A wireless access point which is also known as WAP is an electronic networking device that enables wireless devices (e.g. desktop computers, smartphones) to connect to a network. WiFi, Bluetooth, and other protocols are usually used. The Wireless Access Point (WAP) usually connects to a router, or a network to pass data between the wireless devices and the network.
Both wireless access points and routers are necessary for an internet connection. Access points provide a reliable and cost-effective solution for small offices and homes.
Why Do You Need a Wireless Access Point ??
A Wireless Access Point can provide you convenience in using the internet and also your own network, because :
– Everything is wireless. You can connect your PCs or Laptop computers to the network with ease, without those troublesome CAT 5 cables. You can bring your laptop around your house, watch your favorite shows on YouTube anywhere you want.
– Sharing an internet connection with many devices (Smartphones, tablets or computers) will be easier. You only need to find the access point’s name, then enter the password and within a few seconds, you will be instantly connected to the network.
– Nowadays, the wireless network can work very fast. You will be able to transfer files among computers connected to the same WAP easily.
The following are our picks for the best wireless access points 2020 on the market. Let’s check it out and Scroll down for more details.
1. Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-AC-PRO-US
The Ubiquiti UniFi UAP access point is one of the best, and that’s why it is on top of our list. It comes at an affordable price and is an ideal choice for small businesses, offices, and homes. It has a 3 dual-band antenna of 3 dBi each.
The power consumption is not much, that is, around 9 W maximum. It has a beautiful design and an auto-sensing feature that makes it unique. It is very easy to set up and doesn’t need any controller. You can use it outdoors as well since it has a portable design.
It features the 802.11ac Wi-Fi with multiple inputs and outputs which can deliver up to 300 Mbps speed and an amazing signal range of around 400 ft.
2. TP-Link TL-WA801ND
TP-Link offers a reasonable and reliable solution to all those who need an access point for their small businesses or homes. It provides amazing transfer rates and good wireless coverage to ensure an uninterrupted internet connection.
It has 3 omnidirectional antennas and comes with MIMO and CCA technologies that allow the access point to deliver top-notch performance. It is compatible with 802.11b/g devices and can also perform with wireless devices. It can provide transfer speeds of up to 300 Mbps.
It can function in five different modes: bridge mode, client mode, Multi-SSID mode, wireless repeater mode, and wireless access point mode. It is very easy to set up and overall, the device is a great choice for high bandwidth apps like stream HD movie, multiplayer online gaming or even VoIP
3. NETGEAR (WAC104-100NAS)
The Netgear WAC120-100NAS uses 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology to delivers speeds of up to 1.2 GB/s. It is very easy to configure and set up and has factory-tuned antennas for stronger signal strength. This access point has 4 ethernet ports to connect devices and has a great range. It offers a very strong signal strength and is available at a very affordable price range.
This Netgear access point has a user-friendly and intuitive interface and comes with a security system to protect your data. It has a WPS button and enables you to increase your productivity by using this option.
It also delivers very high speeds of up to 867 Mbps in the 5 GHz mode and is very flexible for homes and small offices. As it is dual-band, you can also operate it in the 2.4 GHz mode.
4. Securifi Almond Touchscreen
Securify is well known for manufacturing easy-to-use devices, and this access point is one of them. It has a beautiful and simple design as well as a colored LCD touchscreen.
To set it up as an access point, you’ll have to spend only 3 to 4 minutes and it easily configures and starts working. It supports 802.11b/g/n devices and, thus, offers a reliable and fast option to connect.
It features automatic internet type detection and range extender mode. This AP offers speeds up to 300 Mbps and is ideal for home and office users. The Securifi Almond is multipurpose as it can be used as an AP, primary router, range extender, and wireless bridge.
5. Linksys LAPAC1750
The Linksys LAPAC1750 is an advanced and smart access point that features modern and top-notch technology. This AP is also a multi-purpose one and has a Gigabit Ethernet port as well as a single point control.
It can also be used in the workgroup bridge mode for wireless extension and as a media connector to allow wired devices to connect to a wireless network. It is a dual-band AP and delivers transfer speeds of up to 1750 Mbps and has a 5 GHz band mode that allows the user to increase its productivity.
The AP has a sleek and slim design with a white matte finish. It is powered by High Power PA to make wireless coverage better and has a lightweight design and comes with a quick start guide.
6. Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise AP UniFi
This product is ideal for any type of business and home. It is very easy to set up and use and has many features that make it the perfect AP. It is very durable and reliable and delivers great performance to the users.
It has a sleek and refined industrial design and can easily be mounted on a wall or any surface. It delivers transfer speeds up to 300 Mbps and also comes equipped with the latest in WiFi 802.11n MIMO technology. The LED indicator will allow you to configure and know the status of the network easily
It can cover a very long range and is equipped with UniFi AP hardware too. The device can be installed easily.. using Plug and Play installation system. Also, it has intuitive management that can help you to control this Access Point with ease.
7. ASUS 3-in-1 RT-N12
This ASUS 3-in-1 wireless access point RT-N12 offers amazing features such as fast data transfer rates and great bandwidth capacity. It has 4 SSIDs that allow the users to manage access control and bandwidth allocation. It can also be used both as a range extender and wifi router.
There are two antennas that provide excellent coverage to the users. It is very easy to install and offers VLAN support and power over Ethernet. It is powerful and reliable but is on the pricier side because of all these features. If you want the best transfer rates, you can consider the option of buying this AP.
The extended wireless coverage allows the users to stream videos, place VoIP calls, and play games. This powerful AP allows multitasking at around 30,000 sessions of data.
8. TP-Link N300 Wi-Fi 2T2R
TheTP-Link N300 2T2R Wi-Fi is a very portable and cost-effective access point and thus, it is ideal for those who are on a small budget. It has a simple design and you will be able to create a secure wireless hotspot to share your internet connection with your families or friends.
It has a sturdy and high-quality design and is very portable and compact; you can even fit it into your pocket. There is a button provided for changing the modes. The device itself offers wifi speed of up to 300Mbps on 2.4GHz band, powerful enough for streaming or gaming
This TP-LINK AP also features a router function and thus, it can be connected to another router through one of its Ethernet ports to distribute the internet through the network. This AP provides excellent coverage at an affordable price.
9. TP-LINK AC1200 (AP300)
The TP-LINK AC1200 access point is reliable and efficient which can be used for any homes, offices or businesses. This AP is a pricey one, but its quality and performance are excellent as compared to the others. It offers easy setup and installation and delivers fast transfer speeds.
Its 2.4GHz channels can deliver speed wifi speed of up to 300Mbps while 5GHz band delivers 867Mbps, totaling 1200Mbps that run simultaneously. It is powered by beamforming technology and also has 2 dual-band detachable antennas to reduces all “black zones” on your area
Also can be found in this device, the Gigabit Ethernet port that lets any wired devices enjoy a reliable connection, a variety of operation modes including Repeater, client, and Multi-SSID.
10. D-Link AC1200 (DAP-1650)
The D-Link AP has a unique and cylinder-like design, and it offers high transfer speeds and wireless connectivity to other devices. It has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and offers a secure wireless encryption method to allow users to connect safely. thanks to WPA or WPA2 security system
The dual-band connectivity offers flexibility so that the users can operate it in two modes. It is compatible with any standard wireless router out there and with the Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature, you only need to push a button to connect to a wireless network easily.
It is also backward compatible with any brand of the wireless router, and that makes it very useful. It has a simple and lightweight design which makes it easier to mount on a wall or ceiling or place it on flat surfaces such as desks.
An access point makes it easier to connect to other devices and offer better accessibility and coverage. All of the access points discussed in this post are very affordable and perform great.
These products are very reliable and are used to connect your smartphones, tablets, computers, iPads, laptops, and other devices to the internet. They are packed with amazing features and provide a cost-efficient method to the users.
Other than just extending Wi-Fi, these access points are performing very well to improve the productivity of the overall network.
Wireless Access Point Buying Guide
While shopping for the networking system many people get confused with the different terms that they come across, like routers, wireless access points, switches, and hubs. Once you understand the use of each and know the features required while choosing them you can get the best one to meet your requirement. This article will focus on Wireless access point and the features you should look forward to while buying one.
What Is A Wireless Access Point?
A wireless access point is also known as Base station is a networking device that provides wireless access to any wired Ethernet network. The access point is plugged into a wired router, hub or switch and it sends out wireless signals that let other devices like laptop, desktop, tablets or mobile phones to get access to the internet network. It acts as the central transmitter or receiver of the wireless signals.
There are many routers that come embedded with wireless capabilities within them and if there is one you do not need a separate access point then. A wireless access point does not have the capability for sharing an internet connection and thus they must be plugged into a modem or router.
By using a wireless access point all the devices can be joined in the same network. Being a wireless network the connection is faster and multiple devices can access the connection at the same time.
While buying an access point you must consider the following.
Features to consider while buying a wireless access point:
When it comes to wireless access points, these are the things you’ll need to consider in order to make the best choice:
IEEE standard is also used by wireless routers and they are important because they refer to the technology used by any device for providing its service. It is expressed in 802.11X format. Sometimes X can be replaced by g, b, n, or AC. These letter at the end of the string refers to the wireless standard that is used by the wireless access point. The most modern devices use AC as its standard while the older version may have a ‘b.’
The IEEE standard is also important because it specifies the capacity of the wired access point. Like a WAP with IEEE 802.11b can handle only bandwidth of 11 megabytes per second across the whole network. And thus, if the data speed requirement in most of the modern offices is more such an access point becomes obsolete out there. The next standard that comes after ‘b’ is ‘g’ which allows a bandwidth of 54 Mbps across the network. It is followed by 802.11n that is limited to 300 Mbps bandwidth throughout the network. The latest one that is 802.11AC is the current standard that can give speed up to 5,200 Mbps throughout the network. Thus, depending upon your requirement you can choose anyone, obviously, one with AC is preferred until something new is launched.
Single Radio or Dual Radio Access Point
Just the way wireless routers have a single band or double band capability in a wireless access point there are two options single radio or dual radio. They are capable of transmitting 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. The access points can give better results with the radio transmission based on their standard. Like the WAP with ‘b’ and ‘g’ standard can have one access point while ‘n’ and ‘AC’ devices can do better. You can use these wireless access points for the old device interface while granting internet access to modern devices.
One of the important functions of wireless network point is its ability to create stable networks that are reliable. And thus the antenna of the access point plays an important role. There are choices available when it comes to the antenna. Some of them are internal while others are external and can be removed. Check out if the antenna is attached properly and are there any chances of tampering it. Also, the antenna is responsible for creating stronger signals throughout the network thus check the technology that is used for manufacturing the antenna.
MU-MIMO stands for Multiple User Multiple Input Multiple Out and you will get this feature in almost every modern access point. There were Single-user MIMO in the older version of Access points which means those devices were capable of interfacing only with a single device at any particular time. With the advent of MU, it is now possible to provide uninterrupted service to more than one device at the same time. The network thus created by MU MIMO is more stable and has better usability compared to the ones with SU-MIMO.
Controller-based Vs Standalone Access Points
There is a gain choice between a controller-based access point and stand-alone access points. Access points that can operate without any dependence on any controller are the stand-alone access points. The standalone devices can provide wireless network coverage to any area.
Standalone access points are good for those people who have a small area to cover and have a limited number of users. As and when the area of internet coverage increases along with the number of users there is a need for the better network across the area. Thus, then you have to install multiple access points that will be passed by a controller device so that the whole management of the network is possible.
Support for Various Services
There are certain other support services that are provided by the wireless access point like the security services. Power over Ethernet allows an access point to use the electric power to travel by the data cable. There are many more services that individual access points can provide. Before buying one you must check out for any such services too.
To wrap up
While buying a wireless access point things may become a bit confusing as many people may confuse with the router. They are different with different features. Following the above guide will be helpful while you choose the right wireless access point for your home or office.
Where You Can Buy a Wireless Access Point?
There are many computer accessory stores online sell wireless access points., I highly recommend you have a look at the Amazon store because you can find a variety of products from different brands. You can also filter WAP products based on prices, features, functions, etc. You can also read other customers’ reviews and comments before hitting the buy button.