Choosing a wireless access point is not easy especially for people with limited knowledge. Many people confuse between access points (AP) and Wi-Fi router and this further complicates decision making. Basically, an access point gives you access to the existing LAN network.
Wireless types allow you to link computers, laptops, mobile devices and other devices to the network wirelessly. Wi-Fi routers are simply gateways that allow multiple devices to connect to the network via a single point.
Lately, it’s common to find devices that serve as AP and routers, and if you are not very technically inclined you may be confused on which product is the best.
Finding the Best Wireless Access Point
- Range: Top products come with reliable range for a seamless experience. 5,000 to 10,000 square feet seems to be the standard.
- Speed: The best AP comes with adequate speed and is least affected by interference or obstacles. The network speed is measured in megabits, kilobits, or bits per second (bps).
- Multifunctional: In addition to being an access point, a good device also serves as a Wifi Router, Wireless Client, Repeater and Network Bridge.
- Extra Features: Good access points include additional features such as wireless N, WDS support, improved security and more.
Best Wireless Access Points in 2020
10. EnGenius Wireless Access Point
Able to offer speeds of up to 1750 Mbps, the EnGenius ENS1750 is among the fastest AP in the market. It operates on two bands; 2.4 @ 29dBm power transmission and 5.0 GHz @ 28dBm power transmit.
The portable device features internal 5dBi omni-patch antennas for maintaining high performance. And to protect it from the elements, the unit comes with a waterproof (IP55) housing. When connected to another ENS1750 (client device), it can reach as far as 800 feet. However, the distance reduces when the client device is a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.Check price on Amazon
9. D-Link Systems Wireless PoE Access Point
The D-Link wireless Access point helps create and maintain a good wireless network. It boasts of speeds as high as 1750 Mbps and works with 2.4 or 5.0 bands. The Plenum-Rated PoE gadget supports 802.11ac, 802.3 @ Poe and can be managed independently or via free Central Wi-Fi manager from D-Link.
Other noteworthy features include Load Balancing, QoS, Airtime Fairness and Band Steering. One of its key drawbacks is its range which lags behind some top sellers.Check price on Amazon
8. Mikrotik RB951G-2HND Wireless Access Point
The Mikrotik RB951G-2HND has been making waves in the Wireless Access Point market. Firstly, it’s due to its 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet ports that allow connection of several devices simultaneously. Secondly, it attains 1000mW in a 2.4GHz band. Thirdly, the unit is based on superior Atheros CPU that is more powerful and faster.
Other features making it a top seller include compatibility with 802.11b/g/n, integrated antennas, and one USB 2.0 port. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with external connectors.Check price on Amazon
7. Linksys WAP300N IEEE Wireless Access Point
The Linksys brand boasts of a number of Access Points under its sleeve with the WAP300N among its best sellers. It is used to create a new wireless network or upgrading the existing one. The unit works with either 2.4 or 5.0 GHz bands and delivers speeds of up to 300 Mbps.
Together with the two antennas, this gadget improves video streaming and sharing of content. The 802.11n -compatible unit also features 1 Fast Ethernet 10/100 port. Unfortunately, setting it up is not very easy.Check price on Amazon
6. EnGenius ENH202 Access Point
Compliant with 802.11n networks, the EnGenius ENH201 is both an access Point and Bridge. It has a connection rate of up to 300 Mbps and comes with an integrated high-gain directional 10dbi antenna and 800mW power.
Together with the multiple Ssids plus Vlan Binding, the Access Point offers adequate speed, longer range of up to 2 miles and can be linked to IP security cameras. Installing the IP65 waterproof unit may, however, be a challenge for people with limited knowledge.Check price on Amazon
5. Cisco-Linksys WAP54G Wireless Access Point
Creating a strong network in your office or home is more achievable with the Cisco-Linksys WAP54G. This wireless access point can achieve high data speeds of 54 Mbps. It is also backward compatible with IEEE 802.11b devices and will attain speeds of 11 Mbps.
The unit supports WEP encryption (64 and 128 bit) and wireless MAC addresses filtering. However, it cannot connect several devices since it lacks a router.Check price on Amazon
4. Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise AP
The Ubiquiti Unifi UAP is both an Access Point and Bridge and is suited for 11b/g/n enterprise Wi-Fi System. It’s famed for its exceptional high speeds and decent coverage that makes it suitable for both home and office.
The device runs on 24V, 1A power source and can be mounted on the wall or ceiling. Although efficient and durable, the Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise only supports 2.4 GHz band and not 5.0, and doesn’t include a router.Check price on Amazon
3. TP-Link N300 Wireless Access Point
With speeds of up to 300 Mbps, compatibility with 802.11b/g/n networks and frequency range of 2.4 GHz, this wireless access point by TP-Link is fit for home and office use. It is ideal for interruption sensitive applications such as VoIP, online gaming, streaming videos and much more.
The device is also suitable for applications that require high bandwidth. It features two detachable omni-directional antennas, one 10/100 RJ45 Ethernet Port and also doubles up as a Bridge. Some consumers nonetheless say the speed dips when used with cell phones.Check price on Amazon
2. Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise AP Unifi
The Ubiquiti Networks Unifi Access Point allows you to create an 802.11n connection. It comes with a compact, easy-install design and can be fixed on the ceiling, wall and other locations. The unit comes with 3 dual band antennas for better signal and LED lights for indicating the status of the unit.
The device has a low power consumption of 9 watts, features two 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 48V/0.5A PoE adapter. Proprietary software is however needed to configure this access point.Check price on Amazon
1. Securifi Almond Access Point
Setting up the Securifi Almond AP can take as little as 3 minutes. This is credited to its simple design, easy-to-follow instructions, and Touch Screen Wizard. The unit offers good range and can be connected to different types of routers. It is compatible with brands like Linksys, Net gear, Belkin and more.
The multipurpose gadget doesn’t come with a DSL model and doubles up as a range Extender, Wi-Fi Router, and Wireless Bridge. It will work with PCs, Mac, windows, IPad, iPhone, Xbox, Android and other devices.Check price on Amazon
Creating a quality network at home or office shouldn’t be a problem. Upgrading the current one to a more powerful and reliable wireless network doesn’t need to be a challenge.
With the right access points, you will not only experience improved speeds but also quality video streaming, easy sharing of content and improved security.