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What is a Wireless Access Point (WAP) ?

by Jeff Atkins on December 19, 2022

wireless access point being used on a wall

Wireless access points (WAPs) are devices that allow you to connect to a wireless network and access the internet. They are often used in homes and businesses to extend the range of a wireless network or to provide wireless access in areas where it is not possible to run Ethernet cables.

Nice Hardware To Have

As someone who works from home, I can't express enough how happy I am to have a wireless access point. It has made it so much easier for me to move around my house and still have a strong and reliable internet connection. No more being tethered to my desk just to get work done!

One of the great things about WAPs is that they are relatively easy to set up and use. You simply plug the WAP into an Ethernet port and connect it to a power outlet. Then you can connect your devices to the WAP by searching for wireless networks and selecting the one associated with the WAP.

Popular Brands of Wireless Access Points

There are many different brands of WAPs available on the market, including popular options like

  • Ubiquiti 
  • Cisco
  • Ruckus
  • Rogue 
  • Netgear
  • Meraki 
  • TP-Link
  • Linksys

These brands offer a range of WAPs to suit different needs, including models that are designed for use in large homes or businesses, as well as those that are more suitable for smaller spaces.

When it comes to Ethernet cables, you have several options to choose from, including Category 5e (Cat5e), Category 6 (Cat6), and Category 6A (Cat6A). These cables can be used with a wireless access point (WAP) to connect devices to the internet.

Which Cable to Use?

Cat5e cables are the most common type of Ethernet cable and are capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 1 Gbps. They are a good choice for basic connectivity and are often used in homes and small businesses.

Cat6 cables are a step up from CAT5e in terms of speed and performance. They can transmit data at speeds of up to 10 Gbps and are suitable for use in larger businesses or for applications that require high-speed connectivity.

Cat6A cables are a high-performing option for Ethernet cables, specifically designed for environments where high speeds and excellent performance are necessary. They are capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 10 Gbps over longer distances than other types of cables. They are built to transmit 10Gb speeds up to 328 feet. Making this a great choice if you need consistent faster speeds over longer distances

Where Can You Find Wireless Access Points?

what does a wireless access point look like

In addition to being used in homes and businesses, WAPs can also be used in public spaces like cafes, libraries, and airports to provide wireless access to users. This can be especially useful for travelers who may not have data plans or who need to access the internet while on the go.

In summary, a wireless access point is a device that allows you to connect to a wireless network and access the internet. It is easy to set up and use, and there are many different brands available on the market to suit different needs. Ethernet cables like Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6A can all be used with a WAP, and WAPs can be used in a variety of settings including homes, businesses, and public spaces.

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