Let’s Take a Look at the Differences between Access Point and Router

Differences between Access Point and Router
Access point and router are hardware devices that we often encounter if we are in a place that provides an internet connection such as an office, campus, school, or wherever the internet connection is located. However, at first glance, there is no Differences between Access Point and Router. In fact, these two hardware have different functions even though the point is to connect one device to another so that they can be connected to each other.
The basic differences between these two devices are quite simple, but there are other minor, but still important, differences. For this reason, we must know the differences between the two so that when you work on a corporate network you understand which conditions require a router or access point.

Understanding and Explanation between Access Point and Router

Let us first discuss the understanding between these two hardware and their functions. Maybe when you already know the function or even the meaning of these two devices you will know the difference.

Understanding Access Points

An access point is a wireless network device that acts as a portal for devices to connect to a local area network. Access points are used to extend the wireless coverage of an existing network and to increase the number of users who can connect to that network.
A high-speed Ethernet cable runs from the router to the access point, which converts the wired signal into a wireless signal. Wireless connectivity is usually the only option available for access points, establishing a link with the end device using Wi-Fi.

Access Point Functions

There are several important functions of an access point that you should know, including:

Internet Signal Spreader

The access point can function as a range extender. As the name implies, a range extender extends the range of an existing Wi-Fi network. Because range extenders connect wirelessly to the Wi-Fi router, they should be placed where the Wi-Fi router signal is already strong, not in actual dead spots. For example, if your router is in the basement of a two-story building, installing a range extender on the ground floor (where the range from the Wi-Fi router is still strong) will eliminate potential dead spots on the second floor.

Connector Between Networks

Access points also have a function as a liaison between networks. How to? In short, access points can be useful for connecting local networks using cables with wireless networks such as wifi, Bluetooth, and others.

Can Be Used To Set IP Address Automatically

Access points can function as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers that are capable of assigning IP addresses to each connected device.

Network Security

Although it looks very simple, the function of this access point, in fact, the access point can also be a network security. The trick is to provide security features WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). This is a wireless network security with key match authentication provided by the client to the access point. While WAP is a security method created to complement the WEP method by adding decryption.

Definition of Router

A router is a switching device for a network, capable of routing network packets, based on their address, to another network or device. Among other things, it is used for Internet access, for network coupling or to connect branch offices to the head office via VPN (Virtual Private Network).

Router Functions

There are two main functions of the router, the two functions are:

Connect 2 Networks

Routers have the function of connecting multiple computers, mobile phones, tablets, or other devices to form a managed local area network. A Local Area Network (LAN) can be set up simply by using a router and connecting one or more devices to it. Modern routers allow users to connect devices either via an Ethernet cable or wirelessly (using Wi-Fi).

Provides Internet Access to All Compatible Devices Connected to the Router

Routers have a function to provide internet access to devices connected to them and can also send data to each other to these various devices. However, in order for a router to distribute and transmit data to devices within a LAN, it must be connected to the Internet service provider’s subscriber premises (CPE) equipment via an Ethernet cable.
Apart from providing a platform for various devices to communicate with each other, routers also have firewall and password protection functions. This ensures that the connected wireless devices are protected from any threats that may arise from outside the LAN.

Differences between Access Point and Router Based on the Features

Let’s discuss the main discussion, namely the differences between access point and a router. This time we will differentiate them based on their features. What does it mean? Here are the differences:

Router Access Point
By first connecting the router to the cable provider and configuring it once, you don’t have to configure each computer or laptop connected afterwards on your home/office network separately. Devices located after the access point in the network need to be configured with the provider settings.
You can easily set up your home network: the router will act as a dhcp server, distributing IP addresses within the network, you just need to connect the device to the configured router – it will do the rest. You will have to struggle again with home network settings, including, perhaps, getting an additional IP address from the provider
The router has a network firewall function, a built-in firewall, and therefore provides better network protection. Access points have no protective functions, except for the simplest traffic encryption.
If you need a high-speed connection for certain tasks, you can always connect your computer to the router with a network cable and get the maximum speed from the provider. Most access points do not have a wired data transmission interface to the end device, and wireless connection speeds are not suitable for all applications.
Some very specialized programs/interfaces may require you to configure port forwarding on the router because the device’s internal IP address is not available “outside”, of the router’s subnet. Access points translate traffic transparently, and this is great for some very specialized tasks. End device IP address can be accessed from outside without additional configuration

Features Not Available in Access Point

If we take a quick look at the Differences between Access Point and Router, then there are several points where there are features found on the router but not on the access point, including:

Differences between Access Point and Router in DHCP Function

Access point is similar to hb/switch. Access points have the ability to automatically distribute IP addresses to other wireless users. Also, the wireless router can also be a DHCP Server. Where usually this DHCP Server is run on the router device or on the server.

Differences between Access Point and Router in Bandwitch Control

Routers can be useful as bandwidth control or regulate the speed of traffic sending and receiving data. While the access point does not have this function.

Parent Control

What does parent control mean? The point is where we as clients can manage or filter which websites can be accessed or which are not allowed by the user.

Differences between Access Point and Router in Internet Access Control

Internet access control is the act of keeping unauthorized users and devices off a private network. Internet access control is one aspect of network security.


In most cases, in order to distribute the Internet to several home devices such as computers, laptops or smartphones, it is better to buy a WiFi router and connect the provider cable to it. Especially if the router is cheap. For other purposes: receiving traffic from a provider via a wireless connection, setting up an unlimited WiFi network in the office, HotSpot in a café or hotel, you need an access point. If you need advice, NDS will help you find a solution for any specific task such as router setup or proper access point installation.



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