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An access point is a device that creates a wireless local area network, or WLAN, usually in an office or large building. An access point connects to a wired router, switch, or hub via an Ethernet cable, and projects a Wi-Fi signal to a designated area. For example, if you want to enable Wi-Fi access in your company's reception area but don’t have a router within range, you can install an access point near the front desk and run an Ethernet cable through the ceiling back to the server room.
As its name implies, a range extender lengthens the reach of an existing Wi-Fi network. Since range extenders connect wirelessly to Wi-Fi routers, they must be placed where the Wi-Fi router's signal is already strong, not in the location of the actual dead spot. For instance, if your router is in the basement of a two-story building, installing a range extenderon the ground floor (where coverage from the Wi-Fi router is still strong) will eliminate potential dead zones on the second floor.
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