Access Point Vs. Repeater

Access Point Vs. Repeater

If you’ve purchased a router recently and poked around inside of its settings, you might have seen that you can set it to one of two various modes: “Access Point” and “Repeater”. These are both very beneficial functions of modern-day routers and can fill a specific niche to assist improve your networking setup. The only concerns are what does each one do, and when are they used?

When to Use Each One

Access Point Vs. Repeater

To start, it’s important to understand where these features enter play. If you have a setup where everyone can gladly connect to a router with no concerns, you might not require to use these choices whatsoever. Turning a router into an access point or repeater is mainly for when you want a “middle man” method to connect to a network.

For example, you may not be able to connect your WiFi to Router A due to distance or challenges in the way, so you wish to put Router B between your computer system and Router A and have it “pass along” your WiFi signal. Both of these features can be used to accomplish this.

The Difference in between Wireless Access Points and Wireless Repeaters

WiFi access points (WAPs), and extenders/repeaters (in some cases likewise referred to as boosters) are typically confused. This is partly due to the fact that some devices can be placed in different modes allowing them to do a number of things, consisting of extending/boosting a WiFi signal, in addition to function as an Access Point depending upon network requirements.

Wireless Access Points (WAP)

A Wireless Access Point device connects to your router (or a switch) with an Ethernet cable, and transmits/receives its own signal by means of in-built radios.

WiFi gadgets (customers) such as smart devices, tablets, and laptops etc. can link up straight to it (as a hotspot), and depending upon the size of the facilities or area requiring coverage several WAPs may be required, however can work simultaneously enabling a smooth wireless network (Single Wireless name – SSID).

Clients can typically wander in between each access point, for instance inside an exhibit hall, as if they are linked to a single network, reducing leave, non-connectivity and loss of efficiency.

Wireless Access Points however, do have a drawback as these requirement to be hardwired into the router utilizing a network cable (e.g. RJ45 Cat5 cable) and may need a Power over Ethernet (POE) Injector/switch to power them in cases where power isn’t easily accessible or, a power socket near the device to permit use of the supplied mains cable television, which can be more expensive.

Range Extender/Repeater/Booster

A repeater/extender is very similar to an access point but its task is to just broaden existing router signal protection over a bigger area by utilizing a separate wireless name (SSID). For that reason, creating 2 networks i.e. Router wireless name (NETGEAR) and the extender Wireless name (NETGEAR_EXT). This is ok in particular scenarios, particularly for home users with couple of existing WiFi devices, and with no desire to path cabling around their home.

The downside to a repeater/extender however, is the reality it needs to talk in two directions, i.e. take the router signal, and then throw it out for customer gadgets to get. This efficiently halves any available signal at the customer end, suggesting you might see approximately 50% loss of performance and speed. For instance you might have a download speed of 20mbps beside your router however as you go to the extended signal space you may have just 10mbps, so each repeater/extender requirements careful placement in order to increase WiFi reception and speeds.

Also positioning your repeater/extender too far away from your router may cause it to lose signal periodically, causing loss of network and/or web connectivity. Regrettably, the user does not see this as the repeater is still supplying a wireless signal but without internet/network. Likewise, with the 2 wireless network names, it has actually been understood for wireless devices to keep dropping out as it attempts to select the best carrying out network.

Gain Access to Point

Access Point mode is when you wish to connect the router approximately an Internet source via cable. This differs from the default technique of connecting to the Internet; while the default method plugs directly into the Internet, using Access Point mode enables you to link it through cable television to, possibly, another router.

Gain access to Point

Utilizing Access Point mode is perfect if you wish to extend the WiFi variety, but the router you’re utilizing to extend it isn’t too far away from the main central router.

The cable television will ensure you get the best possible speeds in between the gain access to point and the main hub, and you don’t need to fret about anything hindering a WiFi signal.

This is an excellent choice if you want to extend your home connection past something like a solid wall that’s blocking WiFi connections. Just connect the router to the main hub, location it on the other side of the wall, and put it in access point mode.


Repeater mode is not excessive different; it carries out the exact same role as Access Point mode, however the secret is that it talks over WiFi rather. As such, this does not get around obstacles as well as a gain access to point does. While a gain access to point can be put in front of an obstacle, a repeater will need to be angled around it. However, the advantage of repeaters is that they don’t require a cable television to connect to the central hub.


This indicates if the problem with your WiFi is simply tied to range, a repeater can be positioned at the middle to help extend your signal. If you’re registered to an ISP that enables you access to a public-broadcast WiFi signal, you can use a router in repeater mode to pick up the signal and beam it to your household. This is particularly useful if your Internet decreases for some reason!

Which Is Best?

Which one is best for you? If you wish to position the router quite near to the main hub and appreciate having optimum speeds, it’s best to go with the access point mode and link the two routers via an ethernet cable. If it’s challenging to get a cable in between the two routers, and you’re attempting to bridge rather a long distance, repeaters will be less of a trouble to establish.

Key Differences

While “Access Point” and “Repeater” modes attempt to attain the exact same goal, they do so utilizing various techniques. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages and need to be thought about if you’re utilizing a router to extend a WiFi signal.


Wireless repeaters/extenders are a great quick-fix service to a lot of smaller homes with low WIFI usage/devices however, considering the loss of efficiency and potential speed drops and network loss, the Wireless Access Points are the go to if you have the ability to route cable televisions and going to spend a bit more.

With the Wireless Access Points having the ability to outperform the wireless repeaters in many ways, especially if you want to view Netflix or utilize it for gaming, and even just seeing your Smart TV in the shed, due to the very minimal loss of performance and receiving optimal speed. Likewise, having the ability to have a single wireless name throughout the entire wireless range enables a more tidy and easy to use environment.

Last updated on September 16th, 2019

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  1. Rishka Lebovsky

    A WiFi router is a router with an integrated WAP (Wireless Access Point). Most all routers are wireless nowadays, you would be hard pressed to discover a home router offered today that wasn’t wireless.

    A router is the main device you require to share an Internet connection from your ISP with multiple devices. The router’s Internet (WAN) port links to the ISP modem through an Ethernet cable. Some units combine a modem and wireless router in one enclosure, these are typically referred to as gateways.

    The home wireless router connects 2 networks and manages the traffic in between them. All of the devices connected to the router via WiFi or Ethernet cables can interact with each other in what is known as the LAN or Local Area Network. The router likewise shares a single WAN (Wide Area Network) connection to your ISP with all of the connected gadgets enabling them to access the Internet.

    That being stated, the other gadgets you recommendation are all used to extend the WiFi signal from your router. WiFi signal range is minimal and reduced by blockages such as walls, home appliances, and so on. In order to get good WiFi coverage in many houses, WiFi extender(s) are utilized.

    Technically, a WAP or Wireless Access Point is linked to the router through Ethernet cable. Nevertheless numerous makers sell WAPs that connect through WiFi.

    WiFi booster and WiFi extender are basically two various names for the very same thing. WiFi repeater is another commonly used name. These gadgets normally mount in between your wireless router and the area where you wish to increase the WiFi signal. The extender/booster gets the WiFi signal from your wireless router and regrows it, increasing the WiFi range. Your wireless gadgets connect to the WiFi extender, which then interacts with the wireless router.

    All of the above WiFi gadgets also are available in powerline networking designs, which utilize standard home electrical outlets and electrical wiring to interact rather of WiFi. This gets rid of a great deal of the interference and speed variations that are common in wireless connections.

  2. Dean Klaus

    Thanks to marketing, these terms are used interchangeably and as a result wind up puzzling the typical consumer. In an ideal world, producing marketers would have standardized the meanings using something similar to this:

    Wifi Router – the jack-of-all-trades device. As the name implies, it routes traffic in addition to having wifi radios. Typically has multiple radio user interfaces, and multiple ethernet interfaces (like a switch). It can be a gateway device for the entire network and NAT traffic for all the users, or it can be a simple AP and bridge the wireless users to the wired entrance router.

    Wifi Access Point – the basic bridge device. If you have cable or DSL, think about the difference in between a modem and a router. AP’s resemble modems – they just convert wireless signals into wired signals. They generally do not have the brains to path traffic themselves and just have a single wireless interface and a single ethernet user interface – they just pass the traffic on for the router to handle. In modern business-grade networks, AP’s are slave devices of a central “Controller” device. Here is a fantastic article on how the WLC design works: Why is a Controller needed in a wireless network

    Wifi Range Extender – the garage device. You create this when you run an ethernet cable out to the garage and set up another Wifi Router or AP out there. It runs the very same wireless network as your home, but simply “extends” the range of the wifi to include the garage. Different from the repeater because it requires a wired connection (which is it’s unfavorable aspect).

    Wifi Repeater – the parrot device. Just listens for the wifi signal coming from your core Wifi Router or AP, and just repeats that signal even more out. Different from the extender because it does not require a wired connection – just power. Nevertheless its negative aspect is that it reduces Wifi speed due to the time it takes to listen and rebroadcast signals.

    Wifi Booster – the amp device. It’s task is to magnify or reinforce your signal using a stronger antenna. It normally attaches to your Wifi Router to “boost” its broadcasting power.

  3. Grant Sole

    Router: is the device you need to link to various networks or more together, like your home with your ISP.

    Access point: or wireless access point, utilized to link wireless end gadgets together, it simply works as a center or switch, however it utilizes wireless innovation instead of utilizing cable televisions.

    Wifi router: do both, works as router and have built in wireless access point for connecting wireless end gadgets together.

    All the three above can work as repeater. Repeater regenerate or offer a push to the data while it goes though it. Because twisted pair cable televisions can not go for more than 100 meter, so some times it require to be pressed once again utilizing a repeater.

    Booster is the same as repeater.

    Range extender: you can state that range extender is the very same as repeater, however range extenders are normally for access points (wifi) while repeater can be used for both cable or wifi.

  4. Eaton Tacker

    Okay, let me lay on you one of the tech worlds most carefully safeguarded secrets:
    Are you prepared. Don’t show it to any one

    A WIFI range extender, repeater, booster, power-upper or any other sort of device that seems like the above are all the same thing. they take your network and broadcast it once again.

    A WIFI Access Point or a Router are likewise the exact same thing (or are effectively).
    both take a Ethernet or other network cable and make the network wireless.

  5. Swanmick

    A wifi router is a router that supports wifi setups.

    A range extender is a device that you use to spread the length of your wifi protection.

    A repeater is a lot like a wifi range extender, it is a wifi router that uses the signal of a wifi network that currently exists and uses it to connect to the internet.

    An access point is a box that sends out and gets packages of information through wifi signals.