Expert Telecommunications & Internet Solutions

Access Points

A wireless access point is a device that enables wireless clients such as laptops, smartphones and tablets to connect to an internet router. This in turn enables wireless clients to connect to the internet or to other devices that are connected to the router.

In most homes or small business premises the functions of a wireless access point are usually integrated into a single device known as a wireless router.

However, there are situations in which it is necessary to deploy one or more stand-alone wireless access points.

This would be the case if the router is located in an area that offers poor wireless coverage (eg inside a cupboard or comms cabinet) or if additional wireless coverage is required in areas beyond the range of the wireless router.

A stand-alone wireless access point would be connected to a spare network port on the router or via an intermediate network switch. The access point would typically be connected to the router or network switch using a cable connection, but it could also be connected using a wireless ethernet bridge.

Extending wireless coverage

Installing additional wireless access points is usually the only way in which wireless coverage can be extended. These can either be stand-alone devices that are connected by cable to the router or network switch or they can be integrated into devices such as Repeaters and HomePlug adaptors.

In the case of a Repeater, the wireless access point is connected to the router by means of a wireless connection. In the case of a HomePlug adaptor, the wireless access point is connected to the router using the mains electrical cabling.

Multiple wireless access points

In larger premises such as a multi-floor office block or factory site it is usually necessary to install multiple wireless access points in strategic locations throughout the premises to provide the required coverage. In such situations it would also be beneficial to install a wireless controller to manage the overall wireless network.

Among other things a wireless controller simplifies configuration of the network and enables common security settings to be applied. More advanced wireless controller based networks would have advanced features such as meshing, load balancing and fallback routing.

A wireless controller would be essential for public WiFi hotspots where it is necessary to charge for access and keep a record of the internet browsing history of each user.

Get in touch with us if you have a specific requirement or if you wish to discuss how your business could make better and more cost-effective use of its existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and services.