Differences and connection between a wireless router and a Wireless AP

Source: Internet
Author: User

Like Wireless AP, wireless routers are developing rapidly and widely used. First of all, let everyone know the difference and connection between Wireless AP and wireless router, then, we will give a comprehensive introduction to the features and practical applications of wireless routers. However, just as many people can easily confuse wireless network interfaces and wireless network interfaces, many users cannot tell Wireless AP and wireless router.

Many users find that Wireless AP and wireless router can achieve wireless Internet access before purchasing products, when a relatively low-cost Wireless AP is purchased to build a wireless network, it is found that the Wireless AP cannot be used together with ADSL, and wireless Internet access cannot be achieved. Can I use a wireless router? Today, we will talk about the differences between Wireless AP and wireless router, and hope to help you.

Wireless AP and Wireless Router

Wireless AP, that is, Access Point, that is, wireless Access Point. In short, it is a wireless switch in a wireless network. It is an access point for mobile terminal users to access a wired network and is mainly used for home broadband and enterprise internal network deployment, wireless coverage ranges from dozens of meters to hundreds of meters. Currently, the main technology is the 802.11X series. Generally, Wireless AP also has the Access Point client mode, that is, the AP can be connected wirelessly to expand the coverage of the wireless network.

Currently, Wireless AP can be divided into two types: Hybrid AP and extended AP.

Because of the absence of the routing function, the AP is equivalent to a wireless switch and only provides a wireless signal transmission function. Its working principle is to transmit network signals through twisted pair wires. After Wireless AP compilation, the electrical signals are converted into radio signals to form wireless network coverage. Network coverage varies depending on the power. Generally, the maximum coverage distance of a Wireless AP is 400 meters.

Extended AP is what we often call a wireless router. A wireless router, as its name implies, is a router with a wireless coverage function. It is mainly used for Internet access and wireless coverage. The routing function enables Internet Connection Sharing in the home wireless network and wireless shared access between ADSL and residential broadband. It is worth mentioning that the wireless and wired terminals can be allocated to a subnet through a wireless router, so that various devices in the subnet can exchange data conveniently.

For extended AP, they can be interconnected within a short distance. If the distance to be transmitted is relatively long, you need Wireless Bridges, dedicated antennas, and other devices to help. In terms of appearance, the two are basically similar in length, which is indeed difficult to distinguish. However, I believe that careful users have already seen the difference between the two, right, that is, their interfaces are different. A balanced Wireless AP usually has a wired RJ45 network port, a power interface, a USB port, or a WEB interface), and has fewer indicators. A wireless router has four more wired network ports, in addition to a WAN port used for uplink upper-level network equipment, four LAN ports can be wired to computers in the Intranet, and the indicator lights are naturally more.

WDS Functions

WDS, a wireless hotspot distribution system, is a special function of Wireless AP and wireless router. In short, it is the AP relay and bridging function, which can implement communication between two wireless devices, it can also play the role of amplifying the signal, and the product's SSID can also be different. This is a very practical function. For example, there are three neighbors, each of which has a wireless router or AP that supports WDS, so that wireless signals can be covered at the same time, this makes communication easier. Note that the WDS devices supported by wireless routers of each brand are limited. Generally, 4-8 devices are supported. The WDS functions of different brands may not be successfully linked.

Functions of Wireless AP

An important function of AP is relay. The so-called relay is to enlarge the wireless signal between two wireless points so that the remote client can receive a stronger wireless signal. For example, if I place an AP at point A, and there is a client at point C, there is a 120-meter distance between them, and the signal from point A to point C has weakened a lot, so I put an AP at in the middle as a relay, so that the signal of the client at can be effectively enhanced, ensuring the transmission speed and stability.

Another important feature of AP is bridging. Bridging is to link two endpoints to achieve data transmission between two wireless APs. to connect two wired LAN networks, you generally choose to bridge through AP, for example, I have a wired LAN composed of 15 computers at a and a wired LAN composed of 25 computers at B. But the distance between the two is far away, more than 100 meters, wired connection is no longer possible. How can we connect two local networks together? In this case, you need to set up an AP at each of the points A and B to enable the AP bridging function so that the LAN at the Point B can transmit data to each other. Note that APS without the WDS function do not have wireless signal coverage at the second point after bridging.

The last feature is the "master-slave mode". In this mode, the AP will be considered as a wireless client by the master AP or wireless router, such as a wireless Nic or wireless module. In this way, it is convenient for the network management to manage the sub-network in a unified manner and achieve one-to-many connection. The AP client is multi-point, and the wireless router or the primary AP is one point. This function is often used in the connection between a wireless LAN and a wired LAN. For example, a is a wired LAN composed of 20 computers, and B is a wireless LAN composed of 15 computers, point B already has a wireless router. If a wants to connect to point B, add an AP at point a, enable the master-slave mode, and connect the AP to the switch at point, in this way, all the computers at point A can connect to point B.

Applications of wireless routers

A wireless router is actually a Wireless AP + routing function, and many wireless routers now have the AP function. If your home is ADSL or residential broadband, you should select a wireless router instead of a Wireless AP to share the network. If your home has a router, you can buy a Wireless AP, for average home users, I strongly recommend that you select a wireless router.

In the SOHO office environment, a wireless router can meet your needs. Through the integrated broadband access router and Wireless AP functions, it can easily achieve wireless network connection. A wireless router generally includes a network address translation (NAT) protocol that supports network connection sharing, which is very useful for soho offices. A wireless router has a basic firewall or information packet filter to prevent port scanning software and other attacks against broadband connections. In addition, the four wired ports of the wireless router are also very useful. It can connect several wired PCs, which is very useful for managing routers or shared printers.


After reading the above, I believe you have figured out the difference between a Wireless AP and a wireless router. If you are a home or soho user, a wireless router is your first choice. If you are an enterprise user, add an AP according to the above instance.

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