If you plan to DIY a wireless local area network (WLAN), you may want to know what a wireless access point is and what those terms like 802.11a/b/g/n refer to. After all, it is the most important device in a WLAN, and a bad choice would affect the overall performance. What follows are some wireless access point reviews that may help you.
What is a Wireless Access Point?
It refers to the device, which acts as the centralized receiver and sender of wireless signals in a local area network. In other words, all other wireless devices talk with the access point only. If two other wireless devices want to communicate with each other, they will have to use an access point as a medium. Thus, the first thing to consider is to have Linksys wireless access point setup properly, wherein Linksys is one of the common brand of WAP devices.
When the number of devices increases, the overall bandwidth demand will also increase. The access point, because of its capacity limit, will become the bottleneck of your WLAN.
In addition, since all the traffic goes through the access point, and a malicious attacker can easily capture wireless packets, security of a WLAN relies greatly on the encryption strategy of the access point.
What Does 802.11a/b/g/b Mean?
802.11a/b/g/n refers to different industrial wireless standards. 802.11g is the most widely adopted standard now, and most of the wireless devices you see are 802.11g compatible. 802.11n is the newest wireless standard, which provides higher speed limit and wider signal coverage. 802.11n is a promising standard and is likely to be supported by most new wireless devices. 802.11a/b are relatively old standards and not used very often.
How Does the Standards Affect a Wireless Access Point?
As one of the wireless devices, an access point is greatly defined by the standard it implements. Different standards lead to different frequencies of channels, transfer rate limit and security measures. The 802.11g access points use the 2.4GHz channel and have a transfer rate limit of 54Mbps. The wide spread of 802.11g standards is now a problem because it leads to high probability of interference between wireless devices such as wireless keyboards and wireless adapters.
The 802.11n access points can use either the 2.4GHz or the 5.4GHz channel and has a transfer rate limit of 540Mbps. The 5.4GHz channel is cleaner and fewer conflicts will happen. The 540Mbps transfer rate limit makes it comparable with the speed of a wired local network. Thus, having a wireless router booster as well can make the connection more faster.
The above wireless access point reviews are mainly centered on the importance of standards. When you are purchasing your own WAP, you should look for as many specific reviews on specific products as possible.