Learn four critical differences between wireless access points and repeaters
Wireless technology has significantly improved in the past few years. Nonetheless, no one wireless solution fits all people, especially in regards to business. While large offices have heavy traffic and often use a wireless access point, small businesses that have limited users may prefer using wireless extenders or repeaters.
What is a Wireless Access Point and Wireless Repeater?
Wireless access point
A wireless access point refers to a wireless hardware device which forms a local area network where other wireless devices can connect to. It serves as a centralized center where information is received and transmitted through the local area network.
A wireless repeater, often known as an extender, is a wireless networking gadget that extends the coverage of a wireless network. It forwards the wireless signals coming from a router to serve a larger area, for instance, multiple floors in a building.
Why choose a wireless access point for business?
Despite extenders being suitable for home networks, they are not sufficient for large modern businesses. First, extenders are not able to support multiple devices simultaneously. Second, extenders can only increase the network coverage, not the bandwidth. Thus, they may end up slowing down your connection.
The key differences
An access point is a networking device that enables wireless networks and devices to connect to it. At the same time, an extender is a networking device that extends the coverage area of your wireless network.
The wireless access point offers 100% efficiency. However, wireless extenders are less useful since they are half-duplex. Meaning they can support two-way communication, though not simultaneously. Therefore, reducing data throughput by half.
An access device is a hardware that works similarly to a centralized hub, allowing different wireless devices to connect to it. On the other hand, a wireless repeater works by boosting the coverage of wireless transmissions coming from the main router.
If you opt to use an extender, it will enhance network coverage by 50% as opposed to the 100% increase you would get if you opted for an access point. An extender is a suitable option for home networks, while a wireless access point is ideal for businesses.
Now you can differentiate a wireless access point from a wireless repeater. If you have been using a wireless repeater for your large business, then this may be the reason why the network may be slow.
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