We connect two or more devices to share files or get an internet connection. Some network devices make the network connection possible.

Some network devices include a router, access point, switch, hub, modem, network adapter, range extender etc.

In this article, I will compare the access point and router.

Access point

What is the access point?

The access point is a network device that connects with hub, router or switch to make a wireless connection. Some new routers have access point built inside.


What is the router?

A router is a network device that sends/receives data in the network. Two or more routers combine to send data to a wider range. Wireless routers send/receive data wirelessly without needing Ethernet cable. The router is used to send packets of data to the destinations.

Access point v/s router

Number of devices

Access point covers more computers, laptops, and smartphones while router connects fewer devices. The access point connects about 60-80 devices.

Where to use

If you are a home user then you can use a router but if you are in the office you must use the access point. The point is that more devices connect with the access point and fewer devices connect with the router.

Data handling

The router can act as an access point but an access point cannot act as a router. An access point has antennas that direct traffic but actual handling of data is done via router

Internet access

The router gives access to the internet and thus all devices depend upon router but access points connect wireless devices to the LAN via the router.

Network layer

The router works on layers 3 and routes traffic. Layer 3 is concerned with IP. While the access point works on layer 1 and layer 2 of the network. Layer 1 and layer 2 is concerned with connecting wireless devices to LAN.

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