Difference Between Router and Access Points

Nowadays, knowledge has become data, this point can not get stretched enough, but in our lifestyle, we are required to always stay virtually connected.

And this uninterrupted connectivity with the internet is made successful by two devices, router, and access point. They become useful for different situations, and they enable people to get connected with a network wirelessly.

Router vs Access Points

The main difference between a router and access points is that a router’s function is to connect with access points, and access points give admission to other devices and make them a part of the LAN, which is set up by the router. The router works with its routing table and algorithms, but the access point does not retain any such things as a part of it.

Router vs Access Points

A router is known to be a networking device. It gets used in forwarding data packets between different computer networks. Data packets can be anything sent on the internet.

It is a set of data. The router is responsible for transmitting this data from one network to its destination.

The access point is a hardware device that gets used in computer networking. To fulfill its functions, it gets connected with a router through the use of a wire.

A strong Ethernet connection helps to transmit the data. With one wired connection, an access point can supply data to multiple devices without any wired connectivity.

Comparison Table Between Router and Access Points

Parameters of ComparisonRouterAccess Points
Obtaining wireless hardware A router does not have any such hardware. Access points have it and use it to transfer data.
AlgorithmsRouters have tricky algorithms. Access points do not possess any algorithms.
Data packetsRouters route data packets to their destination as a part of their function.Access points are not able to do so.
FunctionA router connects the internet with the access point.Access points make Wi-Fi devices connect to it.
PurposeA router sets up a local area network or LAN.Access points let other devices connect to the LAN.

What is Router?

A router is a type of networking device that is responsible for routing data across a local area network. It is a 3 layer device as it follows the OSI reference model.

To work, a router uses a table which is known as a routing table. This table consists of IP, and by this IP, the router is able to reach another certain destination IP address.

To work efficiently, an access point needs a router to get connected to wireless devices to the internet. The main objective of a router can be divided into two parts.

One is, it can connect multiple computers, smartphones, and other devices in order to maintain a local area network or LAN. Secondly, the router is responsible for providing Internet access to its connected devices.

To provide and transmit the internet, the router needs to get connected with an Internet service provider through an Ethernet cable. A router might retain a firewall and VPN handling as its security methods.

Ensuring the security of a LAN is very important, and a router can ensure that to some extent. A data packet is a set of data that is meant to reach its destination, and the router helps to accomplish this mission.

In this process, routers use the information available in their routing table.

What are Access Points?

An access point is a device that is responsible for connecting wireless devices to a wired network. Access points are inevitable devices in Wi-Fi technology.

Devices that are connected with the access point will gain an internet connection through a router. And an access point will be connected with a router.

A high-speed Ethernet cable establishes this connection, and it is also responsible for transmitting the signal from wired to wireless.

This way, all the devices connected to the point are interconnected. However, technology has come a long way, and modern wireless routers and access points can get integrated into a single device.

The access point will distribute data by creating a Wi-Fi hotspot. Any device in the home can connect to an access point and access the internet.

A network can bear a limited number of users to connect to it. However, this limit can get extended with the use of access points. It expands the wireless coverage and gives an opening to more users to get joined in the network.

Main Differences Between Router and Access Points

  1. The router is responsible for connecting outside networks with the access point. It connects the router with the internet, whereas access points get connected with wifi devices which will make use of that internet.
  2. If a router is a hub, then the access point is a sub-hub. A router is meant to create a LAN, and access points give access to multiple devices to the created network.
  3. Routers have complicated algorithms and routing tables to follow, but access points do not have any such complicated elements.
  4. Routers do not have any wireless hardware, but access points do have such hardware.
  5. The router connects the internet with the access point, and the access point connects it to other multiple devices.
Difference Between Router and Access Points


For a small LAN, the router can work sufficiently. It can effectively provide the required network connection to its users. However, it has a limitation in connectivity.

Only a handful of devices can get connected with it. So when a large number of devices need to get access to the same router network, access points come to the rescue.

Access points connect to the router, and all the other devices get connected with the access point. So if you are interested to know which network device is better and which one you should get, then you need to understand that they both work effectively.

However, the right choice will depend on your need. For use at home or for running small businesses, routers are apt, but if you need them for an organization, then you will need to get access points.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4296845/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4455018/
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