Advice on access points
1. What speed do you need?
The main distinguishing factor of access points is their speed, but what speed do you need exactly?
- I mostly want to browse and use email: An access point with a maximum speed of 450Mbps is suitable for this kind of use.
- I want to browse and occasionally stream a movie: If you want to stram in HD or download occasionally, go for an access point with a speed between 450 and 900Mbps.
- I want to stream, game, and download often: Go for an access point with a higher speed if you regularly stream music in 4K and want to game at the same time.
2. How large is the space you want to provide with wireless Internet?
1 access point is enough if you want to provide a small office, appartment, or 1 floor with wireless Internet. Do you want wireless internet on several floors or in a large office or production building? Go for an access point that can be connected to other access points to increase the range.
3. Who's going to use the wireless access point?
Lots of access points offer the option of enabling 1 or more guest networks. That's useful if you have visitors, external employees, or customers over. This way, they can use your Internet, and you won't run the risk of them accessing your private data. If you only use wireless Internet with your colleagues or your family, an access point with 1 wireless network is enough.
4. How many devices will you connect?
If a lot of devices are active on a wireless network at the same time, this can cause a slow wireless connection. A standard access point sends data to each device in turn, which can lead to a traffic jam. You can avoid this by going for an access point with MU-MIMO. This will set up multiple connections at the same time, so all devices can receive Internet traffic at the same time. That way, you can connect up to 200 devices with 1 access point.
5. Where do you want to place the access point?
Some access points can be placed on a table or a cabinet, but more and more access point are mounted to the ceiling or wall. That way, it'll be out of the way, while you'll have a perfect wireless connection. An access point you can power via the network cable offers maximum flexibility in this case. With Power over Ethernet, which is the name of this standard, you won't need a socket near the place you mount the access point.
6. Do you want to change the settings of the access point?
Most access points work straight out of the box. You can place it, connect a network cable to you router, and create a wireless network. More and more access points have advanced options you can configure, with an app, for example. That way, you can prioritize important network traffic or set up a guest network. If you've linked multiple access points, go for a system with central management. That way, you can configure all access points at the same time.