Compare Products


Clear All


Time: August 23rd, 2023

Before we jump into the access point vs extender comparison, it should be noted that APs are the mainstay of the wireless network architecture in businesses. Also, Wi-Fi extenders supplement this infrastructure by addressing certain coverage issues in particular locations. Together, they support the various requirements of people and devices across the whole organization by ensuring dependable connectivity, coverage, and performance.

What is Access Point?

A networking device called an access point (AP) enables wireless devices to join a wired network. For wireless devices like laptops, smartphones, tablets, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, it acts as a central communication hub that enables them to access a local area network (LAN) or connect to the Internet. 

In environments where wireless communication is necessary, such as in homes, offices, public spaces, and other settings, access points are frequently used. They effectively act as a bridge between wireless and wired networks, giving nearby devices a wireless connection. 

What is Extender

An apparatus used to expand an existing Wi-Fi network's coverage area is referred to as a Wi-Fi extender, wireless range extender, or repeater. It is an easy and practical way to increase wireless signal strength and widen network coverage in places with spotty or nonexistent Wi-Fi.

While Wi-Fi extenders can increase Wi-Fi coverage, it's crucial to keep in mind that they do have some restrictions. Compared to the main router, the extended network may encounter slower speeds and higher latency. Devices connected to Wi-Fi extenders may need to switch networks when they travel throughout the service area since they generate a new network with their own SSID.

Access point vs Extender

1. Function:

An access point (AP) links wireless devices to a wired network by acting as a central hub. It offers wireless connectivity and network access by building a new wireless network or extending an existing one.

Wi-Fi Extender: To increase the network's coverage area, a Wi-Fi extender amplifies and retransmits an existing Wi-Fi signal. The signal is captured and rebroadcast, essentially extending the Wi-Fi network's coverage area.

2. Network Architecture:

Access Point: APs are normally hooked to a switch or router as part of a wired network infrastructure. They act as a bridge between wired and wireless networks, making it easier for wireless devices to join the network and communicate with it.

Wi-Fi extenders are devices that wirelessly take in an active Wi-Fi signal from a router or access point. They boost the signal and send it out again, expanding the network's coverage area. A physically connected connection to the network infrastructure is not necessary for Wi-Fi extenders.

3. Uses:

Access Points (APs) are frequently employed in settings requiring wireless access, including residences, workplaces, public spaces, and large-scale deployments. They link nearby devices to the wired network backbone and offer wireless connectivity to those within range.

Wi-Fi extenders are typically used to address spots where an existing network has poor or no Wi-Fi coverage. They are helpful in homes or offices where some regions have weak signal reception since they let you expand coverage to those locations without having to run additional cables.

4. Performance: 

Access Point: When compared to Wi-Fi extenders, APs often offer superior performance and speed. They can manage more simultaneous connections and greater data transfer speeds. APs are perfect in situations requiring a high-performance network, like offices or places with significant network usage.

Wi-Fi extenders can boost coverage but may also result in slower speeds and longer latency times. There may be some performance decrease when compared to the primary router or access point because the extender retransmits the signal. They are appropriate for circumstances where coverage, rather than necessarily high-speed data transfer, is the main consideration. 

In enterprises and big organizations, both Access Points (APs) and Wi-Fi extenders can play a role in providing wireless connectivity, but their applications and usage differ based on specific requirements. Here's how they are typically used when considered in terms of access point vs extender comparison. 

Access Points in Enterprises:

1. Wireless Network Infrastructure: Enterprises often deploy multiple APs strategically throughout their premises to create a robust wireless network infrastructure. APs are placed in different areas to ensure comprehensive coverage and support a large number of concurrent connections.

2. High Performance and Capacity: APs in enterprise environments are designed to handle heavy network traffic and support high-performance applications. They offer features like multiple antennas, advanced security protocols, VLAN support, and Quality of Service (QoS) to prioritize critical network traffic.

3. Seamless Roaming: APs enable seamless roaming for devices as users move within the organization's premises. This allows devices to maintain a continuous and uninterrupted connection as they switch between APs, ensuring smooth connectivity without disruptions.

4. Centralized Management: In large organizations, APs are typically managed centrally through network management systems. These systems provide administrators with control over configurations, security settings, and monitoring of the entire wireless network.

Enterprise Wi-Fi Extenders:

Coverage Extension: Wi-Fi extenders can be used in business settings to extend the reach of the current wireless network to places with poor signal quality. They are deliberately placed in regions that demand better signal coverage, such as remote corners, sizable meeting spaces, or temporary work areas.

Temporary Deployments: Wi-Fi extenders help provide short-term coverage in places where the infrastructure for a wired network is not readily accessible or when a speedy deployment is necessary. Without additional wiring, they can be quickly moved and placed in other locations as needed.

It's crucial to remember that APs and Wi-Fi extenders may be combined in many workplace applications. The main infrastructure is provided by APs, which also offer centralized management, smooth roaming, and great performance. Wi-Fi extenders can be used in addition to other devices to solve particular coverage issues in confined spaces. The organization's network requirements, budget, and physical layout of the premises all affect the deployment approach in question

Ruijie Networks websites use cookies to deliver and improve the website experience.

See our cookie policy for further details on how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings.

Cookie Manager

When you visit any website, the website will store or retrieve the information on your browser. This process is mostly in the form of cookies. Such information may involve your personal information, preferences or equipment, and is mainly used to enable the website to provide services in accordance with your expectations. Such information usually does not directly identify your personal information, but it can provide you with a more personalized network experience. We fully respect your privacy, so you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies. You only need to click on the names of different cookie categories to learn more and change the default settings. However, blocking certain types of cookies may affect your website experience and the services we can provide you.

  • Performance cookies

    Through this type of cookie, we can count website visits and traffic sources in order to evaluate and improve the performance of our website. This type of cookie can also help us understand the popularity of the page and the activity of visitors on the site. All information collected by such cookies will be aggregated to ensure the anonymity of the information. If you do not allow such cookies, we will have no way of knowing when you visited our website, and we will not be able to monitor website performance.

  • Essential cookies

    This type of cookie is necessary for the normal operation of the website and cannot be turned off in our system. Usually, they are only set for the actions you do, which are equivalent to service requests, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in, or filling out forms. You can set your browser to block or remind you of such cookies, but certain functions of the website will not be available. Such cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Accept All

View Cookie Policy Details

Contact Us

Contact Us

How can we help you?

Contact Us

Get an Order help

Contact Us

Get a tech support