Question: What is the difference between wireless router and access point?

The main feature of wireless router is to work as a router, means it will send/receive network packets (route network traffic) to/from your wireless network and computing devices on other networks or Internet.

Simply put, a router, whether it's wired or wireless router, is the basic network device you need to have on home network for connecting to other networks and Internet.

Usually the wireless router is built-in with NAT (Network Address Translation) feature, which means all home network IPs will be translated to broadband WAN IP (public IP) when accessing to Internet. Also this router will act as access point at the same time, so that other computers can connect to the network wirelessly and get access to Internet.

As for access point, it’s commonly used to create a simple wireless network and then wire connected to Ethernet network’s router, hub or switch. If you are interested, check out this wireless access point article to understand better about how it's used to expand existing wired home network.

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