So, what is a wireless access point you may be knowing kind of what a wireless access point is and if you don’t you’ve likely used one before. So now we will learn about what a wireless access point actually is but first we need to understand what traditional wired networks are like and what we’re even talking about here where our wireless access points go so imagine we have a local area network your common land this describes the type of network that’s at your house. So, we have a host computer that’s wired into a hardwired switch that’s wired into a router which provides access to the internet. This describes a wired network that will just be just like at your home so we need to understand that first again we have our host wired into the network and that’s your common local area network or LAN now what if we had a host that needed to access the network wirelessly.
Wireless LAN (WLAN)-
We need a specific type of device called an access point or a wireless AP to provide that wireless network access to the land makes sense now most common So routers small office/ home office routers will come with a built-in wireless connectivity so the device you have the router at your house is usually a combo device with a router and a switch and a wireless AP built in just a preface that if that’s where your mind is going right now so we need this wireless AP to provide wireless access to our network and whenever we do that whenever we install a wireless AP we have in effect created a WLAN or a wireless local area network so we can say that our wireless access points provide access to the network or the LAN wirelessly and when we do that it’s called a wireless LAN.
So, what other information should we know about wireless networks and why less a piece what you know that all wireless stuff and wireless LANs fall under the standard 802.11 that’s IEEE 802.11and surely, you’ve probably read or seen or heard this term before and we have many different flavors of 802.11. We have ABC in and AC now these letters represent different forms of the 802.11 standard and they represent different speeds, different WAN widths, different data rates and things like that. We’re not going to dive into all those I just want you to understand what they actually kind of are generally right because if you’ve seen that before well now you know what they mean generally so what is some other information we need to know well commonly out in the field we’re going to have different names for our access points we might call them a lap or WAP. A WAP for short which is wireless access point or we might just say AP or access point or we might just say Wireless AP So now go install that wireless AP. So, there’s many different ways we’ll actually hear them called out in the field.
Different types of Wireless Access Point (WAP)-
Some different types of wireless access points that we’ll learn are – the first type is standalone wireless access point. So, you just have your regular local area network you take your access point you plug it into your network. That’s a standalone wireless access point. Just a single access point to provide wireless access to the land creating what a wireless LAN. What’s another type is controller based. This is a type of AP that you’re going to see most often in the field and things like enterprise networks or large networks why and what do we mean by controller.
The controller is a server that connects all the wireless access points and allows you to control them through just a single pane of glass through one location. So, you can see how that would be extremely handy for a large network that has lots of wireless APs. You can then control all your access points in the network maybe you have hundreds of access points, you can control all of those from a single location or a single server.
So, controller-based APs are designed to connect to that kind of server right and then the last type of wireless AP is that which looks like a router with a built-in access point. So, the router at your house that provides you with internet access is likely one of the most of the time when you go to Walmart you go to Best Buy or you go to one of these places and buy something like ad-link router or a Linksys router or once another one Net-Gear something like that. Usually it’s a router that has built-in wireless access and really, it’s a triple combo device it’ll have a router a switch and a wireless AP all built-in to the same device.