The improvement in WiFi technology is visible everywhere, be it offices, shopping complexes, homes, or anywhere. While homes and small offices usually keep wireless routers and range extenders, huge workplace spaces with heavy network traffic invest in access points. It’s important to note that an Access Point and range extender are two different things. To choose the best WiFi system for your use, first of all, it’s important to have a clear idea of what an Access Point is and how is it different from an extender.
What is an Access Point?
An access point is designed for creating WLAN or wireless local area network, generally in large buildings. You can connect the device with a switch, hub, or router by using an Ethernet cable. Once done, it sends WiFi signals to a specific area.
Let’s take an example here. Suppose you run a company and want to enable WiFi access in the conference room. You don’t need a router within range for this. Instead, you can set up an access point here connected by an Ethernet cable with the server room.
What is a wireless range extender?
As the name suggests, range extenders are meant to extend your network coverage or range. Modern range extenders are wireless that can connect with a router without any cable. They pick up network signals from the router and send it to areas with less or no WiFi signals, also called blind spots. The trick is that while performing a Netgear extender setup, place your extender within the range of the router and the blind spot so that it receives proper signals and send it to the specific areas.
Which one is better: a range extender or an access point
Range extenders are mostly designed to provide better WiFi coverage in homes whereas modern businesses feel more contended with installing Access Points. The reason being that extenders support only a limited number of WiFi devices (around 20 devices) at one point. Although range extenders are great for coverage, they are not as efficient as access points when it comes to data speeds, unless you invest in a dual-band wireless range extender.
On the contrary, access points are good for more than 60 devices to connect with WiFi network simultaneously without compromising on the speed. They provide more portability. While both have their own merits and cannot be compared with each other for one thing, the need to have something that suits your needs is essential.
So, isn’t there any way to use the merits of both? The answer is ‘yes, there is.’
The popular WiFi device and networking brand, Netgear, offers highly advanced wireless range extenders with an Access Point Mode. This means you can enjoy the benefits of both a range extender and an access point just in one device. And the configuration is super easy!
How to use your Netgear range extender as an Access Point?
Follow the step-by-step guide to turn your WiFi range extender into an access point during mywifiext extender setup:
- Your Netgear range extender must feature Access Point Switch.
- You need an Ethernet cable to perform this task.
Let’s get started!
- Turn on the Access Point Mode on your extender
- Connect one end of an Ethernet cable with the extender and the other end with your router (use any of the LAN ports on the router’s back)
- On your WiFi computer, establish a connection to the NETGEAR_EXT network by using your WiFi manager
- Look at your extender. If the Device to Extender LED is green, you are ready for the next step
- Launch a web browser to visit mywifiext.net
- Hit New Extender Setup
- Log in to your extender account or create a new one and hit Next
- Hit Access Point
- Once your Internet connection is verified, provide your router’s SSID and password
- Click Next
- On the next page, click Continue
- Again, click Next
That’s it! You can now enjoy your Netgear range extender as an Access Point. This process applies to mostly all Netgear extender with Access Point Switch. Some of the actions may vary as per your model but the basic actions remain the same.