In network networking, a wireless access Point, or more specifically just an access point, is a hardware device that allows wireless access to a wired system. The AP generally connects directly to the main router as an independent unit, but it could also be a part of the main router as well.
There are two types of access points – wireless and wired.
Wireless access points are considered an extension of the wireless router and are often found in the case where a LAN is required by the access point. These could also be used to add the LAN to the LAN, and have the router act as the main access point of the LAN.
Wireless routers have several components that are used for their operation, including the WAN switch and the LAN switch, the WAN bridge and the Wireless Access Point Interface Card (WAPIC). The WAN switch helps in setting up the WAN, including the IP address, gateway address, and gateway port settings, and the LAN switch helps to configure the LAN interfaces of the routers.
The LAN bridge is used to enable the WAN bridge function, and provides both an internet and LAN layer. An interface card is also available which is used with a wireless AP. The LAN bridge acts as a bridge between the WAN and LAN.
Wireless access Point is commonly used in network configuration because of their small size, flexibility, and portability. They can be easily set up with a router with the help of a manual or automated configuration tool.
The Wireless Access Point Interface Card (WAPIC) is required for a wireless network in order to allow for access and Internet connectivity. The wireless AP interface card is installed inside the computer and is usually referred to as the Ethernet adapter or the wireless LAN adapter. A USB or wireless adapter is also available in the market, which is used to connect the USB wireless modem into the computer.
Many wireless routers have preinstalled software packages which enable the users to set up the network. Most of them come with a program called WEP or Wireless Fax Post, which enables users to establish a WEP key. Which helps in secure WEP encryption and transmission for data.
The Wireless Access Point has become very popular these days
because of their small size, mobility, and cost effectiveness. Most of these routers have the capacity to support multiple networks and a wide variety of applications. A wireless AP is usually a plug and play device which can be placed anywhere in the house and also with the help of an adapter or WAN bridging device can be installed at the main router and can be used to provide a dedicated network to the entire house.
In the past, the wireless AP was a great barrier to entry for most people who wanted to set up a home wireless network because the device itself was a bit complicated and required a lot of knowledge. Today the wireless access point has become an affordable way to set up a wireless network for people. With the use of a manual WAPIC software package or an automated software program, people can now set up their wireless AP from their desktop or laptop without any experience at all. Wireless APs is available in various forms such as wireless access point cards, wireless bridge cards and WAN bridging cards.
- WAPIC software is designed by experts and engineers
- who specialize in wireless networking to make wireless AP easy to install and configure.
- as well as easier to troubleshoot when it comes to setting it up.
Another important thing that is not covered by a wireless AP is its security. This is because many people think that using a wireless access point is safe because there is no physical hardware or wiring required. While this is true technically, it does not mean that it is completely safe as it is also possible for the network’s data to be compromised.
It is therefore essential that one should take certain precautions while setting up a wireless access point and its data. Always ensure that you don’t install the wireless network near any doors, windows or any electrical outlets because they can be easily hacked. Do not try to install wireless APs in areas with a lot of traffic and make sure that your wireless network is not connected to the public switched telephone network. Always use a password for accessing this network to protect it from unauthorized users.