Wireless Access Point vs. a Wireless Repeater

Understanding why a wireless access point differs from a wireless repeater

Anyone who relies on the Internet for their business should understand the difference between a wireless access point and a wireless repeater. Though both pieces of equipment are necessary, they serve different purposes.


Definition of a wireless access point


As a portable device, a wireless access point takes one wired network and uses it to help computers, tablets, and smartphones communicate with each other. WiFi technology is used to make the connection between machines. Local area networks are used to provide Internet access to those who need it, no matter where they are.

There are two ways that a wireless access point can connect to the Internet. They are either included in a router or make use of an Ethernet cable to receive Internet services. Access points can operate on their own, making them convenient to use.


Definition of a wireless repeater


Wireless repeaters are also classified as extenders. A network can only reach so far on its own. A repeater, or extender, increases the reach of an Internet signal. It can sometimes be difficult to reach an Internet signal without this piece of equipment. A repeater will take an Internet network and replicate it so that more users can access it.


Wireless access point vs wireless repeater


The differences between a wireless access point and a wireless repeater are distinct. One difference is that even though the terms are often used interchangeably, they shouldn't be. One is simply a way to connect to the Internet while the other is a way for an increased number of users to connect.


These two pieces of equipment also function differently. An access point can be compared to a centralized hub. The access point needs to be able to reach a router in order to be used for its intended purpose. The repeater takes a wireless signal from the access point and makes copies of it, in essence repeating the signal. The main router is much more useful with a wireless repeater than without one.


While an extender is cost-effective for use at home, when it comes to business use, it is not. Yet a wireless access point is cost-effective for a business. Access points increase a network's coverage by 100%, while a repeater only increases it to 50%. This is the reason that an access point is generally better for personal use, while an extender is better for businesses.


The only other difference between the two is that an access point is more efficient than a repeater. A range extender only allows for one way communication, while an access point allows for two way communication. As a result, a wireless access point for business is a more commonly chosen option.


Contact BCS Consultants


Getting the most out of wireless access points and repeaters is a must for any business. BCS Consultants brings together employees and keeps them connected and on track. Contact us today.