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Why isnt it Wireless Switch?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
April 16, 2012 4:16:15 PM

This isn’t really a problem but just really a question. I recently had the thought of why WAPs are always routers and not switches. I had previously thought that the WLAN was always on a separate network and thus the need for a router. Curiosity got me and looking at my network configuration it does not seem to be that way. Both wireless devices and wired are all on the same subnet. So if the router is currently acting as a switch why even add the hardware of a router into the WAP?

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a c 202 F Wireless
April 16, 2012 6:17:04 PM

Many people use wireless routers as APs because they are often cheaper due to the large number of wireless routers sold. The wireless routers as APs are being used for their radio function but the DHCP service is turned off as it would conflict. Basically, I think that the answer to why have the router hardware is that mass production makes it cheaper to disable unneeded features, as opposed to making and selling two different models.
April 16, 2012 6:46:57 PM

So because a router can act as a switch they use this insted of a actual switch for maximum compatiblility and options?
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a c 202 F Wireless
April 16, 2012 7:31:36 PM

Yeah, pretty much. Most of the current router models have very similar features (although some are better implemented) based on a few different chips, of course if you just need a wired unmanaged switch those are very cheap as they have no expensive parts.

April 23, 2012 4:43:27 PM

Best answer selected by vinjkit.