What is a WAP
Wireless Access Point (WAP) can be ideal if you're finding that the Wi-Fi signal emitted by your basic router isn't covering everywhere in your home or office.
Often a router’s Wi-Fi signal might not cover your whole property, leaving dead spots - but a WAP can address that by boosting and amplifying the signal further. This boost can also allow more devices to connect to your Wi-Fi network, which can be useful if you have a lot of smart home or connected devices in your house, or multiple computing items in an office.
What is a mesh network?
A mesh network is a group of devices that act as a single Wi-Fi network; so there are multiple sources of Wi-Fi around your house, instead of just a single router. These additional Wi-Fi sources are called points.
All points are connected to each other wirelessly. As long as they are within range, they can communicate with one another wirelessly without the need for a router or switch. This allows for fast and efficient data routing.
But if you do want to use wired connections, you can. Make sure that your points are wired into a switch and that the switch is wired to the LAN port of the router or primary point (the one connected to your modem). The wired points will recognize the wired connection and route traffic over Ethernet.
How is this different from a traditional Wi-Fi network?
In a traditional Wi-Fi network, your phone or laptop is connected to a single router, and all communication passes through that single router. The farther you are from the router, the weaker the signal.
Here are some benefits of a mesh network:
- Flexible coverage: Additional points can be added to get better coverage in hard-to-cover areas like hallways and near walls for outdoor coverage.
- Self-healing: In a mesh network, if one point goes down, communication is simply rerouted through another point. Note: If your router or primary point goes offline (the one connected to your modem), so will your entire network. You’ll also get a notification in the app after a few minutes.
- Direct path: Since all of the points are connected to each other, data can take several paths toward its destination and it’ll always choose the best route from Point A to Point B.