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Difference between a wireless router and a wireless access point?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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February 9, 2014 9:42:00 AM

Hi, sorry to bother you with might be a really dumb question..

I was given an Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (2011, never opened), and I'm not sure what to do with it...

I assumed it was a wireless router, but while googling it I found out it's a Wireless Access Point. I can't figure out what that means, and I was thinking about swapping out my router for this damn thing, but now I don't even know if they do the same job, let alone if one is better than the other.

So I guess I have two questions:

1. Can I use the Apple Airport Extreme as a wireless router?

B. If yes, should I swap my w8960n TP-link Router for the Apple Airport Extreme?

Thank-you for your help.

Roscoe

More about : difference wireless router wireless access point

February 9, 2014 2:04:19 PM

Not a dumb question but a good and basic one.

A "router" in consumer parlance is a device that connects a local area network (LAN) to a wide area network provided by your ISP. It will provide DHCP service to assign IP addresses to devices on the LAN and may also provide WiFi access and have a Ethernet switch built in. An access point is there to connect the wired Ethernet LAN to WiFi devices.

The current model of Airport Extreme Base Station is a router. It might help if you provided the model number of the Airport you have so people could tell you more about it. I know very little about them myself. Thinking about the following might put you on track to making your decision.

Does your TP link provide satisfactory WiFi coverage?
Are you looking to extend the coverage?
Are you looking for Airport specific functionality?

There is nothing wrong with using one as a router with WiFi and the other in access point only mode.
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February 14, 2014 1:46:27 AM

To be clear, wireless router is router has routing function. wireless access point is just a wireless switch that has not rouing function. Wireless router works as a gateway and a wireless access point.

Professional vendor of SMB network: http://uttglobal.com/
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July 20, 2014 11:29:14 AM

If you need a wireless access point, be awfully careful about purchasing a wireless router that claims to be an access point also. A LOT of them do make such a claim. When you try to set up a router such that it's WLAN and LAN IP addresses are the same, many (and I am talking about the big names now) fail to do so properly. I have run into a LOT of issues with these, such as firewall difficulties (turning it completely off for example), accessing the web admin pages, etc when running these routers in their so call access point mode. If you need an access point, buy an access point!

Marc...
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July 20, 2014 11:38:44 AM

MorningDarkstar said:
If you need a wireless access point, be awfully careful about purchasing a wireless router that claims to be an access point also. A LOT of them do make such a claim. When you try to set up a router such that it's WLAN and LAN IP addresses are the same, many (and I am talking about the big names now) fail to do so properly. I have run into a LOT of issues with these, such as firewall difficulties (turning it completely off for example), accessing the web admin pages, etc when running these routers in their so call access point mode. If you need an access point, buy an access point!

Marc...


And why would you do it the hard way. Any router can be a AP. You just don't bother using the WAN port. As long as you disable the DHCP and the LAN address does not conflict there will be no issues.

Pretty much the only time you really want a real AP is when you need PoE is is much more common for a AP to have the option of running on PoE than a router.

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