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A wireless access point (WAP) is critical for any location that needs to extend the coverage of an existing network and increase the number of potential users. Run a high-speed Ethernet cable from a router to the WAP, which transforms the wired signal from the router into wireless. The local area network (LAN) sub-device provides another location for wireless devices to connect to and benefit from the faster speeds of Wi-Fi® access points.
A wireless access point with built-in band steering technology helps devices connect to the least congested wireless grid. Full MU-MIMO support increases the number of simultaneously serviced items to hundreds. A long-range access point can cover up to 600 feet, which is suitable for businesses that cover multiple floors or large office spaces. Another option for boosting Wi-Fi signals is a wireless range extender or media bridge, which creates a separate SSID that extends coverage.
A dual-band AP device uses both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency bands to create separate wireless networks, so gaming and video streaming devices can operate simultaneously without interference. Tri-band access points run a single 2.4GHz frequency and dual 5GHz frequencies, offering maximum data transfer rates of up to 3,000Mbps. IP-based bandwidth control in a wireless access point allows devices that require more bandwidth power to take it without impacting performance in other clients.
Access point mode connects to wireless devices and adapter cards, while AP client mode allows the wireless access point to act as a receiver of signals coming from another access point. The wireless repeater mode replicates the signal from a router, switch or AP to a wireless network. In wireless bridge mode, the WAP links a Wi-Fi network to a wired network.
Many buildings do not have preexisting wiring for connecting several access points, so one of the easiest ways to provide whole-building wireless networking is using Wi-Fi itself. A wireless mesh network spreads the network connection among nodes that talk to each other, sharing the link across a large area to laptops and smartphones. As you require more or less coverage, add or remove the mesh nodes, which is convenient in outdoor environments and warehouses.
WAP devices are active units, which means they require electrical power to work. A wireless access point that supports Power over Ethernet (PoE) depends on a Cat5 or Cat6 cable for power and data, providing for a clean setup. If PoE is not available in a facility, a standard wall outlet will work fine.
Mesh wireless systems include controller software for installing on a Linux™, Mac® or PC machine for fast network administration without specialized training. Set up a wireless access point in minutes with guided visuals in Android™ and iOS® apps. Support for Alexa™ provides for easy voice control, while IFTTT compatibility allows for smart-control customization. Built-in gigabit Ethernet ports provide connectivity for wireless accessories to deliver high-speed connections for connected Wi-Fi-compatible devices.