Welcome to our big WiFi Access Point Test 2021. Here we present all the wireless access points we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.
We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best wireless access point for you.
You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a wireless access point.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best WiFi Access Point: Our Choices
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a WiFi access point
- 5 Decision: What types of WiFi access points are there and which is the right one for you?
- 6 Purchase criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate access points
- 7 Facts worth knowing about WiFi access points
- WiFi access points allow you to stabilise your WiFi network and increase the range of the signal by serving as a second access point for you.
- WiFi access points receive the WiFi signal via a LAN cable, which they then pass on to their environment. In this way, WiFi access points can plug wireless gaps and improve your WiFi network.
- In principle, WiFi access points can be used in many different ways. For example, you can also set up your own WiFi access point for your guests.
The Best WiFi Access Point: Our Choices
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a WiFi access point
What is a WiFi access point and how does it work?
A wireless access point is an access point through which you can access your WiFi network. It forms a kind of interface between the cable network and wireless receiving devices such as a smartphone.
How it works is not that difficult. The access point receives the internet signal via an Ethernet cable. It then transmits it to its surroundings using its frequency bands.
In this way, your WiFi signal reaches areas of your house that the router was previously unable to supply with WiFi. The WiFi access point can therefore plug radio gaps so that it extends the range of your WiFi network.
An access point often has a variety of uses. For example, it can also function as a WiFi repeater, bridge or client.
How do I set up a wireless access point?
You can connect the access point to your Internet via an Ethernet cable. Simply connect it to your router or directly to the cable network. This way, your WiFi access point receives an Internet signal.
You can then use its IP address to configure your wireless access point on your PC in the browser. When configuring the settings, make sure that you set your access point to "wireless". Furthermore, you should not give your access point the same name as your router. Otherwise your devices will not always find the device with the strongest signal.
It can often be quicker to find your access point using your router. Simply go to your router's browser and search for other devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi. This should help you find your wireless access point and you can then configure it.
How much does a wireless access point cost?
More functions also mean a higher price.
You can get an access point quite cheaply to increase the range of your WiFi.
More expensive wireless access points often have higher quality. So think about what features you need. The most expensive access points with all kinds of functions can even cost over 100 euros.
Decision: What types of WiFi access points are there and which is the right one for you?
Basically, you can distinguish between two types of WiFi access points:
- WiFi access point with single band
- WiFi access point with dual band
Depending on where you use them and what features you value most, one of the two types is more suitable for you.
In the following section, we would like to help you find out which type of WiFi access point is best suited for you. For this purpose, we will introduce you to the two types of WiFi access points mentioned above and clearly present the advantages and disadvantages of each.
How does a WiFi access point with single band work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
A WiFi access point converts a LAN connection into WiFi frames and forwards them to all wireless receivers. This is done using specific frequencies, in this case a 2.4 GHz connection. Since it is low, it offers a long range and can also handle older devices due to backwards compatibility.
However, modern devices cannot be connected to the latest WiFi standard due to the lack of upward compatibility. Furthermore, the already lower transmission rates can become a problem because either other technical devices share the frequency or too many users are online at the same time.
However, it is not only your own users who slow down the speed, but also neighbours whose WiFi access points transmit on the same frequency. On the other hand, an investment in a retailer is less cost-intensive because of the large selection of devices.
How does a WiFi access point with dual band work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
A WiFi access point with dual band works in a similar way, but it is able to establish two different connections. To do this, it uses the 2.4 GHz frequency and the 5 GHz frequency, which means that it is both downward compatible for older devices and can work with the most modern WiFi standard to date and correspondingly newer devices.
This new WiFi standard (release date: 2013) enables much higher transmission rates and also a higher data throughput - among other things because it provides more frequency channels. The 5 GHz frequency is less susceptible to interference from other technical devices, but the range is significantly smaller than with the 2.4 GHz frequency.
In addition, it crosses the official radar frequency spectrum on certain channels, which has legal priority and triggers the DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) process. This means that the WiFi access point's connection is briefly interrupted as a result. If you want to provide a WiFi connection to many users at the same time, you should choose a WiFi access point with dual band.
The purchase costs are sometimes twice as high, but so is the added value compared to a WiFi access point with single band.
Purchase criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate access points
In the following section, we will introduce you to all the important features of a wireless access point so that you know what to look for when making a purchase.
The following criteria are the most important:
- Product dimensions
- Radio standards
- Transmission speed
- Dual band
Before you buy, make sure you know which functions are important to you. We show you which values are optimal and what you should not do without.
It is best to buy a compact WiFi access point so that it takes up little space and does not stand out.
The longest side of a large access point can be around 25 cm long. So a wireless access point is similar in size to a router. However, a somewhat smaller and more compact access point has its advantages. It is not very conspicuous and you can place it almost anywhere.
However, the size should play a subordinate role for you if you want to buy a WiFi access point. Often, larger product dimensions are simply the result of more functions.
It is important that your access point supports the common wireless standards. This makes it compatible with all routers and allows you to connect other devices, such as a WiFi repeater, to your network.
The WiFi type used by most WiFi devices is Wi-Fi 4 (formerly 802.11 n). Your wireless access point should support this radio standard. Older routers can also support 802.11 B and 802.11 G. Therefore, it does not hurt if your WiFi access point also supports these standards. However, the transmission speed also suffers under the older radio standards.
Ideally, your access point should support Wi-Fi 5 (formerly 802.11 ac). The Wi-Fi 5 standard increases the transmission speed.
Only dual-band WiFi access points support the faster ac standard.
A high transmission speed is important if you place a lot of value on a fast WiFi signal. Wireless access points can have transmission speeds between 300 Mbps and 1300 Mbps.
A speed of 300 Mbit/s is easily sufficient for everyday use. Surfing the Internet will therefore not be a problem for you.
However, if you do online gaming or streaming, it would be worth buying an access point with a higher transmission speed. You will always get a high WiFi speed with a dual-band access point.
A WiFi access point with dual band is very useful if a high data rate is important to you.
You can distinguish between dualband and singleband. A single-band access point has a 2.4 GHz frequency band. A dual-band WiFi access point has the 5.0 GHz band in addition to the 2.4 GHz band.
It uses both frequency bands to send the WiFi signal to your mobile phone, laptop or tablet in the best possible way. This increases your data rate and makes your WiFi faster.
If your access point has PoE, power supply is no problem and you can set it up in many different places.
PoE stands for Power over Ethernet. The WiFi access point is supplied with power via the Ethernet connection. Either you connect a LAN cable or there are often special Ethernet adapters that supply your access point with power.
If your wireless access point has all the necessary encryption, it offers you and your WiFi network sufficient security.
The most important encryptions are WPA and WPA2. You should not buy an access point without these encryptions. WPA stands for WiFi Protected Access.
In addition to these encryptions, there are a few others, for example the somewhat older WEP encryption. These are not as important, but they can't hurt either.
Facts worth knowing about WiFi access points
What is the range of a wireless access point?
The range of an access point is usually not as high as the manufacturer states. Several factors have an influence on the range.
Many obstacles, such as thick walls or even furniture, can greatly reduce the range. The range stated by the manufacturers is often only achieved under optimal circumstances.
Nevertheless, the range of a WiFi access point is usually sufficient for at least one floor, sometimes even two. An access point can therefore increase your WiFi range and plug radio gaps.
Even if you want to receive a WiFi signal outdoors, i.e. in the garden, a wireless access point could be your solution. Simply set it up near your outdoor area. This way you should also receive a WiFi signal outside in the garden.
Picture source: Wattanaphob Kappago / 123RF