Difference Between a Wireless Access Point and a Wi-Fi Router

Wireless Access Point vs Router | Difference Between a WAP and a Wi-Fi Router

Setting up of a network needs various devices , some of which may be totally new to you. Some of these appliances may share many similar functions, making you reach a crossroad by being unable to choose the appropriate device for your network. Particularly, you can find it hard to differentiate a wireless access point from a Wi-Fi router since they share a number of features. Fortunately, the difference between the two devices is thoroughly explained right here.


What is A Wireless Access Point and How Does it work?

An access point is a networking hardware appliance that can come as a independent device or can be a component of a router. A WAP performs two major functions in a network. First, it enables devices that don’t have inbuilt Wi-Fi connection to access a wireless network. Once you connect a WAP to a router ( that don’t have an inbuilt WI-FI ability), scanner or a printer using an Ethernet cable, it becomes a wireless device which will connect to your network without requiring any cable (wirelessly).Secondly, WAP is used as a wireless range extender, increasing the coverage of your existing WI-FI network. If you connect your router to a wireless access point through an Ethernet cable, you will be able to increase the area of your Wi-Fi access.


What is A Wireless Router and How Does it work?

Wireless router acts as a gateway in a computer network by connecting various devices wirelessly. A wireless router is a basic router with an added feature on an inbuilt access point. It allows a wireless communication and sharing of data amongst devices and computers that are connected to a particular network. The wireless router achieves this by allocating IP addresses to the computers and devices.Additionally, a wireless router helps these computers that are within the wireless network to share devices such as scanners and printers wirelessly. If you are an administrator of a wireless network, you can change the network’s settings, such as file transfer protocol (FTP), storage features, among others.


Wireless Access Point vs Router – So what is the difference ?

Although a wireless router may seem similar to wireless access point, the two have significant differences. While a wireless router helps in creating a network by linking various devices wirelessly, an access point enables the network users to access the network. Another difference is that if you are an administrator of a network, you can use a wireless router to change the network’s settings but a wireless access point doesn’t have the ability to do so.

Wireless access points usually come as inbuilt components of devices like routers as well as wi-fi network extenders. On the other hand, wireless routers are normally stand-alone devices, apart from cable/modem devices which can serve as routers or modems.

Top Rated WAP and Wi-fi Routers of 2018

Top 3 Wireless Access Point to buy

Now that you probably have understood the function of a wireless access point, the next important thing is to know the best brands currently in the market. Consider the following brands for the best choice for your network:

Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO – Best long range wap

Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access PointWith this awesome wireless access point, you will not have to worry about slow network connections or dead spots in your network coverage area. The access point extends the coverage of your wi-fi such that you will be able to enjoy superfast wireless connections from any desired location within your network.

Huge traffic on radio bands can cause annoyingly slow connections, but with this access point, this won’t bother you, thanks to the dual-band technology. The access point intelligently pushes network devices to a radio band with less traffic, thus ensuring that you have fast wireless connections all the time. The WAP’s versatile design is suitable for both indoors as well as outdoor functions.


TP-Link N300 (TL-WA801ND) – Best Cheap WAP

Tp link access point routerTP-LINK TL-WA801ND allows you to perform activities that consume high bandwidth such as playing online games, HD video streaming and much more at once at superfast wi-fi speeds to a maximum of 300Mbps. It works well with B or G devices. The detachable antennas give you an option of replacing the existing antennas with more powerful ones in case of poor signal coverage.

Connect devices that don’t have inbuilt wireless capabilities to your WI-Fi network using TP-LINK TL-WA801ND and you will be able to access wireless connections from every corner of your house or workplace. Connect TP-LINK TL-WA801ND to your outdoor Wireless Internet Service Provider and you will be able to connect many devices to the connection.


NETGEAR Dual Band 802.11ac (WAC120-100NAS) – Best Buy Wireless Access Point

NETGEAR Dual Band 802.11ac Wireless Access Point (WAC120-100NAS)The NETGEAR Wireless Access Point is a cheap, dual band 802.11ac AP that supports as much as 1.2Gbps aggregate throughput. It functions in standalone mode with an innovative user interface and a freely moveable desktop mounting stand. It is configured for demanding ultra superior performance, extensive coverage deployment, and ultra-high throughput, Home Office environments, and Small businesses.

It supports dual band concurrent functioning at 5GHz and 2.4 GHz with combined throughput of 867Mbps at 5GHz and 300Mbps at 2.4GHz. The NETGEAR WAC120 _Wireless Access Point features Comprehensive security with WPA2, WPA, and MAC address Access List.


Top 3 Wi-Fi Router to buy

TP-Link Archer C7 Router (AC1750) – Best Wi-Fi Router to buy

TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless RouterThe C7 router creates ultra high-speed dual band Wi-Fi to enable you watch movies in HD without buffering and game online without interruption. You can now enjoy dependable Wi-Fi across your home courtesy of the Archer C7’s three ultra-powerful dual band antennas.

If you want quicker, more dependable connections, gadgets can directly get connected to the router via its 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. This router also makes it a breeze to share media and files across your entire network with dual USB ports. At Archer C7’s heart is a processor, which balances all the demands of your gadgets to maintain their connections uninterrupted and quick.


NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Router (R7000) – Most Popular Wi-Fi Router

Nighthawk Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit (R7000)You can accelerate your WiFi beyond your imagination by the use of net gear Nighthawk! Let you enjoy the quickest WiFi currently available. It features ultra-high speeds of as much as 1900 Mbps. It boasts an ultra-powerful dual Core of 1GHz processor for quick performance. It possess beamforming+ , ultra-high-powered amplifiers, and external antennas. It improves reliability and range for as much as 100 percent more wireless coverage.

It features similar upstream and downstream QoS prioritize gaming and streaming, creating a lag-free WiFi and blazing-quick experience. It enables Service prioritization for data and offers an extensible design that offers high scalability, availability, and for maximum performance, and flexibility. It originated from China.


ASUS RT-AC88U AC3100 Wireless Router – Gaming streaming and many more

ASUS AC3100 Dual-Band Gigabit Router (RT-AC88U)Equipped with the most modern 4by4 802.11ac MU-MIMO innovative technology and eight Gigabit LAN ports powered by ASUS-exclusive AiProtection backed by Trend Micro, this router provides the security you need and the speed you crave. The combined data speed of a whopping 3167 Mbps backed with Smart Connect and whole-home extended coverage ensure quick, and reliable connectivity for all the Wi-Fi gadgets in your home.

The router features the ASUS Router App which is more intuitive and makes it much easier to manage your ASUS router. From real-time network traffic monitoring and initial setup to managing connected devices and security settings, everything is just but a snap!


Final Verdict

  • If you want to improve your network access, then you need an access point or an upgrade of the same. You can count on either Ubiquiti Networks Unifi Access Point, TP-LINK TL-WA801ND or Netgear Access Point. In case you want to create a network, you need a high-quality Wi-Fi router. Either a TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Router, NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Router or ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless Router will offer you amazing network experience.

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