The Simple Definition
Imagine being able to access the internet from anywhere in your house without the need for cables and wires. That’s exactly what a wireless access point (WAP) allows you to do.
A WAP is a networking device that allows wireless devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets to connect to a wired network and access the internet. It works by receiving signals from wireless devices and forwarding them to the wired network, where they can be processed and sent to the internet.
Think of a WAP as a kind of translator between the wireless and wired worlds. Just like how a translator allows people speaking different languages to communicate, a WAP allows wireless devices to communicate with the wired network.
Places where a Wireless Access Point will be in the network
A WAP can be connected to a router, switch, or other networking device to provide wireless access to the internet. It can also be used to extend the range of an existing wireless network, allowing you to access the internet in areas of your home or office where the signal was previously weak.
In addition to providing wireless access to the internet, WAPs can also be configured to provide other network services, such as virtual private networking (VPN) and Quality of Service (QoS). This allows you to create a secure and reliable wireless network that can support a wide range of applications and devices.
What is next?
We will continue using this series to identify and describe multiple Network devices. How they fit in a typical network.
Other topics, part of this series
- The Basics of Networking | Network Elements | Routers
- The Basics of Networking | Network Elements | Switches
- The Basics of Networking | Network Elements | Firewalls and NGWF
- The Basics of Networking | Network Elements | Wireless LAN Controllers
- The Basics of Networking | Network Elements | Endpoints, Servers and Computers
About the Author:
Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520
With over 18 years of professional experience, Andres is a specialist in Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies, Enterprise Networks, and Network Security. He has consulted for numerous companies in South Florida, including Financial Institutions, on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has played a key role in several high-profile implementations, utilizing Cisco technologies such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security, and Hosted IPT Service Provider infrastructures.