A Guide To Wireless Access Points

There is often a lot of confusion around wireless access points, routers, hubs and switches. This guide should hopefully help you get your head around the terms as well as point out the key features of a wireless access point.

What Is A Wireless Access Point?

A wireless access point (or base station as it is sometimes referred to) provides wireless access to a wired Ethernet network.

The wireless access point plugs into a hub, switch or wired router and sends out wireless signals so that your devices such as laptops, tablets, desktop PCs and mobile phones can access the network in your home/ office.

Apple Airport Extreme
Apple Airport Extreme – Wireless Access Point – shop.bt.com

Some routers will often have wireless capabilities built into them so you do not need a wireless access point. Wireless access points do not have the capabilities to share an internet connection, you must plug an access point into a router or a modem with a built-in router.

Benefits Of Wireless Access Points

The obvious benefits of a wireless access point are that all your devices will be able to join your network wirelessly.

As wireless technology improves, connections become faster. Ultimately the speed of your broadband is the main factor but as wireless technologies advance it’s now possible to get close to a wired connection speed with wireless connections.

I Have a Wireless Access Point, How Can I Improve The Connection In My House?

The wireless connection throughout your house largely depends on the products you’ve got connected up to your router.

There are various Wi-Fi standards that have been introduced over the last 10 years or so. Here are the Wi-Fi standards from oldest to newest:

  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
  • 802.11ac

Most ISP providers will supply you with a 802.11n router which should be suffice for most consumers. However, with the latest BT Home Hub 5 which incorporates the latest 802.11ac technologies, you’ll be able to achieve faster speeds at longer ranges. Be sure to check that your Wi-Fi device supports the ‘ac’ or ‘n’ technologies. For example, iPhone 4/5 support up to ‘n’, whilst the iPhone 5S and beyond will support the latest ‘ac’ technology.

Wi-Fi Extenders

Introducing a wireless extender into your home can help eradicate those Wi-Fi blackspots.

BT Mini Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 600 Kit
BT Mini Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 600 Kit – shop.bt.com

BT’s Wi-Fi Home Hotspot Plus 600 Kit has been designed to work with any service provider to make sure everyone can make the most of their Broadband at home or in the office.

If you’re looking to improve the wireless connectivity within your home then be sure to take a look at our full range here.

 

 

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