A network device that combines a router, switch and access point (base station) in one box. Wireless routers provide a convenient way to connect a small number of wired and any number of wireless computers to the Internet. For more about wireless networks, see wireless LAN. For details about the transmission technology, see 802.11. See wireless repeater and dual-band router.|
In the larger office, routers, switches and access points are stand-alone devices. An access point is like a cellphone tower, but its signal distance is measured in feet, not miles.
Router, switch and access point. The Internet/WAN port routes signals to the cable or DSL modem. The four computer ports are the wired part of the switch, and the antennas are part of the access point. (Image courtesy of Belkin Corporation, www.belkin.com)