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Wireless Access Point vs. Range Extender (Explained)

Getting the full range of access from your Wi-Fi without any issues with dead spots or lag can be frustrating in some locations. Not every building is set up to get the best Wi-Fi access and there are many reasons that the best place for your Wi-Fi device might lead to dead spots. You might also want to have access to Wi-Fi outside your home or business but are having issues with delivering this connectivity due to a lack of range provided by your Wi-Fi network.

If you have been dealing with this frustration for a while without any improvement, you might need to use a wireless access point or a range extender to resolve this issue. Both of these kinds of tools can provide different but effective solutions for your lack of range of connectivity in some areas of your home or business. You can also look into a managed WiFi solution like EPB Smart Net that provides the needed equipment, setup, and ongoing support for a monthly charge.

If you want to learn more about the difference between a wireless access point and a range extender, you need to read on!

Access Point Vs Extender for My Tennessee Home or Business Internet

An access point allows Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network. This means that you will have to have wiring installed at each location that you want to use an access point to cover. This device acts like a central hub that allows other Wi-Fi-enabled devices to connect to the network. An extender works to make your existing coverage area wider by increasing the signal strength and stretching the coverage span to include dead spots and other areas that have not been getting access before its addition. An extender can just be plugged into the wall and does not require additional wiring to work.

These two tools provide different solutions for the same kind of problem and you might find that one is more effective for your needs than another. There are reasons that you should choose one of these solutions over the other and we will discuss them further on in this article.

wifi access point vs range extender

What is an Access Point?

An access point is often used in larger spaces like a big office, or if you want to have access to Wi-Fi outside of a building. This is a tool that is used to increase the network coverage by as much as 100%. The access point provides another point of connection to your existing network, which does not mean that the existing network has increased its range on its own. Access points also require additional wiring to be used and cannot just be plugged in to increase the range of your internet.

The access point basically links to the existing network that you have in place and provides a new coverage area for additional access. This is why it is so effective at taking care of the needs of large buildings with internet access or large outdoor spaces that need to be covered without dead spots or other issues.

Many colleges, big businesses with warehouse spaces, restaurants, and other service providers that have outdoor spaces that are used for business purposes will use an access point to make sure that their internet coverage is complete in all areas that it is needed.

This might be overkill for a home that is having some problems with dead spots in coverage but there are some home uses that might require an access point. The use of the internet in a large backyard or a big personal garage might necessitate having an access point to increase the range of your internet.

range extender vs wireless access point

What is an Extender?

Extenders make the Wi-Fi network that you have in place reach farther. This is a common solution for home use since you are probably just trying to make sure that you resolve dead spots inside your home or maybe you are trying to provide coverage to a location like a garage or a shop that is connected to the central part of your home.

An extender makes the existing network have more range but you will only get about a 50% increase with this solution. The edges of the network with this solution in place might be spottier as far as connection goes when compared with an access point. Range extenders are more cost-effective than access points and are often more than enough boost to coverage for private use. The main benefit of this kind of solution is that you will not have to wire your home to add it which would be necessary for an access point.

range extender vs wifi access point

Benefits of an Access Point

Access points are often more flexible than a wireless router and can provide connections with varying patterns for different devices. This can make it a great choice for office needs but it might also be an ideal solution for your needs at home as well.

Access points can also support hundreds of users at a time. This is much more beneficial for office use as well for obvious reasons. Lastly, access points can extend coverage by hundreds of meters which can be excellent for warehouses and large business spaces.

Benefits of Extenders

Extenders are more budget-friendly and they are easier to set up than access points. You will not be likely to need to have the ability to connect to many kinds of devices in your home and you will likely never need to provide access to hundreds of people at a time either. This is a device made specifically for home use and it works perfectly in this kind of environment because of this.

Range extenders are easy to set up and they work very well without a lot of messing around with settings. This is a plug-and-play device that you will be able to use even if you do not have lots of tech skills. The extension to your coverage area that an extender can offer is often more than enough for personal use needs. If you do not have the ability to place your Wi-Fi router at the center of your home, an extender might not solve your problem, but this is a rare situation.

How Do I Know If I Should Choose a Wireless Access Point vs a Range Extender for my Tennessee Property?

If you are not sure which kind of solution is right for your needs, you should do some research. You might consider measuring the distance that you are trying to cover with your extender so that you can be sure that it will take care of your needs. You can also look into the other advantages of an access point to see if this device might give you additional features and functions that you would like to have access to as a result of extending your Wi-Fi connectivity.

At the end of the day, either of these items will solve your problems with spotty Wi-Fi coverage in your home or business, so you will just need to decide based on your personal preference. You might not be able to cover your whole home or business area with an extender and this would mean that you will have to pick an access point. As a rule of thumb, most home Wi-Fi coverage needs can be handled by an extender while most business coverage needs will necessitate an access point.

wireless access point or range extender
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