access point

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access point

A base station in a wireless LAN. Although there are other wireless technologies that use access points, the term generally refers to a Wi-Fi network. Access points (APs) are stand-alone devices that plug into an Ethernet switch or hub; however, access point functionality is also built into a router (see wireless router).

Like a Cellular Phone System
Multiple access points can be deployed in an organization, and users roaming with their mobile devices are handed off from one access point (AP) to another.

AP Name = Service Set Identifier (SSID)
Wi-Fi networks are assigned a name by the user or network administrator. When devices search for Wi-Fi networks, they display the names, called "service set identifiers" (SSIDs), of all the Wi-Fi access points in the vicinity. For more details, see SSID. See virtual access point and wireless LAN.

Access Points
Access points (APs) are similar to cellphone towers, but transmit shorter distances. Their coverage ranges from as little as 50 feet in diameter to as far as 1,000 feet with amplification. Mobile users are automatically handed off from one access point to another as they meander.

First 802.11 Access Point
The InTalk WR1200 was the first access point (AP) to conform to the IEEE 802.11 standard. Introduced in 1998, the unit supported a maximum rate of 2 Mbps. (Image courtesy of Jod Edney.)

External and Internal Antennas
APs are available with external antennas like our desktop example (top) as well as ceiling mounted with internal antennas (bottom).

External and Internal Antennas
APs are available with external antennas like our desktop example (top) as well as ceiling mounted with internal antennas (bottom).
References in periodicals archive ?
This eliminates the need for a power plug at each access point or phone.
For our example, we will use equipment designed for the "g" standard, a Linksys Wireless Access Point Router, which costs about $70, and two Ethernet cables, costing about $5 each.
The fact that two wireless clients can talk directly to one another, bypassing the access point as a whole, can jeopardize both party's confidential files.
Each access point in a wireless network is programmed with a unique identifier known as a Service Set Identifier (SSID).
The price of hardware necessary for wireless has dropped considerably, with access points ranging from $150 to $500 apiece, and network adapter cards as Low as $60.
Bluesocket's BlueSecure Access Points are next-generation, "thin" access points that work in conjunction with BlueSecure Controllers for enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments.
Underscoring SMC's commitment to making wireless connectivity truly practical for multiple applications, the EliteConnect Universal Wireless Access Point joins the EliteConnect Universal 2.
The Netwave Access Point serves as a bridge between a cordless Netwave LAN and a wired Ethernet LAN.
Tatara has established partnerships with some of the industry's leading femtocell access point and packet data gateway vendors in order to ensure proper interworking of their products with the Tatara femtocell network integration products.
Vivato debuted the Bridge/Router last April and is engaged in an extensive beta program to test the product's capabilities as a stand-alone access point and as part of a Wi-Fi system, which includes Vivato's 2.
Working with Netopia is a logical next step for us, since it allows us to offer mobile operators best-in-class femtocell technology through the fully managed ZoneGate access point.
Wavelink's rogue access point detection offering is the only one of its kind that does not require special equipment or a dedicated effort from an IT administrator.