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APs, Bridges & Routers

Wireless Access Points

Abbreviated as WAP or AP, a Wireless Access Point, is a hardware device on a local area network which allows wired networks and devices with the wireless capability to connect via a wireless standard such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. They typically feature antennae and radio transmitters that enable connectivity between different devices and a network or the internet.

WAPs usually have router functionality in at least one of their operating modes, which is why they’re typically referred to as “routers”. They also have firewall capability in at least one of their modes. Wireless access points are commonly used to facilitate connectivity at home, at offices or public places such as shops, train stations, coffee shops, and airports.

Wireless access points are popularly thought of in terms of Wi-Fi, which utilizes the 802 series wireless standards. While there’re numerous other wireless standards, many times the terms Wireless access point and Wi-Fi hotspot are used synonymously.

Modes of Wireless Access Points

Most wireless access points can serve as access points for clients. Others have additional wireless modes which you can use to introduce multiple access points to your network, extend the range or bridge different network segments. Below is a quick look are different modes of Wireless Access Points.
AP mode: This is the most common and default mode that comes with all wireless routers. In this mode, the router acts as a central point of connection which allows wireless clients to connect to it. This connection makes both wireless and wired clients to appear as if they are on the same network. 

Client mode: This mode works the same as a wireless card that clients use. This is used when you need to connect various LAN users in an office, building or home via a wireless link. You can also use it to connect a subnet to a remote access point. 

Wireless Bridge: This mode allows one access point to connect to another access point that has point-to-point bridging capability. The connection is usually protected against unauthorized access by other devices. This could be used if, for instance, you want to connect two buildings via a wireless connection. 

Wired bridge mode: This mode is used to connect two routers where one acts as a router and the other is set up in bridge mode. For instance, if you install an Ubiquiti or MikroTik ruter as a bridge, you can quickly take advantage of supper fast Wi-Fi speeds on devices that typically don’t have native gigabit Wi-Fi. You can also connect various devices such as a Smart TV, NAS, game console or a Blu-ray player at gigabit speeds. 

Wireless Bridges
A wireless bridge is a network hardware device used to connect two different LAN (local area network) segments. It does this by bridging the wireless connectivity between the two devices. It works more or less like the wired network bridge by connecting LANS that are located at different locations or are separated logically.   Data Alliance carries Ubiquiti, Mimosa and IgniteNet bridges.
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