6 Types of the Wireless Access Point

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Nowadays, WiFi-6 access points are more and more popular than before. According to the generations of WiFi, we have known there are WiFi 6 APs, WiFi 5 APs, etc., but do you know how many types the Wireless APs provide?

In this post, let’s discuss the types of APs.

  1. Divided by Applications: Commercial AP and Enterprise AP

Commercial AP: Suitable for commercial environments, such as hotels, guesthouses, KTVs, supermarkets, restaurants and other places, which require aesthetics and have many access users. We know there are Hospitality Access Points, which is designed for hotels, such as Aruba 500H Hospitality WiFi-6 Access Points .

Enterprise-level AP: It is suitable for use in large enterprises, companies and other places, and has high security requirements. Commercial APs can also be used in enterprises. Many manufacturers provide this kind of AP, like Cisco AP, Huawei AP, Aruba AP, Ruckus AP, etc.

access point placement in an office

  1. Divided by installation method: In-wall AP and Ceiling AP

In-wall AP: In-wall AP is sometimes called panel type. It needs to be embedded in the wall during installation, so it is generally necessary to reserve slots. This kind of AP has a compact appearance, and its rate is generally 150Mbps or 300Mbps.

Ceiling AP: It can be directly attached to the wall or ceiling during installation, without entering the wall. The appearance is variable, there are single-frequency and dual-frequency, and the transmission rate is generally higher than that of the wall-mounted AP.

ceiling ap

  1. Divided by frequency band: Single-frequency AP and Dual-frequency AP

Single-frequency AP: Generally refers to a wireless AP that supports 2.4G, and the transmission rate is generally between 150Mbps and 450Mbps, but the anti-interference ability of single-frequency AP is relatively weak.

Dual-band AP: refers to a wireless AP that supports 2.4G and 5.8G at the same time. When in use, the mobile terminal can search for two WiFi signals, with a higher transmission rate and a larger amount of equipment.


  1. Divided by controller needed: Standalone AP and Controller Needed AP

Standalone AP: It’s mostly used in high-demand environments. To achieve bai certification, authentication servers or switches supporting authentication functions are generally required. This AP requires a dedicated wireless controller, and can be used only through the configuration of the wireless controller. It cannot be configured by itself and is suitable for large-scale wireless deployment. Some Cisco access points are needed Cisco wireless controllers.

Controller Needed AP is mostly used in homes and small networks, with relatively complete functions. Generally, a single device can implement access, authentication, routing, VPN, address translation, and even firewall functions.

cisco ap and controller

  1. Divided by Network standards: IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11ax, etc.

By different standards, the access points will provide different frequency band.

Generation WiFi 4 WiFi 5 WiFi 6 WiFi 6E
Protocol 802.11n 802.11ac 802.11ax 802.11ax
Released Date 2009 2013 2018 2020
Frequency band 2.4GHz, 5GHz 5GHz 2.4GHz, 5GHz 4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz
  1. Divided by Environment: Indoor AP and Outdoor AP

In order to adapt to harsh environments, such as dealing with severe weather, high temperature climate, extreme cold weather, and various difficult environments, outdoor access points need to be designed to be more robust and durable, signal requirements are also higher, as well as the signal range that needs to be transmitted wider. Relatively safe indoor environment, so that indoor access points do not need to provide these functions.


Do you have other types of AP? Welcome to leave your idea.

Related Topics:

What is WiFi 6E?

12 Questions You Need to Know about Wi-Fi 6

Buyer Guide: 4 Misunderstandings when choosing an Access Point

Featured Wireless APs For Indoor and Outdoor

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