A lot of people usually get access point confuse with a router and vice-versa and the reason behind it is because both devices are very similar in terms of its use. However, they are also different in some ways such as a wireless router connects devices and acts as a gateway while access point is used as a part of a router or it could also be used as an independent networking device. With that said, both routers and access points are essential for internet connection.
Access points offer reliability and they are also efficient and are cost effective to be used in small offices and homes. If you wish to purchase and actually need one but do not know what to buy, continue reading this article and you will find best options for your needs.
1. Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-AC-PRO-US
One of the best well-known access points, Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-AC-PRO-US deserves to be on top of our list as it comes at an affordable price which makes it very ideal for small businesses, offices and homes. As for its performance, you will never be disappointed with its 3 dual band antenna which comes with 3 dBi each. For its power consumption, it does not require much as it only need around a maximum of 9 W.
The Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-AC-PRO-US comes in a gorgeous design and the amazing part is it has an auto-sensing feature. It is also easy to setup and does not require any controller. This access point could be brought anywhere as it is very portable. Furthermore, it has the 802.11 ac WiFi which includes multiple inputs and outputs that could deliver up to 300 Mbps speed.
2. TP-Link TL-WA801ND
Perfect to be used for small businesses and homes, the TL-WA801ND is very reliable and provides great transfer rates and uninterrupted internet connection. It comes with 3 omnidirectional antennas which means it provides great wireless coverage. It also has MIMO and CCA technologies which allows this access point to give you impressive performance. Aside from that, this access point comes in five different modes- bridge, client, multi-SSID, access point and wireless repeater mode. It is easy to set up and could accommodate multiplayer online gaming and VoIP.
3. Netgear (WAC104-100NAS)
With 802.11ac WiFi technology, you could not go wrong with Netgear’s WAC104-100. It provides its users speed up to 1.2 GB/s. It is also easy to set up and configure as it comes with factory-tuned antennas which ensures you stronger clear signal. Moreover, it has 4 ethernet ports which allows you to connect to any device.
You will also be pleased to know that WAC104-100NAS comes with user friendly interface and offer high security which ensures your data is secured. It also has a WPS button which increase
productivity if needed. The speed that Netgear provides is one of the best and you will never be disappointed with its speed of 867 Mbps.
4. Securifi Almond Touchscreen
Securifi is a brand well-known for producing devices that are easy to use and access point Almond Touch Screen is not an exception. It comes with beautiful and simple design and its LCD touchscreen is colored as well.
Aside from this access point being easy to use, it is also easy to setup. As a matter of fact, all you need is about 3 to 4 minutes and you are all set. It is easy to configure as well and it supports 802.11b/g/n devices. It offers about 300 Mbps speed which is perfect for homes and small offices.
5. Linksys LAPAC1750
LAPAC1750 is an access point which is in the advanced level and it is also smart which comes with modern features and top-notch technology. Aside from that, it is also multi-purpose and has a Gigabit Ethernet port and a single point control as well.
This access point could be used in workgroup bridge mode for wireless extension and could work as a media connector. It is dual-band AP and provides transfer speed up to 1750 Mbps.
6. Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise AP UniFi
The Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise AP UniFi is perfect and ideal for all types of small businesses and homes. It is easy to setup and comes with useful features. It is reliable with its industrial design and transfer speed of 300 Mbps. Aside from that, it comes with the latest WiFi 802/11 n MIMO technology. It also notifies you of your network status with its LED indicator feature. Aside from that this access point is easy to install with its plug and play installation feature.
7. ASUS 3-in-1 RT-N12
This 3-in-1 wireless access point comes with amazing features such as amazing speed of data transfer, great bandwidth capacity and its 4 SSIDs which allows its users to manage access and bandwidth allocation and control. It also has two antennas which ensures wider coverage. It is easy to install and comes with VLAN support. This access point is bit more expensive compared to others but it is powerful and very reliable. In fact, you could stream videos, play games and make VoIP calls.
8. TP-Link N300 Wi-Fi 2T2R
If you are in need of a portable and affordable access point, the TP-Link N300 Wi-Fi 2T2R is a great option for you. It comes with simple design and provides a secured wireless hotspot which you could share with your families and friends.
Aside from that, it has a high quality design and it is compact which could be placed in your pocket. You could also change the modes through the button on the device itself. The speed that it offers is up to 300Mbps on 2.4 GHz band.
The N300 WiFi 2T2R also has a router function which means you could connect this device to another router for more internet coverage.
9. TP-LINK AC1200 (AP300)
Though this model is a bit on the pricey side, you will be impressed with its excellent performance. It is easy to setup and to install. It also delivers fast transfer speeds with a maximum speed of 300Mbps for its 2.4GHz channels and its 5GHz band delivers up to a maximum of 867Mbps.
AC1200 has two dual band detachable antennas which reduces the black zones. Lastly, it also has a Gigabit Ethernet port which provides more reliable connection.
10. D-Link AC1200 (DAP-1650)
This access point comes in a unique design of cylindrical shape. It has high transfer speeds and connectivity. It also offers 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and ensures safety through its wireless encryption technologies- WPA and WPA2.
D-Link AC1200 has dual-band connectivity which offers two modes. It is compatible with standard wireless routers and WiFi Protected Set-up feature.
An access point’s main purpose is to make it easier to connect to other devices at the same time provide wider coverage and accessibility. All the access points mentioned in this article is very affordable at the same time provide great performance. They are also reliable and are perfect to be used for your smartphones, computers, iPads, tablets, laptops and the like. Through an access point, you will be able to improve the productivity of your overall network.
Purchasing for your network or internet system could be confusing. You will come across different definitions and terminologies like wireless access points, switches, hubs, router, etc. However, once you get acquainted with it, it will be easier for you to choose which device will
meet your requirements. Since this article’s focus is on access point and its features, here are some tips you should take into consideration when purchasing one:
1. What is a wireless access point?
Before purchasing, you should know what a wireless access point is and a wireless access point is the base station and is a networking device that provides wireless access. It is plugged into a wired router and then it sends the network signal to different devices like PCs, laptops, phones, tablets and the like. Once they get the said signal, you will now be able to access internet. In short, it acts as a central transmitter or a receiver of wireless signals.
Through a wireless access point, all devices that you own could join only one network. Also, through an access point, you will be able to experience faster connection.
2. What features you should consider?
IEEE Standard – This is also true with and is also used by wireless routers. This IEEE standard refers to the technology which is used by wireless routers and access points for providing services. This is sometimes shown in 802.11X format or sometimes the X could be replaced by g, n, b or AC. These letters at the end of the sting refers to wireless standard. Moreover, the IEEE Standard also specifies the capacity of the wires of the access point.
3. Single Radio Vs. Dual Radio Access Point
Like routers having single band or double band capability. Access Points are the same and offers two options of single and dual radio. They could transmit 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Based on reviews and experience, these access points provide better performance and results with radio transmission.
4. Antenna Settings
Another important factor, function and use of a wireless network access point is the ability to create stable networks and this could be achieved through an antenna. There are numerous options when it comes to antenna. One choice is internal while another is external. Note that antennas are important as they are responsible in providing better and stronger signals.
5. MU-MIMO Support
Multiple User Multiple Input Multiple Out also known as MU-MIMO, is a feature that almost modern access point has. For some single user MIMO, older versions, these access points could only accommodate single device. With the improvement and additional technology of MU, it is now possible to experience uninterrupted services for multiple devices.
6. Controller-based Vs Standalone Access Points
There are two choices in access points and they are controller based and stand-alone. The standalone option provides wireless network coverage to any area and it does not need any controller to provide it. Standalone are perfect for those who only have a small space and have a few number of users only. Controller based on the other hand are required for bigger space and has more users.
7. Support for Various Services
Some access points come with other services like security, power over Ethernet that allows it to be brought on travels and many more. Thus, we suggest to check these additional features.
Purchasing an access point could be confusing specially with a router. However, they are different in terms of features and use. The article above could serve as your guide in choosing the right wireless access point for your home or office.