Wireless Routers and Access Points are wireless controllers that allow wireless devices such as laptops, smartphones and media extenders to connect to a wireless network. So, what makes them different? Essentially, Routers are designed to do everything you need for networking — one product that works with both wired and wireless devices. An access point by itself typically lacks the features to work independently for two reasons. First, Access Points typically do not have firewalls or other security measures. Second, most Access Points do not have a wired network, so desktops and other wired network devices need to be connected via wireless adapters.
What do Access Points offer that Routers do not? One of the most common uses of an Access Point is to connect it to a wired network using a Router then run a cable to another location. This allows the wireless network to be extended, and can be done with minimal configuration of the access point and no additional adjustments for the router.
In simplified terms, the router connects directly to the modem, and an access point provides the wireless functionality for the network.
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