Tag Archives: Wireless AP

Things You Should Know About Wireless Access Point

A wireless access point (WAP or AP) is a hardware device or configured node on a local area network (LAN) that allows wireless capable devices and wired networks to connect through a wireless standard, including Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. A wireless access point acts as a hub of traditional wired network, and a bridge connecting wired and wireless network. An access point connects to a wired router, switch, or hub via an Ethernet cable, and projects a Wi-Fi signal to a designated area. Wireless access points may be used to provide network connectivity in office or family environments, covering dozens of meters to hundreds of meters. Most APs use IEEE 802.11 standards.

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Types

Wireless access points can be divided into two types: Simplex AP and Extended AP.

A simplex AP functions as a wireless switch, only transmitting radio signal. When a simplex AP works, it transmits network signal through twisted-pair and converts electrical signal into radio signal after compiling, forming the coverage of Wi-Fi shared Internet access.

An extended AP, commonly known as a wireless router, is mainly applied to Internet access and wireless coverage. Through a wireless router, the share of Internet connection in home Wi-Fi sharing network, as well as wireless shared access of ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Loop) and community broadband can be realized. From security, an access point is different from a wireless router, in that it does not have firewall functions, and will not protect your local network against threats from the Internet.

Difference Between Access Point and Wireless Router

From the appearance, they look almost the same and hard to tell, but they do have subtle differences. A simplex wireless AP usually has a wired RJ45 network port, a power interface, configuration port (USB port or configuration via WEB interface), and fewer indicator lights; while a wireless router has four more cable front-end ports. In addition to a WAN port for connecting higher-up network equipment, four LAN ports can be wired in internal network, and a router has more indicator lights than AP.

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Functions

AP plays the important role of relay, which amplifies the wireless signal between two wireless points, and enables remote clients to receive stronger wireless signal. For example, if an AP is put in place A, and there is a client in place C which is 120 meters away from place A, it can be seen that the signal from A to C has been weakened a lot. If an AP is put in place B (60 meters between A and C) as a relay, the signal of client in C will be effectively enhanced, and the transmission speed and stability can be ensured.

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Another important function of AP is bridging, which is to connect two endpoints and achieve data transmission between two wireless AP. AP is also bridged to connect two wired LANs. For example, there is a wired LAN made up of 15 computers in place A, and wired LAN made up of 25 computers in place B, but the distance between A and B is very far, over 100 meters, and there is no possibility through wired connection, then how to connect the two LANs? AP is needed in both place a and place b to bridge them so that data transmission can be achieved.

The last function is “master-slave mode”, which can achieve one point to multipoint connection. “Master-slave mode” is widely used in connection between wireless LAN and wired LAN. For example, place A is a wired LAN made up of 20 computers, place B is a wireless LAN made up of 15 computers, and B has a wireless router. If A wants to be connected to B, an AP is needed in A. Initiate the “master-slave mode” and connect AP to the router in A, so that all the computers in A can connect to B.

Summary

Most businesses and homes today rely greatly on the wireless access point (WAP) for data transmission and communication. Wireless access point does make our life more convenient. These devices avoid a mess of wired Ethernet cables. Besides, a company, family or school often has to install wired cables through walls and ceilings, while wireless network needs no cables, which contributes great mobility to users.

How to Choose a Wireless Access Point?

Nowadays, wireless LAN (local area network) becomes an independent part in our daily life. As waiting for your dishes in a restaurant, you may take out your phone and connect the Wi-Fi. I guess most of you have a wireless LAN. But if you have no or intend to upgrade your network, you’d better read this article on how to choose a wireless access point (AP).

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Wireless AP Standards: 802.11n and 802.11ac

There are two newest IEEE wirelesss network standards including 802.11n (debuting in 2009) and 802.11ac (in 2014). The earlier 802.11n standard can support up to 540 Mbps, while the optimized 802.11ac products can provide the speed up to 1.3Gbps. 802.11ac is faster and more scalable than 802.11n. Except the improved speed, 802.11ac access points also optimize in the areas of range and reliability. Considering these factors, many enterprises may use 802.11ac technology.

However, though 802.11ac is better than 802.11n, it doesn’t mean it suits for everyone. First, 802.11ac needs big room for super wide channels. Second, you need to buy devices matching 802.11ac technology. At last, those devices should be close (20 or 30 feet) to the access point.

Dual Band Wireless AP or Single Band Wireless AP

Before discussing about dual band and single band, we need to know 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 2.4 GHz is a lower frequency than 5 GHz. It can penetrate most obstructions better. The signal can reach further. Wireless access point is one of the devices which use 2.4 GHz. While 5 GHz has a higher frequency, signals can’t penetrate solid obstructions like walls as easily as 2.4 GHz. 5 GHz provides us with more usable channels.

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In the past, some 802.11n wireless AP is single band and can only support 2.4 GHz. It fails to meet the demands for 5GHz devices. Thus, the trend urges the appearance of new dual-band access point. Dual-band means that the access point can transmit and receive in two separate bands. Dual-band access points can support 2.4 GHz speeds and leverage wide channels, high data rates for connecting 5GHz devices. When you buy access points, make sure the one you choose can support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

Spatial Streams of Wireless AP

The number of spatial streams is one of the influencing factors on wireless speed. 802.11n stopped at four spatial streams, but 802.11ac goes all the way to eight. 802.11n introduced MIMO (more multiple input, multiple output). MIMO means that we can get multiple radio chains and antennas to transmit and receive. The more radio chains, the faster the wireless network speed. With 802.11n, a device can transmit multiple spatial streams at once, but only directed to a single address. It means only one user can get data at a time. That’s called single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO). While with 802.11ac, multi users can get data at the same time. And that’s called multiuser MIMO (MU-MIMO). As you can see, the more spatial streams, the better.

Get Wireless APs From Fiberstore

We provide three types of wireless APs which can be applied to enterprises, schools, hotels, etc. Our wireless APs contain the good features of easy plug & play installation and intuitive management, which is beneficial for reducing the need for dedicated IT personnel resources. And the unique watchdog technology makes AP work more stable and ensure the wireless network operate properly. Repeater mode makes wireless coverage more flexible. Both 802.11n and 802.11ac APs (as shown in the table below) can be found in Fiberstore.

Image 2.4GHz Speed 5.8GHz Speed CPU Antenna Gain
AP-S300 ap-s300 300 Mbps No 533 MHz 2x3dBi
AP-D1200 ap-d1200 300 Mbps 867 Mbps 650 MHz 4x3dBi
AP-D1750 ap-d1750 450 Mbps 1300 Mbps 720 MHz 6x3dBi
Conclusion

This article is to give you some advice on how to choose a wireless access point. Well, when you decide to buy one, remember the tips mentioned above including standards, dual band or single band, spatial streams. The most suitable is the best. A reliable vendor is also important. Hope this article can help you find your desirable wireless AP.