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Why an Access Point Doesn't Act as a Router

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Why an Access Point Doesn't Act as a Router

An access point is different from a router

The most important device to connect to the Internet in our homes is the router. It is the device that receives the Internet signal and distributes it to all the devices we have, such as computers, mobile phones, TVs... However, we do not always connect these devices directly to the router; we may use third-party devices.

These computers are known as access points. They do not act as a router and their operation is different, although they serve as a link to connect to the Internet. But we can say that an access point cannot act as a router. What an access point actually does is create a local wireless network. This allows us to connect from other devices. It is something very common that we can find in public places, such as airports, shopping centers ... But we can also have it in our home.

Why doesn't it really act as a router? Their mission is to project the signal they receive precisely from the router, but not by themselves. They serve to be able to carry the connection to other distant places, for example through LAN cables connected to these access points. 

They serve as a complement to a router

Yes, we can say that an access point can perfectly serve as a complement to a router. Although the latter continues to be the fundamental piece to be able to connect to the Internet, an access point will allow us to expand the available area.

The latter that we mention is very interesting in order to be able to connect without worrying too much about the area that our router is capable of covering. We can expand the range and have access in different rooms or areas in any shopping center or work area.

Also, a router can work perfectly without an access point. However, an access point will not be able to fulfill its function if it is not connected to a router. It is therefore dependent, although it comes to serve as a good complement.

It is also a good complement to expand the number of users that can connect to a network. In this case, it is especially oriented to large companies or workspaces where there will be many users who may need access to the Internet and who could saturate the router if they all connect directly to it. There may be multiple access points.

Therefore, as we can see, there are important differences between both types of devices. An access point does not act as a router, it cannot fulfill the same function, but it will be an interesting complement to connect many users.