Wireless Access Points (AP) may seem dated since most routers have built-in wireless, but AP can be useful in many scenarios when it comes to WiFi.
WiFi Access points are mainly used in large homes or business that need more coverage than a router can give. They can be used in any environment a WiFi signal needs a boost.
They can add wireless to any network by converting a wired Ethernet signal to wireless.
Early APs where used to add wireless to a network. This made them an invaluable tool in the early days of WiFi.
Most any network today will already have wireless built-in, for this reason most APs today are multipurpose, and can also be used to extend, boost, or bridge WiFi communication.
Our Picks for Best Wireless Access Points 2017
dodocool N300 WiFi Extender Wi-Fi Range Extender Router/Repeater/AP Mode with 2 Ethernet Ports 2.4GHz 300Mbps Support 802.11n/b/g Network
The dodocool N300 is a Wireless-N device that will extend a WiFi signal or be used as a AP.
It can be used as an access point by plugging in a wired Ethernet connection, or boosting/extending a existing wireless signal.
It plugs into a wall outlet and can boost, extend a existing wireless signal or can convert a wired connection into a WiFi access point.
While it does use the older 802.11n protocol it would be compatible with most any device and has a very easy WPS button setup.
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TP-LINK N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender (TL-WA850RE)
This unit made by TP-LINK is also a booster, extender, or access point.
It is wireless-n and can transfer data up-to 300Mbps.
Like other units is can be used as a wireless access point by converting a wired connection to a wireless signal.
It also plugs into a wall socket for power. This is a good option for those looking for a low cost budget solution.
Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise AP Unifi (UAP)
Ubiquiti Networks created this enterprise solution that can start small and grow as needed.
The small round access point can be used single or in series with multiple units talking to each other.
This gives them great expandability if needed. For example 2-3 can be started with and if more coverage is needed more simply bought.
Units can expand a existing WiFi signal or convert a wired signal.
Home owners can benefit by using 1 to 3 units, while a business can benefit by using many more. Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise AP are often used in trailer parks and motels for a easy budget solution to enterprise WiFi.
NETGEAR Dual Band 802.11ac Wireless Access Point (WAC104-100NAS)
For those who need the fast speed the new 802.11ac protocol can transfer at then this NETGEAR 802.11ac Access Point is worth a look.
It has transfer speeds of 300Mbps at 2.4 GHz, and 867Mbps at 5 GHz along with being backward compatible with older devices.
It is a good unit that would a good fit in a large home or a small office.
Wireless access points have evolved over the years to help manage a wireless environment in the easiest way possible.
The wide range in which they can fit into a network make them an invaluable tool for a homeowner or business owner.
Routers can do a great job when all the devices are close and little barriers in the way, but once any distance is introduced they will need help to get a good signal.
Most access point devices today are multi purpose and can be configured to help a router in a number of ways, from simply boosting a wireless signal to converting a wired connection to wireless.
Most homes will be fine with a low cost wireless-N unit while a larger home or small business will likely want the speed of a 802.11ac unit.