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What is a Wireless Access Point?

Last Updated : 11 May, 2023
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A Wireless Access Point (WAP) is a networking device that allows connecting the devices with the wired network. A Wireless Access Point (WAP) is used to create the WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), it is commonly used in large offices and buildings which have expanded businesses.

It is easier and simpler to understand and implant the device. It can be fixed, mobile or hybrid proliferated in the 21st century. The availability, confidentiality, and integrity of the communication and network are a responsibility and to be ensured about that.

 A wireless AP connects the wired networks to the wireless client. It eases access to the network for mobile users which increases productivity and reduces the infrastructure cost.

Advantages  of Wireless Access Point (WAP):

1. More User Access:

  • Normally the wireless router allows 10 – 20 users or devices to access the network. While the WAP allows 50 – 100 or more users or devices to access the network.
  • The WAP has a stronger ability to send and receives signals which enables high usage.

2. Broader Transmission Range:

  • A wireless router signals cover up to a dozen or 10 -12 meters. However, a wireless access point covers more than 100 – 300 meters.
  • The broad range is supremacy for the large cover offices or buildings for the bigger businesses. With this wireless access point, a user can easily roam that network.

3. Flexible Networking:

  • It is known that wireless networking except in homes, often involves many wireless devices and different networking patterns implanted based on the environment and requirements of the commercial locations.

4. Mobility:

  • Users can move freely while still being connected to the network.

Disadvantages of Wireless Access Point (WAP):

1. High cost: 

  • A wireless AP is a little bit expensive because the scale of enterprises the wireless scale network is larger, the more WAPs are needed the more cost will increase. So the enterprise has the priority to control the cost which leads many users to be reluctant to use WAP but instead of this, they end up using home routers with the lowest performances.

2. Poor stability:

  • As wireless networks use air as a transmission medium, so the network stability is poor and slower in WAP as compared to the cable network because the transmission medium in wired network is cable. Especially in WLAN, there are more devices still it is slow and a cable network is faster and more stable than a wireless network.
  • The wireless signals are blocked due to certain obstacles such as heavy rain, great walls, gates, storm, heavy wind, large gatherings of human beings, etc.
  • The signal strength also depends upon the location where the wireless network is implanted.

3. Less Secure:

  • As compared to the wired network it is less secure because the user is using radio waves for transmission and someone or a hacker on that network could sniff the traffic.

4. Limited range:

  • The range of WAP can get affected by many factors like physical barriers, interference with other wireless devices, and environmental conditions.

5. Bandwidth limitations:

  • It can be affected by bandwidth limitations, and lead to reduced speed and reliability of the network.

Application of Wireless Access Point:

  1. It is a device that creates a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) in large enterprises. 
  2. It is used to extend the coverage area of the network so that it can’t disconnect which allows more users to connect to the network easily.
  3. An access point connects a switch, Ethernet cable, wired router, and Wi-fi to designate the particular area.
  4. It is used to provide connectivity to the users in large offices or enterprises which allows users to roam easily anywhere in the office and be connected to a network.
  5. LANs can also be provided in public places such as coffee shops, restaurants, airports, etc.
  6. Wireless Printing: Wireless printers can be connected to the network and then users can print anywhere within the range of the access point.
  7. Cloud services: Wireless access points can be used to connect devices to cloud services, allowing for data backup and synchronization across multiple devices.

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