How does a Wireless Access Point Work?

What is a wireless access point and How does a Wireless Access Point Work!

You may be wondering what a wireless access point is and how it works. Well, no worries, we got you covered, but in order to properly understand the subject matter, we have to start with the basics.

So, just what is a wireless access point?

A wireless access point, also known as a WAP or just AP (access point) for short, is a piece of hardware that allows a host device to connect to the local area network (LAN) without an ethernet able hence the term access point.

If you’ve never really heard of wireless access points before that’s fine.

This is because most of these wireless access points are usually built into your network device such as a modem and don’t really come as a separate package.

So, most people don’t even know about them. In fact, you’re probably using one right now! If access points weren’t already built-in, you’d need to directly connect your devices to your network every single time.

  • That would be just an unnecessary hassle to go through and is also why access points were built.

And whenever we have a wireless access point built-in, we get what is known as the wireless local area network or WLAN as you may have often seen it.

How Does a Wireless Access Point

Wireless access points work by being directly connected to the local area network device and send signals to other devices so that they can have access to the internet without having to be physically connected to the local area network.

Types of wireless access points
  • The second type is more or less the same thing except that it comes as an independent device, not built into the router.
  • And so, for these types of AP’s you’d have to directly connect them to the local area network first before you can access the internet wirelessly through your device.
  • The third and last type of AP is the controller-based access point. This type of AP is the one you’d typically see when you go outside the range of your local area network and try to the internet then.

This is basically the thing that makes it possible for you to access the internet using your data instead of your wi-fi.

Since you don’t have your normal wi-fi around, this is how you connect to the internet that comes all the way from the network service providers.

Controller-based access points typically belong to businesses that deals in-network service provision since is it as the name suggests, regulated by these corporations to provide wireless connection outside your home

Do I need a wireless access point to connect to the internet?

Absolutely not! One can easily connect their device to the internet via an ethernet cable.

Most people tend to use wireless access points simply due to the inconvenience of having to physically connect their devices to the local area network every single time they want to use the internet. 

This is especially true for portable devices such as phones or tablets which is what most people use to access the internet.

Which is faster, using an ethernet connection or a wireless access point?

In terms of connection speed, using an ethernet cable to directly connect your device to your LAN is actually faster than using a WAP.

This is because the internet connection is being directly fed to your device from its source.

We hope this article was informative, happy learning!

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