You might be new to IT and wondering what a wireless access point is. You might have heard of it. Or maybe you haven’t heard of it until now. I’m sure you’ve used one at least once before, even if you don’t know it. Are you a regular user of the internet? Are you able to get wireless internet at your home? You have a router at your home and a wireless connection point. So how does it work? Let’s talk about what a wireless connection point is. Access points are often called different names depending on where they are located. They might be called WAP, which stands for Wireless Access Point. We might call them WAP, which is Wireless Access Point. Or we could just use AP for Access Point. First, let’s understand what traditional wired networks look like. Then we can discuss wireless access points and what they are.
What are traditional wired networks like?
The above diagram shows a common local network. This is the network that is at your house. This diagram shows a house computer wired into an Ethernet switch and wired into a router that provides Internet access. This is how wiring at work would look at your home. This is what we need to know first. Here we have our host connected to the network. This is your common local area network, or LAN.
What if a host needed to wirelessly access the network? To provide wireless network access to the Internet, we need a special type of device called an Access Point or a Wireless Access Point. Most routers for small offices and home offices will have built-in wireless connectivity. A router at your home is often a combination device that includes a router, switch and wireless access point. This wireless access point is needed to provide wireless access for our network. When we install a wireless connection point, we create a wireless local area network. Our wireless access points allow us to wirelessly access the network or the Local Area Network. It is called Wireless Local Area Network.
We should also know other information about wireless Access Points and wireless networks. All wireless stuff and wireless Local Area Networks are covered by IEEE 802.11. IEEE 802.11. This is IEEE 802.11. There are many flavors of 802.11. There are four types of 802.11: a, B, g, G, n, and A. These letters are different forms of the 802.11 standard. They represent different speeds, different bandwidths and different data rates. We won’t go into detail about them all, but I want you to be able to understand the basics.
Types of Wireless Access points
Let me wrap it up by introducing you to the different types of wireless access point that I will be describing. The first type, which is the same as the diagram above, is a standalone wireless connection point. You simply need your local network. Then you take your access points and plug them into your network. This is a standalone wireless accesspoint, a single point that provides wireless access to the LAN, creating a WLAN. Another type is controller-based. This type of AP is what you will see most often out in the field, as well as things like large networks and enterprise networks. A controller connects all wireless access points and allows for control through a single pane of glass. This is a great idea for large networks with many wireless AP’s.
All of them can be controlled from one location or one server. These AP’s can be connected to a server via control-based technology. The last type is the one I mentioned earlier. It’s a router with an integrated access point. You can find a router that provides internet access at your home from Walmart or Best Buy. It could be a D-Link router or a Linksys router or a Netgear router. It’s usually a router with built-in wireless access, which is a triple combination device. They will have a router, switch, and wireless access points all in one device.
You should now have a good understanding of wireless access points. These are a big topic for network engineers. This is a key skill for Full Stack Network Engineers.