A wireless network device that serves as a gateway for devices to connect to a local area network is known as an access point. Access points are used to extend an existing network's wireless coverage and increase the number of users that can connect to it. This is useful in cases where there is no wired connection available. Wireless access points can also be used as a temporary network bridge when connecting two separate networks together.
An access point has one or more radio receivers which detect signals from other radio transmitters such as those used by client devices. These other devices can be other access points, wireless phones, or any other device capable of transmitting radio waves. Based on the information received by its radio receiver, the access point can decide which of its associated clients should be given priority for transmission. Some access points have multiple radios to help handle multiple connections at once; others use dedicated hardware for processing traffic directed to specific clients.
Access points can be built into various equipment such as wireless routers or computer terminals located within a building. They can also be embedded inside appliances such as telephones or heaters that need to communicate over long distances with other devices. Finally, access points can be integrated into software applications used by individuals to allow them to connect their own devices to a network. These so-called ad hoc networks are discussed in more detail below.
Client devices use wireless protocols to connect to an access point.
A WLAN access point, also known as a wireless access point, is a network device that connects other network components. An access point is intended to receive and broadcast network wireless signals. A wireless router is a component of a WLAN. It functions similarly to an access point but uses wired LAN connections instead.
Access points can be used in both private and public networks. In a private home network, they allow other networking devices within range of the access point to connect to the Internet via one or more other devices' Wi-Fi connections. In a public network, such as at a hotel or airport, they provide connectivity to any number of clients using the access point's wireless signal. Access points can be purchased as part of complete networking solutions, or they can be bought separately and plugged into a power source and a working Internet connection. Some access points have built-in routers for additional functionality; others require a separate router for this purpose.
There are two main types of access points: standalone and hosted. Standalone access points are self-contained units that connect directly to a cable or DSL modem or through a cellular network tower to the Internet. They need to be connected to a power source and a working Internet connection directly or through a modem/router. Hosted access points are provided by a company that leases them to other businesses or individuals.
A wireless access point connects laptops and other devices that have wireless Internet access cards to the Internet. Wi-Fi is also used by many larger companies. Wireless N currently provides the highest quality local area wireless connection. IEEE 802.11n is its full name, derived from the 802.11n standard. It uses MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology which allows up to 4 data streams to be transmitted at any one time. This makes it much faster than previous versions.
Wireless access points function just like a normal wired network port except they use radio waves rather than wires to connect with other devices. The two main types of wireless access point are directional and non-directional. Directional antennas aim their signal in a specific direction while non-directional antennas can send signals in all directions but will only receive signals from other non-directional antennas or directly connected devices.
Directional antennas are useful if you want to limit the range of devices able to connect to your access point. For example, if you have an open floor plan and don't need your wireless network to extend outside of your building then a directional antenna is enough to provide coverage only within close proximity of the access point.
Non-directional antennas are useful if you want to extend the range of your network. A non-directional antenna sends out a strong signal in every direction and can reach more devices than a directional antenna.
A wireless access point (WAP), sometimes known as a wireless access point (AP), is a networking hardware appliance that adds Wi-Fi functionality to an existing wired network by bridging traffic from wireless stations into the cable LAN. The wireless access point can function as a standalone device or as a component of a router. It may be used to extend the coverage of a cellular network within a building, such as a campus network or a private branch exchange (PBX). A WAP that also acts as a repeater for other WAPs is called a repeater. Many appliances that are designed specifically to act as wireless access points are made by manufacturers such as D-Link, Netgear, TP-Link, and Asus.
In addition to extending a wired network's coverage area, a WAP can provide connections to remote areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. This can be useful in cases where there is no available wireless connection elsewhere on the premises. A WAP can also be used to provide coverage for devices that cannot connect to a cellular network, such as vehicles or boats. Finally, a WAP can be used to create a secure connection between two otherwise unconnected networks (such as a company intranet and the Internet) by acting as a tunneling proxy server.
A hotspot is generally defined as a place where you can obtain free internet service via a computer connected to a wireless network.
To convert a wired LAN to a wireless LAN, a wireless network infrastructure device known as an access point (AP) is used. The diagram below is a simple example of an infrastructure wireless topology-based network. A Wireless Access Point (AP) is a device that connects wired and wireless LANs. It does this by acting as a bridge between the two networks; providing connectivity where there was none before. APs can be installed directly into a wall or placed on a stand. They usually have casings made of plastic or metal and they can be fixed in place or portable.
Portable APs are generally powered by batteries which need to be replaced periodically. Fixed APs typically use power cables to connect them to a router or other such device. Both types of AP include a radio transceiver which communicates with other devices over the wireless network. These radios can operate according to one of several standards: IEEE 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth, and ZigBee are some examples. Some APs support multiple radios. This allows the device to communicate using different protocols depending on what kinds of devices are on the network.
A wireless-enabled computer connects to the AP via a Wi-Fi interface. Then, using TCP/IP, it can connect to any other computers or devices on the network. Internet access may be provided by your service provider via DSL, cable modem, or fiber optic connection. These are all methods of delivering high-speed internet access over telephone lines.