What is Wireless Access Point and How to Choose
Advancing technology behind wireless access has drastically changed over the past few years. Unlike the clunky boxes that were difficult to operate some years ago, modern wireless access points are user-friendly, easy to install and maintain.
With more businesses upgrading their wireless network environment, choosing the best Wi-Fi access point is overly crucial. Read on to understand about a wireless access point and how to shop for the best access point.
Wireless Access Point Definition: What is it?
As the name suggests, a wireless access point is a device used to create a WLAN (wireless local area network). Wireless access points are commonly used by businesses occupying large offices or buildings. This device connects to an internet hub, wired router, or switch using an Ethernet cable. It then projects Wi-Fi signals to designated areas.
Compared to range extenders, a wireless access point is efficient for modern businesses for many reasons. For instance, they support up to 60 connections simultaneously. However, to enjoy these benefits, you should use the best wireless access point for business use. They can also be used at home, especially if you want to extend your Wi-Fi coverage to the backyard.
Wireless Access Point Buying Guide
Consider the following factors when choosing the best access point for home and business use;
No Hardware Controllers
Some years back, Wi-Fi access points were typical boxes that had to be operated from a computer by someone with IT knowledge. However, with advancing technology, such old technologies are obsolete. Modern access points, such as the latest Wi-Fi 6 access point, use software-based controls within the network, thus don’t require external controllers.
Obviously, software-based controls have a lot of benefits over the previous hardware-dependent access points. It not only eliminates the large chunk of hardware but also eliminates the possibility of a single point of failure from the network. With modern systems, no hardware can lead to network failures.
Robust Guest Access
Data breaches and other cybersecurity issues affecting local area networks are on the rise. However, you should pick a wireless access point that isn’t costly for your guest to access. Customers of your business expect to use their smartphones and tablets using your network without security issues.
Modern systems have smart guest access systems that apply corporate security policies. This ensures that your guest remains safe on your network. Besides, you won’t have to worry about access by an unsafe device.
There is a wide range of Wi-Fi antenna options to choose from. Making the right decision comes down to your basic internet needs. As such, you should consider the size of the area that you need to be covered by the access point and whether you want an indoor or outdoor option. Note that Wi-Fi points for large antennas are limited. Similarly, outdoor units require some shielding.
You should also prefer a wireless access point that supports system administration through the cloud. With modern network software and security apparatus housed virtually, modern wireless access points can be accessed anywhere. This eliminates the initial geographical restrictions required to control APs.
You should choose a device using MESH, MIMO, and POE access point technology based on your business needs. MESH technology can be used for home and business devices. MIMO technology significantly reduces obstructive effects that affect Wi-Fi signals, reducing data speed. POE technology uses low-power cabling tech that transmits signals up to 100M.
Unlike routers, antennas of wireless APs are basically built in. Nonetheless, antennas of wireless access points are important as they determine the strength and transmission range of the AP. That said, choose a system with a gain antenna.
You should also consider the distance covered by the AP. WAPs with additional enhancements are beneficial as they reduce total number and costs of purchasing APs. Buying an access point with an adequate range lowers the overall expenses, since few access points will be required. Most enterprise access points give a coverage between 5000 and 10000sqft.
The Bottom Line
Wireless access points are important if you want to expand your home or business Wi-Fi coverage. Use the tips mentioned above to select the best wireless access point device.