits per second). The higher the Mbps speed, the faster the files get downloaded. Most WAPs use two frequency bands to transmit Wi-Fi signals, a 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz frequency band. The average speed of most home-based WAPs is rated at a combined 1200 Mbps – 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 900 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. Data-intensive activities such as online gaming and video streaming require fast access points to enjoy your online experience truly.
One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is before installing a WAP is: What is the ideal WAP performance level that will allow me to perform my duties optimally? The performance of an access point depends on the speed of your internet subscription service and the attributes of your WAP device. Generally, WAP devices with dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) technology perform better than devices that have a single 2.4 GHz frequency band. If you want fast, uninterrupted Wi-Fi, you will have to pay more to the internet provider.
4. WAP Capacity:
Capacity is always a critical consideration when choosing a 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.
Lastly, top-tier WAPs are optimized to handle the network needs of large businesses. They offer more connectivity options, better security, excellent performances, support high speeds and have broader wireless ranges. These factors make them great for enterprise-level operations.
I’ve also included some other eight considering factors down below. You can read them too.
Here Are My 8 Best WiFi Access points In 2019: Full Reviews, Features, Pros & Cons, Final Verdict
1. Ubiquiti Networks Unifi PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US)
– Best For Home
The first WAP on our list is Ubiquiti Unifi Pro. I don’t have any doubt while taking this in the first position. The very good thing about Unifi is that you can use it as an indoor or outdoor unit. It is weatherproof and supports 3×3 MIMO technology.
Ubiquiti Networks developed this enterprise solution that can begin small and develop as required. The small and round access point can be employed singly or in series with many units communicating with each other. This provides you with unsurpassed flexibility for convenience. For instance, you can start from 2-3 and simply add later if more coverage is required.
It features the most modern in WiFi 802.11AC multiple inputs, multiple output MIMO technology that can deliver up to 300Mbps speeds and with exceptional signal ranges of up to 400 feet. The device has an outstanding design, super easy to install and can be comfortably mounted on the ceilings or the wall (accessories are included).
Pros & Cons:
- Three Internal dual-band Antennas provides excellent range and coverage.
- It supports WiFi standard 802.3af PoE+ with dual-radio 3×3 11AC MIMO technology.
- It is also compatible with all types of 3rd party Enterprise Switches.
- The Unifi comes with scalable Wi-Fi management controller, which is a powerful software.
- Its controller is redesigned to optimize RF performance.
I don’t like:
- CLI configuring is not possible as it has a web-based interface.
The Ubiquiti Unifi is the pinnacle of WAP design. Stylish, extremely fast and packed with high-end features to the brim, this Access Point will surely do more than just satisfying 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.
The second access point on our list is open-Mesh A42. It is a feature-packed access point and provides some advanced features if compared to Ubiquiti Unifi PRO. However, it is expensive than PRO. That’s why it takes the second position on our list.
The open Mesh A 42 unlimited 802.11ac is a cloud-managed wireless access point that is built with simultaneous 5GHz and 2.4GHz radios and MU-MIMO technology. This makes it have strong capabilities when it comes to performance.
The A42 provides a high volume of support to many oncoming users. This, therefore, makes it ideal for dense access. The model can be installed almost everywhere that is both outsides and indoors together with its universal kit installation. With the USB Port and Gigabit Ethernet Port, it can transfer files at very high speed. The model is powered by the Power-Over-Ethernet which is highly crucial especially in regions where power outlets are not available.
It is built using a coat that is resistant to dust and water, and so it can be set on a T-rail ceiling, desktop or fixed on an Ethernet wall plate. It is always provided with an installation kit which is highly important for deployment purposes. The open-mesh A42 wireless access point is highly adaptable as it allows monitoring and management of the network from anywhere.
Pros & Cons:
- It has a built-in firewall for security on the public network.
- We can limit the bandwidth of the WiFi, with it we can block Internet access on any particular device or bandwidth.
- Its multiple SSID feature lets us create up to four unique networks. Ie. “public” and “private”.
- Its fingerprinting feature let us know about user’s visibility and used bandwidth by devices.
- When it goes down, we get automated alerts by email.
I don’t like:
- A bit pricey for some people.
A fantastic wireless access model from a conceivable point of view, the A42 will be a faithful companion to help you take your wireless network to the next level. With this device, your business will gain tremendously from a strongly-packed access point. It is a perfect recommendation.
3. TP-Link EAP225 V3 Wireless AC1350 – Best For Small Business
It is one of the best access points from Tp-Link. It is a budget-friendly and powerful access point with advanced features. It supports 802.3af PoE. However, it is not as good as open Mesh and Ubiquiti. In terms of price and features, it deserves the 3rd position on our list.
The device boasts of the best EAP controller software. This software provides strong management that enables it to control and set up different points of access easily.It comes with its access point, hence no extra cost. The software has the power to monitor statistics directly from the users, and so you are assured of the level of access point it reaches from the network. It offers a high degree of intuition hence giving a humble time when using.
The model accommodates several options of Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) for easy installation, hence high flexibility when it comes to a power supply. This makes it the ripest in various scenarios.TP-Link uses MU-MIMO technology which gives it more power on speed compared to models of its calibre. It can offer a smooth dual-band operation. It is a model that can attain speeds of up to 1350Mbps when two bands are combined.
It makes use of the most advanced RF technology which makes it the best for use since it can move to the higher band if demands are clear. With the band steering technology, it can easily change itself. It is built under beamforming technology that further improves the wireless range to a great deal.
Pros & Cons:
- It comes with multiple PoE options which makes the installation process easier.
- SMS authentication has added for secure WiFi connection.
- A great Cloud Management platform, offered by Omada, ensures fast, enhanced, and centralized management.
- Wave 2 MU-MIMO Wave technology allows multiple devices to connect at the same time.
- The impressive wireless speed with an excellent wireless range.
I don’t like:
- No built-in firewall.
Powered by the most advanced two by 2 MIMO technology, this device will assure you excellent coverage and the best wireless speed. With the Power-over-Ethernet, the flexibility of this wireless access point guarantees unfailing deployment connection.
It is highly powerful and fast and can perfectly be configured. The model design is quite adorable for any business environment as it allows easy installation and the best flexibility. Having been built with its access point, it cuts much on the budget. A perfect and flawless wireless access point!
4. EnGenius EAP350 N300 Wireless Indoor Access Point – Best For Long Range
The fourth Access point on our list is EnGenius EAP350. It can be work as an indoor access point, WDS, and even repeater. It is worth the money as it provides excellent range and coverage. However, it is not as powerful as above. It is one of the best access points from Tp-Link. It is a budget-friendly and powerful access point with advanced features. It supports 802.3af PoE. However, it is not as good as open Mesh and Ubiquiti. In terms of price and features, it deserves the 3rd position on our list.
This is another fantastic and exciting model by EnGenius. It comes with a 2,4GHz wireless access point that provides a lot of energy when transmitting power. The most attracting feature to EAP350 is its long range. It boasts of high gain five dBi antenna that transmits power hence availing a wide range of wireless connection compared to its competitors.
EAP350 is built with several modes of operation that includes, WDS Access Point, Access point, Universal Repeater, and WDS Bridge. Since it is compliant to the latest standards and MIMO technology, it is capable of delivering up to 300 Mbps all through over wireless. It comes with an inbuilt Gigabit Ethernet Port, a perfect proof to its ten times high speed in data transfer compared to Ethernet Port. This makes it the best for streaming all types of multimedia files that include music, video, and application.
Another important feature of this beautiful access point is Power-over-Ethernet support. It is best for regions where there are no power outlets. EnGenius provides the appropriate PoE injector, though you will have to purchase it separately.
EAP350 Model uses EZ controller software to monitor and manage access point. They include’ Mac, Windows, Linux. The tools that come alongside it are much complex and are satisfactory to the Network administrators and IT managers in the maintenance of the wireless network. It features standard WPA/WPA2 and WEP encryption settings to protect the network against unauthorized access. EAP350 Model is a unique and powerful device. It is built with smoke detector-design to allow placement on a discreet ceiling.
Pros & Cons:
- It is known for its long-range capabilities as it has 5Dbi internal Antennas with optimized RF performance and configuration.
- It supports up to four VLANs with 802.1q SSIDs.
- MU-MIMO ensures multiple devices at the same time with throughput up to 300Mbps.
- It is a stylish and clean looking access point.
- PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) supported.
I don’t like:
- It is a bit expensive relatively.
It is the most ideal for network extension in huge buildings or facilities such as hospitals, hotels or universities. The EnGenius EAP350 makes it to the top list because of its stunning features required for the access point. It is the best product for large organizations.
5. NETGEAR AC1200 (WAC104-100NAS) Wireless Access Point – Best For SOHO
My favorite SOHO (Small Office and Home Office) access point. It is capable of providing high performance for SOHO deployments. It is a standalone wireless access point. Unlike others, it only provides a single AP mode. So, this is our fifth best Access point on our list.
This is one of the wireless access points 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 on a tight budget.
The model provides excellent coverage and can operate between 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency ranges. This Netgear gadget also has 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.
Pros & Cons:
- With it, we get a combined maximum speed of up to 1.2Ghbps using both bands (300Mbps ~ 2.4Gghz and 867Mbps ~ 5GHz).
- It has four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for wired devices such as laptop, desktop pc, and other devices.
- It supports improved internet security protocol IPV6.
- Two external antennas for superior signal and WiFi coverage.
- It can work as a wireless access point, WDS, and wireless bridge mode.
- A budget-friendly price.
I don’t like:
- Setup is a bit tricky.
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.
The only touch screen access point/wireless router on our list. I have to include this router as it comes with great features. It is also a budget-friendly router; you can get it under $90. Plus, it is also known for “3-minute setup”. So, this is our Sixth best AP on our list with router compatibility.
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 set up 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.
Pros & Cons:
- Easy-To-Setup only takes 3 minutes to work entirely. It doesn’t require any PC, Mac, or even CD in order to set it up or Management.
- It can work as a wireless router, access point or extender, and a wireless bridge.
- It has touchscreen wizard for faster setup and configuration.
- It’s universal range extender supports and compatible with any existing routers such as Netgear, Belkin, Linksys, and many more.
- It can deliver a maximum of WiFi speed of up to 300Mbps. It also supports MU-MIMO technology.
- It comes with a 1-year of warranty with unlimited technical support.
I don’t like:
- It is not a dual-band router.
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 from 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.
A router which comes under $30 and offers multiple operating modes access point, client, WDS repeater, and Wireless bridge. Yes, TP-Link Wireless N300 2T2R is going to be an excellent option for those who want an access point under budget yet powerful. So, our best cheap wireless access point award goes to Tp-Link TL-WA801ND and becomes the seventh access point on our list.
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.
Pros & Cons:
- It ensures PoE capability up to 30 Meter or 100 feet.
- It is N wireless standard router, we get up to 300Mbps WiFi speed using 2.4Ghz frequency band.
- A beautiful design with a solid body.
- It is passive PoE supported that allow more flexible deployment.
- A WPS button for a secure encrypted connection.
I don’t like:
- The range is not that good; it only covers 30 to 50ft. However, this is what we can expect from a $20 device.
The TL-WA801ND is an excellent AP for small businesses, offices or apartments due to its extensive coverage and signal strength for an unusually low price. However, this AP barely offers any outstanding 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. You can easily use it with any router, whether you have a cheap/budget router.
The eighth and last access point on our list. It is portable and used as an outdoor wireless Ethernet Bridge. I consider ENH202 the best outdoor access point in terms of range, performance, and speed. Plus, it a budget-friendly outdoor AP, meaning we can get it under $60.
It provides very consistent and stable wireless connection, thanks to its dual-polarised antenna ten dBi. With a pair of ENH202, one can easily create a point to point Wi-Fi bridge that is allowing network extension to other buildings. It is much cost effective because you will not necessarily have to dig trenches for laying fiber cables. It has a directional antenna made in a way that it can avail signal up to 2 miles.
The highly focused beams of this device perform excellently when arranged in the mode of an access point. It comes with an Ethernet port that allows surveillance camera connected to a network making it easy for companies to monitor their properties.
The wireless speed of ENH202 can reach up to 300 Mbps whenever there is a connection to a wireless device N300 on 2.4 GHz. This makes it easy to transfer files and conduct HD streaming. And so you can make a set up of up to 4 VLANS facilitating customizable wireless experience within an organization in different workgroups.
Pros & Cons:
- The ENH202 is designed for outdoor deployments.
- It is 802.11/b/g/n wireless standard router with maximum speed up to 300Mbps.
- It can provide extended range and coverage with point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless performance up to 300mbps.
- It is ip65 water-proof. Plus, its Cable accessory kit can protect against Rain, Dew, and Moisture.
- Two PoE compatible 10/100 ports to connect a camera or an AP.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t have a WATCHDOG timer.
EnGenius ENH202 is made to accommodate deployments. Therefore, it should not be a surprise when you find IP65 waterproof housing that assures terrific protection against moisture, rain, and sleet. The coating alone is resistant to harmful Ultra-violet rays. With the accessory kit cable, ENH202 can easily prevent water from getting into the device through a connection with a cable. It boasts of EZ Controller Software that manages several access points. It provides powerful tools used by Network administrators and IT managers to manage and configure all types of wireless networks.
An amazing choice in all aspects, EnGenius has perfectly shown that it is capable of delivering high-performance wireless speeds up to 11n. It can offer a wide range of support to take care of the demanding needs of the business organization. With the features that come alongside it, this wireless access point is recommendable in all areas, primarily rural zones.
What Are The 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.
What Is a Wireless Access Point and How does it work? How Will You Set Up your first Access Point?
Everything you need to know about Wireless Access Points (WAPs) is covered in this buying guide. Learn how they work, their different features and how to set them up to enjoy fast, uninterrupted internet connections at home or in the office.
What Is A Wireless Access Point?
Most people confuse WAPs with routers, but they are different. WAPs are designed to boost Wi-Fi signals and are also known as Wi-Fi extenders or Wireless Signal Boosters. Since WAPS cannot generate their own Wi-Fi signals, they cannot be used alone as is the case with routers. On the other hander hand, routers can function like WAPs and as such can be used to extend Wi-Fi range and strength.
How Does An Access Point Work?
Standalone access points are connected to the router via Ethernet cables. The Ethernet cable transmits signals from the router to the WAP. The WAP then converts the signals to wireless Radio Frequencies (RFs) which allows users to access the internet through their devices wirelessly. Typically all portable devices and modern desktop PCs come with wireless adapters built into them.
How Do You Set Up An Access Point?
Setting up your WAP is a process that involves a physical setup and a software configuration. Both methods are straightforward and shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes each. For the physical installation, all you need to do is connect your WAP device to the router through an Ethernet cable then plug it into a power supply. For this step, make sure you place the WAP device away from physical obstructions such as thick walls and frequency interference from objects such as microwaves.
Once you’ve set up the physical connections, the next step is to configure the device’s software. This step is a little more technical but is entirely doable. Input the IP address (often found on the package) of the WAP device into your browser’s address bar. This will take you to the WAP’s configuration page where you can set up your Wi-Fi credentials (SSID and password details). This configuration page also allows you to access other functions such as security, parental controls, site restrictions, and others.
If you want to leave a tidy set up with cables out of site, hug the Ethernet cables to the walls. However, this should be your last step as it will save you a lot of time and effort if you decide to move the WAP device.
What Features Should You Look For In Wireless Access Points?
PoE or Power over the Internet is a particular Ethernet port that’s designed to take in twisted pair Ethernet cables. This multi-functional feature that allows you to receive both electric power and data network via the PoE port.
Why is PoE useful? Well, it makes the need to plug in an access point to a power supply redundant. This is extremely beneficial at home and in office setups where WAP devices are mounted on the ceilings. With PoE functionality, you no longer have to install your access points next to a power outlet. It also makes for a cleaner installation as you don’t have to worry about using unsightly extension cords.
2. Concurrent Dual Band:
As stated earlier, most WAPs come equipped with dual-band functionality. However, you can only use one frequency band with some devices. Therefore, make sure that your device has the concurrent dual-band feature to enhance the strength and range of your network.
Load-balancing is a feature that’s exclusive to dual-band routers. It a significant feature for businesses and heavy internet users at home that value stable internet connections.
How does load-balancing stabilize internet connections? This feature was introduced to routers to allow them to connect to multiple WAPs. Load-balancing helps decongest networks by spreading the client load among the existing WAPs in the system. This results in more bandwidth and fewer interruptions as the multiple WAPs in a network share client data to avoid overloading a single WAP.
4. Wireless Intrusion Detection (Defense Against Rogue Access Points):
Wireless intrusion detection is a security feature that helps keep your network safe from intruders. Typically, intruders install rogue WAPs insecure networks to either steal sensitive data or have access to free Wi-Fi. Intruders can use these rogue WAPs to access your network remotely or inside the facility. The job of a wireless intrusion detector is to scan/audit your network regularly for malicious/unauthorized WAPs. Once they detect unauthorized access points, they block signal transmissions to those WAPs and notifies you immediately to investigate the breach.
Beamforming is a technology that is used by both routers and access points. WAPs broadcast their wireless signals in all direction. However, when you connect a device, beamforming technology helps focus the wireless signals towards a specific target. By targeting and concentration data towards connected devices minimizes loss of data and results in stronger, faster and uninterrupted connections.
6. Mesh Networking Support:
Mesh networking support is another important feature if you are planning to connect multiple WAPs to your network. This technology is optimized to handle the network needs of large enterprises rather than home use. It allows you to extend the strength and range of your network by adding multiple WAPs and configuring them to cooperate when distributing data.
How does mesh networking support work? This technology works somewhat similarly to load-balancing. It propagates data from one node (WAP) to another until the data reaches its client. In a vast network, mesh networking support helps data find the best path across the WAPs with more bandwidth. This results in faster, uninterrupted connections.
7. 802.11n Or 802.11ac?
If you’ve researched the specs of WAP devices, there’s a high probability that you’ve come across these strange numbers (802.11 b/g/n/ac). The “802.11” is a standard that is used to rate all networking devices based on their age and performance. What is the difference between 802.11n and 802.11ac in WAPs?
First of all, WAPs that are rated 802.11ac comes equipped with newer technology than 802.11n devices. The newer technology in 802.11ac WAPs results in better performances with speeds that are up to three times faster. You also get an unlimited number of clients per 802.11ac WAP compared to a maximum of 35 clients on an 802.11n WAP.
While 802.11n and 802.11ac WAPs are compatible with each other, the newer technology in 802.11ac WAPs makes them better for long-term use as they will be compatible with future 802.11 standards. Lastly, it goes without saying that you will have to dig deeper into your pockets to get the AC technology.
8. Direct Wiring Vs. Wireless Repeaters:
Typically, people consider installing WAPs when the wireless connection from the router fails to reach their devices. However, it is essential to note that simply adding an access point between your router and devices won’t solve your problem.
Adding wireless repeaters is similar to adding an intermediary to your network. While it may improve the signal bars on your device, it causes additional latency which results in slower connections. Just as with your device, some wireless signals from the router get lost and don’t reach the wireless repeater.
On the other hand, direct-wiring is the best option when it comes to extending your network. It involves using Ethernet cables to connect the router to the WAPs. While it is more challenging to install, all data signals get transmitted to the WAP resulting in faster, interrupted connections.
Tips & Tricks For Better Performance And Security Of An Access Point.
With an increase in cyber-crime and privacy violation, security is vital in any wireless network. A business network is not a home network where most hackers target the former. It is critical to integrate a captive portal and other security features to protect your business network.
With a captive portal, you can create a secure (air-tight) private network for your work files and a set up a secure guest network for your clients. Rogue access point detection is just as important as the captive portal. This security measure alerts you (the admin) when an unauthorized user accesses your network.
2. Ease Of Use:
The technical side of WAP can get a little complicated for the regular internet user. Thankfully, most modern WAP devices are preprogrammed to be compatible with most service provider networks around the globe. They also come equipped with user-friendly interfaces that anyone can use to configure their system according to their preferences. Some WAP devices even allow you to set your network via the convenience of simple mobile apps. Nowadays, you’ll find that all you need to do is to create your Wi-Fi credentials on your WAP to start enjoying the internet.
3. Price Breakdown:
When it comes to price, access points can be categorized into three classes; basic (under $100), mid-tier (between $100 and $200) and lastly, top-tier (above $200). Typically, the more expensive a WAP is, the more features you get.
However, the most costly WAP isn’t necessarily the best option for you. Instead, choose a WAP device based on your needs. Access points that are priced below $100 provide the most basic operations and are suitable for small networks. The middle tier WAPs are designed to handle most home needs and small businesses. You can expect user-friendly interfaces and more technological tweaks from the mid-level WAPs.
4. Available Features:
There is a broad variety of features, and the strength of these features is not always equal. Ensure that you conduct thorough and careful research before you purchase a Wi-Fi access point so that you choose the one that meets your minimum requirements.
5. The Wi-Fi Access Points Suck When Installed Incorrectly?
Getting a WAP is the first step to make if you want to enhance your home or office network. However, poor installation won’t solve your network issues; instead, it might worsen them. You must, therefore, install WAPs correctly to resolve your connectivity issues and fully enjoy your investment.
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.
I hope my time and money, which I spent during testing these Wireless Access point, will help get you the best WAP.