Wireless access point

access pointaccess pointsWAPwireless access pointsAPWi-Fi access pointWLAN access point(wireless) access pointsAccess Point (AP)Access Point device
In computer networking, a wireless access point (WAP), or more generally just access point (AP), is a networking hardware device that allows other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network.wikipedia
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Wi-Fi

WiFiwireless internetwireless
In computer networking, a wireless access point (WAP), or more generally just access point (AP), is a networking hardware device that allows other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network.
Compatible devices can network through a wireless access point to each other as well as to wired devices and the Internet.

Hotspot (Wi-Fi)

Wi-Fi hotspothotspothotspots
An AP is differentiated from a hotspot, which is the physical location where Wi-Fi access to a WLAN is available.
Public hotspots are typically created from wireless access points configured to provide Internet access, controlled to some degree by the venue.

Networking hardware

Networking equipmentnetwork equipmentnetwork hardware
In computer networking, a wireless access point (WAP), or more generally just access point (AP), is a networking hardware device that allows other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network.
Networking devices may include gateways, routers, network bridges, modems, wireless access points, networking cables, line drivers, switches, hubs, and repeaters; and may also include hybrid network devices such as multilayer switches, protocol converters, bridge routers, proxy servers, firewalls, network address translators, multiplexers, network interface controllers, wireless network interface controllers, ISDN terminal adapters and other related hardware.

Wireless router

Wi-Fi routerWireless routersrouters
There are many wireless data standards that have been introduced for wireless access point and wireless router technology.
A wireless router is a device that performs the functions of a router and also includes the functions of a wireless access point.

Wireless ad hoc network

mobile ad hoc networkad hocMANET
Some people confuse wireless access points with wireless ad hoc networks.
The network is ad hoc because it does not rely on a pre-existing infrastructure, such as routers in wired networks or access points in managed (infrastructure) wireless networks.

IEEE 802.11ac

802.11acacWi-Fi 5
While (as of 2013) high-density 256-QAM (TurboQAM) modulation, 3-antenna wireless devices for the consumer market can reach sustained real-world speeds of some 240 Mbit/s at 13 m behind two standing walls (NLOS) depending on their nature or 360 Mbit/s at 10 m line of sight or 380 Mbit/s at 2 m line of sight (IEEE 802.11ac) or 20 to 25 Mbit/s at 2 m line of sight (IEEE 802.11g), wired hardware of similar cost reaches closer to 1000 Mbit/s up to specified distance of 100 m with twisted-pair cabling in optimal conditions (Category 5 (known as Cat-5) or better cabling with Gigabit Ethernet).

Wireless LAN

WLANwireless local area networkwireless
An AP is differentiated from a hotspot, which is the physical location where Wi-Fi access to a WLAN is available. An AP connects directly to a wired local area network, typically Ethernet, and the AP then provides wireless connections using wireless LAN technology, typically Wi-Fi, for other devices to use that wired connection.
Wireless stations fall into two categories: wireless access points, and clients.

Internet access

broadband internetbroadband Internet accessbroadband
Internet access via ad hoc networks, using features like Windows' Internet Connection Sharing, may work well with a small number of devices that are close to each other, but ad hoc networks do not scale well.
Wi-Fi networks are built using one or more wireless antenna called access points.

IEEE 802.11b-1999

b802.11bIEEE 802.11b
802.11b is used in a point-to-multipoint configuration, wherein an access point communicates via an omnidirectional antenna with mobile clients within the range of the access point.

Wi-Fi Protected Access

WPAWPA2WPA3
The first generation encryption scheme, WEP, proved easy to crack; the second and third generation schemes, WPA and WPA2, are considered secure if a strong enough password or passphrase is used.
However, since the changes required in the wireless access points (APs) were more extensive than those needed on the network cards, most pre-2003 APs could not be upgraded to support WPA.

RADIUS

Radius serverVendor-specific attributesAAA
Some APs support hotspot style authentication using RADIUS and other authentication servers.
These networks may incorporate modems, digital subscriber line (DSL), access points, virtual private networks (VPNs), network ports, web servers, etc.

Internet Connection Sharing

connection sharingICSInternet sharing
Internet access via ad hoc networks, using features like Windows' Internet Connection Sharing, may work well with a small number of devices that are close to each other, but ad hoc networks do not scale well.
Alternatives to ICS include hardware home routers and Wireless access points with integrated Internet access hardware, such as broadband over power lines, WiMAX or DSL modems.

Femtocell

femtocellsfemtoAccess point base station
The distinction is that most FMC architectures require a new dual-mode handset which works with existing unlicensed spectrum home/enterprise wireless access points, while a femtocell-based deployment will work with existing handsets but requires the installation of a new access point that uses licensed spectrum.

Wi-Fi Direct

WiFi DirectDirectDirect Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Direct, initially called Wi-Fi P2P(Peer to Peer), is a Wi-Fi standard enabling devices to easily connect with each other without requiring a wireless access point.

Lightweight Access Point Protocol

LWAPP
Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) is the name of a protocol that can control multiple Wi-Fi wireless access points at once.

Wired Equivalent Privacy

WEPopenThe Pychkine-Tews-Weinmann attack
The first generation encryption scheme, WEP, proved easy to crack; the second and third generation schemes, WPA and WPA2, are considered secure if a strong enough password or passphrase is used.
To add support for WPA or WPA2, some old Wi-Fi access points might need to be replaced or have their firmware upgraded.

IEEE 802.11i-2004

IEEE 802.11i802.11iWPA2
The first generation encryption scheme, WEP, proved easy to crack; the second and third generation schemes, WPA and WPA2, are considered secure if a strong enough password or passphrase is used.

WiMAX

Mobile WiMAXWiMAX ForumWi-Max

Xirrus

Wi-Fi ArrayWireless Arrays
Each Array unit bundles the controller with 4, 8, 12, 16 or 24 access points, and a special sectored directional antenna, into a single package.

Router (computing)

routerroutersnetwork router
The AP usually connects to a router (via a wired network) as a standalone device, but it can also be an integral component of the router itself.

Ethernet

Ethernet portEthernet cableEthernet network
An AP connects directly to a wired local area network, typically Ethernet, and the AP then provides wireless connections using wireless LAN technology, typically Wi-Fi, for other devices to use that wired connection.

Comparison of wireless data standards

wireless data standards
There are many wireless data standards that have been introduced for wireless access point and wireless router technology.

IEEE 802.11g-2003

g802.11b/g802.11g
While (as of 2013) high-density 256-QAM (TurboQAM) modulation, 3-antenna wireless devices for the consumer market can reach sustained real-world speeds of some 240 Mbit/s at 13 m behind two standing walls (NLOS) depending on their nature or 360 Mbit/s at 10 m line of sight or 380 Mbit/s at 2 m line of sight (IEEE 802.11ac) or 20 to 25 Mbit/s at 2 m line of sight (IEEE 802.11g), wired hardware of similar cost reaches closer to 1000 Mbit/s up to specified distance of 100 m with twisted-pair cabling in optimal conditions (Category 5 (known as Cat-5) or better cabling with Gigabit Ethernet).

Multiplayer video game

multiplayeronline multiplayertwo-player
Because setup is easy and does not require an access point, an ad hoc network is used in situations such as a quick data exchange or a multiplayer video game.