Difference Between Access Point and Switch

In the internet era, there are hundreds of devices are used to circulate information or data from one place to another. The easier this procedure seems, the more complex functionality it is made of.

A person might have multiple electronic devices which require to be connected to the network. Access Point and Switch are such hardware or devices that help a person to make a connection with networks.

Access Point vs Switch

The main difference between Access Point and Switch is that the access point is a medium of data transfer that uses a signal to send and receive data. While Switch is a medium that first transforms data into a packet and then sends them to the destinations. Both devices are a great and vital part of communication systems and computer networking.

Google Access Point vs Switchvs Google One

The term access point is associated with computer networking. Most of the time, access points are wireless and work as signal transmitters between wifi devices and other sorts of wired networks.

Typically it is a normal size device that is used by other devices as a portal to establish a connection with LAN.

A switch or more clearly speaking a network switch is considered to be a device that is mostly used for connecting various devices of general use to a network.

A switch uses the packet switching technology for transferring the data across multiple devices. It makes computer networking easily available and operable for the users.

Comparison Table Between Access Point and Switch

Parameters Of ComparisonAccess PointSwitch
MeaningThe access points are devices that are mostly used for establishing a connection to the available and local networks. A switch is a hardware that is also used for multiple connections but it uses packet-switched Technology.
Other namesAn access point is known by many names and some of these are AP, WAP, wireless access point, etc. A switch is known by many names and some of these are switching and bridging hub, MAC bridge, etc.
PortAn access point can have up to 7 to 8 ports for different types of network and device connections. A switch has many ports and depending on the model it can have around 50 ports.
LifespanAn access point can be used for a maximum of 3 to 4 years before it gets worn out. There are many Switch models available that can work for 5 to 10 years, though new upgrades keep launching.
Power requiredDepending on the models, an access point can consume the energy of about 8, 5, 6 watts to be operated. A switch normally requires the amount of power around 14 to 30 Watts to function.

What is Access Point?

Access points are commonly known as a wireless access points, AP, and WAP. An access point is one of the essential devices to make connections with available networks in the local areas.

The access point can be factory reset and procedures of resetting can vary from device to device.

The security standards offered by access points to the users are based on Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2, shortly known as WPA2, also, it comes with AES encryption.

An access point contains a MAC address which can be acquired by logging in to the router configuration that is based on the web.

Hence a person can understand by an access point that it is a device that is used in computer networking to support network connection and WiFi.

There are various standards of wireless data followed by the access point. These data standards were mainly introduced for Technologies such as access points and wireless routers.

With the modernization, new wireless data standards have been developed but there is still countless technology based on older standards. Some of these standards are 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11n, and many more.

Access points come with some limitations as well, for example, one access point should not have more than 10 to 25 clients. However, the number of clients per access point depends on many factors.

What is Switch?

A switch is a hardware that obtains data packets and transmits them to their required destination. A Switch is known to have seven layers which are commonly used to make connections.

These layers are the physical layer, data link layer, application layer, transport layer, presentation layer, session, and network layer.

The data link layer is also known previously as layer 2 and layer 3. The switches that use layer 3 to send and receive data are known as multilayer or layer-3 switches.

A switch is durable that can work for 5 to 10 years. The power required to operate a switch device is up to 14 to 30 watts, though it depends on the fact that what kind of model is being used.

Just like an access point, a switch uses a MAC address. It has many ports that are beneficial when a person needs to connect several devices at a time.

There are many cables used in the functioning of a switch. The hots of networks depends on the switches for network connection.

There are several types of networks supported by switches fiber Channels, Ethernet, ATM, RapidIO, etc.

Switches can have many devices and some of these are managed switches, unmanaged switches, smart switches, Enterprise managed switches, etc.

Main Differences Between Access Point and Switch

  1. An access point is a wireless medium for transferring data from one point to another. On the other hand, switch are only used for wired networks.
  2. Access points are received and sent data by converting them into 5GHz and 2.4GHz signals. While a switch sends data to its destination in the form of packets.
  3. The power consumption of an access point can be from 6 to 8 watts. A switch, on the other hand, requires around 14 to 30 Watts.
  4. The normal duration an access point can work for is up to 3 to 4 years. On the other hand, can be useful for 5 to 10 years.
  5. The other terms used in the place of access points are WAP and AP. A switch, on the different side, is known as switching hub and MAC bridging.
Difference Between Access Point and Switch

Conclusion

A computer network is a vast field full of millions of information and very complex to be understood. However, it is one of the essential mediums utilized by every person in modern times.

The specialty of the 21st century’s technology is that it is complicated as usual but the invention of electronic devices made it available for ordinary people.

Access points and switches are examples of them. These devices are affordable and easy to operate.

Access points and switches allow users to connect with networks so the terms like online friends came into existence. It is also beneficial for business purposes. Hence, getting one of these would never go to waste.

References

  1. https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi16/technical-sessions/presentation/vasisht
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/nchembio.611
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