7 Differences Between Router and Access Point: Functions, Features, to How it Works

7 Differences Between Router and Access Point: Functions, Features, to How it Works

At present, understanding of the differences in routers and access points is very important for computer network users. Router and access point are two key elements that are often used in modern network configurations. Both to work, study, and socialize, this internet development has become an inseparable part of everyday life.

Although both are often considered similar, there are actually fundamental differences in functionality and the role of both in network infrastructure. So that you understand it more, let’s learn the main difference between router and access point, ranging from functions, features, to how it works through this article!

Recognition of routers and access points

Before understanding the difference between routers and access points, it feels incomplete if you do not understand clearly about the basic concepts of the router and access point. The following is the full explanation.

1. What is Router?

Router is like a heart that drives data flow in the network. The router acts as a central device that connects local networks (LAN) to the internet. Later, the router will bridge to distribute the internet to various devices, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets.

The main task of the router is to determine the best path to deliver data to its destination, both to the internet, to other devices on LAN, or to other networks. The router has the ability to navigate complex data and ensure data to its destination efficiently.

Read Also: 5 Ways Static Routing Works for Computer Networks

2. What is Access Point?

Access Point (AP) is a device that functions to expand the reach of the existing wireless network (WiFi). AP is connected to the router via the Ethernet cable, then emit a wireless signal to allow other devices to be connected to the network.

Just like an antenna that strengthens WiFi signals, AP ensures that devices that are outside the range of routers can still be connected to the internet. AP is usually used in a large area or has many disturbances that weaken WiFi signals, such as multi -storey buildings, cafes, or airports.

Differences Between Router Access Point

Understanding the difference in router and access point in depth is an important first step in choosing the right device to meet the needs of your network. The following is the difference between router and access point that must be understood.

1. Function

The most basic difference between the router and the access point lies in its function. The router acts as a gate between two or more networks, regulates data traffic by continuing data (between local networks (LAN) and extensive networks (WAN). In other words, the router acts as a data traffic regulator in the network and ensure that data is sent to the right goal.

Meanwhile, the Access Point (AP) functions as a wireless access point to the cable network. AP converts wireless data signals into cable signals, allowing wireless devices to connect to the network wirelessly. Simply put, AP can expand the reach of wireless networks (WiFi) that already exist.

Read More: Tasks and Skills of a Network Administrator

2. Features

Outer generally has more complete and flexible features than access points. In addition to its main function that connects networks and managing data traffic, routers are usually also equipped with additional features, such as DHCP Server, Firewall, VPN, and Network Address Translation (NAT).

Meanwhile, access point has features related to wireless connectivity. This includes signal strength, single access mode or double access mode, and wireless network security (such as WPA/WPA2 encryption).

3. How it Works

The way the router works involves the use of the programmed route table to direct data or the internet to the right device. When a data arrives at the router, the router will check the destination address of the package and decide the best path to continue it to the destination network. As for some parts sent by the router, such as the sender data, data type, and destination IP address.

On the other hand, the Access Point (AP) works by detecting and starting the authentication process when the device tries to access it. After the password filling request is sent, the access point verifies the entered password. If true, the device is given permission to be connected and given an IP address through the DHCP service. Access point also controls access, encrypting data, and managing networks for optimal performance and security.

4. Utilization

Routers are generally used as a center point in the network, adjusting internet connections and managing data traffic in the network. Ideally, the router is used to build new networks or connect existing networks. Routers can be used in various places, such as homes, offices, cafes, and schools.

On the other hand, access point is used to expand wireless network range or add wireless connectivity to existing networks. Access points can also be used to create independent wireless networks, separate from existing cable networks.

5. Configuration

Routers generally have a user interface (UI) that allows you to configure network settings, such as network names, passwords, IP addresses, and security settings. The router interface is usually more complex and requires technical knowledge to operate it.

While the access point has a simpler web interface than the router. The web access point interface allows you to configure basic settings, such as network names, passwords, and security settings.

6. Safety

Differences in security between routers and access points reflect the role and function of each device in the network. Routers are generally equipped with firewalls, grouts, and other security features that can protect the network from cyber threats.

Access point has a simpler security feature than a router. Access point security features usually focus on WiFi signal security, such as WPA2 encryption to protect your data from surveillance. You need to make sure that your access point has used strong encryption to protect data.

7. Connection

Finally, the difference between routers and access points also lies in the connection. Routers can be connected to the internet via Ethernet cable or DSL/Cable connection. In addition, the router can also be connected to other devices in LAN through an Ethernet cable or wireless signal.

Meanwhile, the access point must be connected to the router via an Ethernet cable to function. Access Point emits wireless signals to allow other devices to be connected to the network.

When to use a router and access point?

When you have to choose when you should use a router and access point, it is important to consider the complexity and needs of related networks. First of all, the router is very important when you have several networks that need to be connected, such as local networks in offices that need to be connected to the internet. The router acts as a center point to regulate data traffic between the network, as well as managing the IP address and data routes efficiently.

Meanwhile, the use of access points is more recommended when you need to expand wireless network range or add wireless connectivity to existing networks. For example, in an office with a large area or a building with several floors, access point can be installed to ensure that all devices are connected to the network with optimal signal quality.

In closing, let’s focus on differences in routers and access points, ranging from functions, features, ways of working, use, to safety. Understanding a number of these differences can make you choose a network device that suits your needs more intelligently. It should also be noted that both are equally important in ensuring the network runs smoothly and safely.

To manage all centralized routers and access points, consider using cloud services from adins. Cloud computing services from Adins provide the centralized platform for managing the Cloud Server infrastructure network more easily and efficiently.

Why does it have to be cloud computing service from adins? Our professional team will help your company’s IT department in managing infrastructure so that it can focus more on business development. Not only that, you will also get flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency, and increase responsibility for dynamic businesses. Are you interested? Direct contact Adins team for more information!

Differences Between Router and Access Point, 7 Differences Between Router and Access Point: Functions, Features, to How it Works, Advance Innovations

Author :

Ad Ins

Published date :

02 May 2024