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.
There are many good units available with some of our favorite picks below.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for Best Wireless Access Points 2021
- EnGenius EWS357AP Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
- Netgear EX6120
- TP-Link RE450
- TP-Link N300
- NETGEAR AC1200
- Dodocool N300
EnGenius EWS357AP Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) 2×2, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Managed Indoor Wireless Access Point
The EnGenius EWS357AP is a WiFi 6 802.11ax wireless access point giving it the newest WiFi technology.
WiFi-6 was released in 2020 and is a big improvement over older wireless standards both-in speed and security.
Keep in mind many devices do not have built in WiFi-6 and will default to an older standard.
All wireless protocol are backward compatible so any older devices will automatically use the fastest protocol they have built-in.
For example, an Xbox One has 802.11ac WiFi-5 technology which it will default to if using a WiFi-6 access point.
NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender EX6120 – Coverage up to 1200 sq.ft. 20 devices with AC1200 Dual Band Wireless Signal Booster & Repeater (up to 1200Mbps speed)
The Netgear EX6120 is a 802.11ac range extender/access point that works in both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies.
Like most access points it also can be used as a range extender.
The basic setup for AP mode is to run an Ethernet cable to it from a router and setup the SSID and password for wireless devices to connect to it.
TP-Link | PCMag Editor’s Choice – AC1750 Wifi Range Extender | Up to 1750Mbps | Dual Band, Repeater, Internet Booster, Access Point | Extend Wifi Signal to Smart Home & Alexa Devices (RE450)
The TP-Link RE450 is also a 802.11ac device that has multiple modes including acting as an access point.
TP-Link is a very popular company that makes many good WiFi products from routers to WiFi adapters.
The RE450 unit is a good in a variety of wireless scenarios including access point.
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.
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
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 expand-ability if needed. For example, 2-3 can be started with and if more coverage is needed more simply bought.
Units can expand an 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 AC1200 Dual Band 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.
dodocool N300 WiFi Extender WiFi 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 can be used as an AP.
It plugs into a wall outlet and can boost, extend an 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.
Best Wireless Access Points 2020 Comparison Chart
|Ubiquiti AP Unifi||802.11N||2.4GHz|
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.