Have you been experiencing connection problems in your home or office? Does it seem like you’re getting slowdowns and connection drops despite having a strong Wi-Fi signal on your wireless router? If yes, getting the best wireless access point (WAP) may be all you need to resolve that issue. Connection problems can be caused by many factors, including less wireless coverage, wireless router not be being able to handle your devices’ throughput, dead spots, and more. Getting a top-notch WAP can be the perfect solution to these problems.
However, not everyone is familiar with how networking works, and choosing the best wireless access point can be a little overwhelming. That is why we’ve created a review of the top ten products on the market below. Whether you want to use it for your small business or your home office, you’ll be able to find the ideal devices for you below.
With the best access points in our review, you’ll be able to enjoy better connectivity and high performance. But before we dive into the product review, here are some guidelines to help you understand the necessary factors to look at when choosing a wireless access point:
Are you looking for a gaming modem? Be sure to check out our Best gaming modem.
Be sure to check back on our list for upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 deals!
Best Access Points - Fall 2020:
- Ubiquiti Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point
- Linksys LAPAC2600 Pro Series Wireless Access Point
- TP-Link Wireless N300 2T2R Access Point
- NETGEAR AC1200 WAC104 Dual Band Wireless Access Point
- NETGEAR Tri-Band AC3000 Wireless Access Point
- TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Access Point
- Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC PRO 802.11ac Wi-Fi Access Point
- TP-Link Omada AC1750 Wireless Access Point
- Asus AC1200 Dual-Band WiFi Range Extender
- Ubiquiti UAP-AC-M-US Unifi Mesh Access Point
Power over Ethernet
Otherwise known as PoE, Power over Ethernet helps deliver electric power to networking devices sharing the same data cable. It is an advantageous feature that helps simplify installation, minimize cost, and save power cables and data for each network device.
This feature provides you with high flexibility, allowing you to install your network device in any area without the need to use an existing power outlet. It can be very beneficial if you use multiple access points, have a small business, set up your enterprise network, or have a large home.
The speed of your access point is another essential factor you want to consider. It’s usually measured in bits per second (bps), megabits, kilobits, or gigabits. Wireless access points supporting the 802.11n protocol can get speeds of up to 300Mbps. However, those with a more precise protocol, the 802.11ac, can get even higher rates, reaching up to 1,200Mbps.
The MIMO technology was created to help enhance wireless connections’ capacity while increasing the number of antennas on a router and its endpoints. This technology is used for receiving and transmitting data from the client (your router) to your devices (laptops, phones, etc.) The performance of your access point will depend on the number of antennas embedded into it.
There is 2×2 MIMO up to 4×4 MIMO. 2X2 MIMO can be found in budget-range access points, and it works well for low density, low capacity networks. Basically, the higher the number of MIMO, the higher the price and performance.
There are three main types of wireless access points with respect to bands, and they are dual, single, and tri-band access points. Single Band Access Points: Access points with this band type support only the 2.4GHz band. Their transmission speed is often between 150Mbps and 400Mbps. However, their anti-interference ability is fragile. This means that they are more prone to network distortion, slowness, and they can even interfere with each other in a multi-system configuration.
Dual-Band Access Points: This category belongs to access points that support 2.4GHz as well as 5.8GHz bands. They offer a better transmission rate as their mobile terminal can search for two wireless signals at once. This access point type is also great for homes and businesses with multiple devices.
Tri-Band Access Points: WAPs in this category come with a 2.4GHz radio and two 5GHz radios. They offer excellent speeds and incredible performance. However, they are often expensive.
1. Ubiquiti Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point
Solid Reliability and Performance
The Ubiquity Unifi Dual-Radio Pro WAP is one of the best Wi-Fi access points you can choose regarding performance and reliability. This WAP features a weatherproof design and a 3x3 MIMO design. It can be used indoors and outdoors as its three dual-band antennas allow you to get the most suitable range and coverage possible. Sporting a solid Wi-Fi AP with 802.11 ac, n, and g protocols with PoE connectivity, the Dual-Radio Pro provides steady performance and consistent speeds you can always rely on. This WAP can be used in a wireless distribution system, and you can even roam the APs until you get the least congested channel.
Since it's a business/enterprise-grade WAP, it's ideal for larger buildings and businesses. Setting up the Ubiquiti Unifi Dual-Radio Pro isn't easy, though. You'll need to be tech-savvy or call a professional to help you install and configure the device. It uses the Ubiquiti Controller software for configuration since there's no interface on the WAP itself. You can also use the Android and iOS apps, but you may not get the most reliable results when using the mobile apps.
Running the controller software requires a laptop/desktop and 64-bit Java, which means that your machine and OS must also be 64-bit. You can also use Unifi Cloud Key to set up your WAP as it makes the entire process a bit easier. While the configuration process may be complicated, there's no denying that this is one of the best wireless access points you can buy.
2. Linksys LAPAC2600 Pro Series Wireless Access Point
Best Wireless Access Point For Small Businesses
One of the ideal ways to impress your consumers is to offer them free Wi-Fi. However, that notion is bound to go south fast if your internet doesn't reach every corner of your store, company, or office. This is where the Linksys LAPAC2600 Pro Series comes in. This Wi-Fi access point is one of the best high-performance wireless access points on the market. Featuring a dual-band system, the Linksys LAPAC2600 is capable of delivering speeds up to 2.53Gbps. That's over twice what you get on the Ubiquiti Unfi Pro above. To make things even more interesting, this access point supports the 802.11r wireless protocol, which makes its roaming is seamless.
The Linksys LAPAC2600 Pro Series also supports MU-MIMO. Its 4x4 MU-MIMO technology helps minimize bandwidth competition while enhancing the performance of your router. This Wi-Fi access point is powerful enough to be used as a standalone access point, and it can also be used in a wireless distribution system (WDS) to help extend coverage and range. Just like Ubiquiti above, the LAPAC2600 supports PoE and features an Ethernet port.
It also comes with an enterprise-grade security feature, ensuring that all data passed over the access point is secured. Configuring and managing this Wi-Fi access point is easy as you can do so over Linksys' portal. If you're a business owner looking for the best wireless access point to help strengthen your wireless router's performance and range, this device is one of the top devices you can choose.
3. TP-Link Wireless N300 2T2R Access Point
Best Basic Wireless Access Point
Sometimes, you just want something simple that's cost-effective and still provides excellent performance. The TP-Link Wireless N300 2T2R Access Point is a device in this category. For less than $30, you get a functional device that doesn't come with the bells and whistles featured LAPAC2600 above but still performs excellently well. It's capable of extending your wireless router range by 100 feet, and its single 2.4 GHz radio offers up to 3000Mbps in speed. The TP-Link N300 2T2R Wireless Access Point supports the 802.11n protocol and features a 2x2 MIMO antenna. This allows for reduced interference and signal degradation.
It's versatile and can be used as an access point, extender, repeater, and bridge with AP. You can also use it in a WDS to help enhance your router's capabilities. It also supports PoE, albeit passively, and features a low-performance Ethernet port. While all of these features are not high-performance features, the N300 2T2R offers a seamless wireless experience and stays true to what it's designed for. It's simply one of the top low-budget, no fuss Wi-Fi access points anyone can by.
4. NETGEAR AC1200 WAC104 Dual Band Wireless Access Point
Excellent Performance, Low Price Point
If you've got a little more cash on your budget and you feel the TP-Link N300 2T2R functionalities are too basic, the next best option is the NETGEAR AC1200 WAC104 Access Point. This Wi-Fi access point is offering a dual-band 802.11ac system, excellently tuned antennas, and IPV6 support for less than seventy bucks. It comes with a USB port to help you charge your devices, four built-in Ethernet port, and a Wi-Fi Protected System (WPS). You get an easy-to-use and intuitive Advanced Home interface that lets you manage and tweak your settings, including both bands' settings.
This interface also allows you to carry out some other tasks, including setting up a VPN, configuring port forwarding, blocking websites, scheduling access control, and even setting up email alerts for banned websites. The NETGEAR AC1200 uses a 128MB NAND flash memory and a 128MB DDR3 memory to provide you with high-performance. It works flawlessly with other NETGEAR models, such as the N150, N600, and other AC devices, just in case you're looking to create a wireless distribution system.
The WPS is easy to set up, and with its speed of up to 1.2 Gbps, this wireless access point is undoubtedly one of the best budget options you can look at. The only caveat here is that it doesn't support MU-MIMO and PoE.
5. NETGEAR Tri-Band AC3000 Wireless Access Point
Best Tri-Band Access Point
Getting a reliable, fast, and durable Wi-Fi access point can be a daunting task. Fortunately, the NETGEAR Tri-Band AC3000 Wireless Access Point comes with these elements and more. Ideal for large homes and small businesses, this triband Wi-Fi access point features one 2.4 GHz band and two 5GHz bands (one high, one low). All of these bands come together to provide an amazing speed of up to 3GBps. Unlike the NETGEAR AC1200 above, this Wi-Fi access point features MU-MIMO, and it has the capability to handle up to 600 clients. You get a gigabit Ethernet port for connecting your printers, computers, and other devices.
Managing it is also easy as this Wi-Fi access point comes with one-year free access to NETGEAR's Insight remote management software. You don't need to download an extra program, buy a cloud key, or any other hardware. It can be installed on the wall or a suspended ceiling, and mounting it is straightforward too. The NETGEAR AC3000 Wireless Access Point comes with many advanced features, including band steering, load balancing, and assisted roaming. The security is handled by rogue AP detection, WPA2, and WPA. You get PoE support as well as AC power via a PAV12V power adapter. If you own a business or have a large home and you're looking for an access point for WiFi, this is one of the best options you can work with.
6. TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Access Point
Best Mobile Wireless Access Point
The TP-Link N300 Travel Access Point is ideal for those who travel a lot or want to have the best possible network no matter where they might be. Small and pocket-sized, this Wi-Fi access point allows you to create a wireless hotspot in minutes. It's so tiny it can fit into a purse, pocket, or bag perfectly. You'll be able to stream videos and play games easily as it works with devices that are 2.4GHz compatible. So, whether you want to use Chromecast or watch videos via an Amazon Fire Stick, you're good to go.
The TP-Link N300 comes with a 100Mbps Ethernet port and an Ethernet cable as well. Its top speed is capped at 300Mbps, which is great for mobile gaming and streaming content. This Wi-Fi access point can be charged or powered via a Micro-USB port, and it can be used as a repeater, in bridge modes, and router support. If you're on the market for a compact device to help extend the range or strengthen your router's connection, this is one of the best Wi-Fi access points you can buy.
7. Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC PRO 802.11ac Wi-Fi Access Point
Affordable and Versatile
The Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC Pro Access Point is one that's designed to provide excellent performance for professional use. Sitting in the $140 price range, this wireless access point features a disc-like design and has a Qualcomm Atheros QCA9563 chipset capable of providing up to 750MHz clock speed. It also sports a Qualcomm Atheros AR8337 switch chip as well as a MIPS32 74K processor for enhanced performance. The Ubiquiti Unifi Pro uses the QCA9563 chip for its 2.4GHz transmission and the AR8337 chipset for its 5GHz band.
You'll be able to get up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band while the 5GHz band offers up to 1300Mbps. Combine these speed with its 128GB RAM and 16GB flash memory, and you'll get one of the best performances any wireless access point can provide. On the port side, this wireless access point features a primary connector that connects to your switch, PoE, or router. There's also a secondary switch ideal for bridging, a USB port that connects to the PA system, and two Ethernet ports.
The Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC Pro uses a universal family controller to set up your wireless access point easily. This controller also allows you to control every device in your home, and the 3x3 MU-MIMO technology makes it possible to enjoy consistent speeds across all devices.
However, if you're not too tech-savvy, this may not be the best wireless access point for you. Also, the user interface of the accompanying software will take some getting used to, and this access point also runs hot, so you might want to place it in a well-ventilated area. If you're looking for the best budget Wi-Fi access point, this is one of the best you can choose.
8. TP-Link Omada AC1750 Wireless Access Point
Efficient Business-Level Access Point
The TP-Link Omada AC1750 is another dual-band enterprise wireless access point offering incredible features at an affordable price. This WAP comes with hardware that is similar to the Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC Pro above. They both use the same Qualcomm chipset for their 2.4GHz radio, and both chips are clocked at 750MHz. However, the Omada AC1750 uses the Qualcomm Atheros QCA9982 for its 5GHz radio. You'll be able to get up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz radio and up to 1300Mbps on the 5GHz.
Powered by 128MB of memory, this Wi-Fi range extender is capable of seamless roaming, automatically switching to a better signal once detected. The TP-Link Omada AC1750 also comes with some advanced features, such as band steering, MU-MIMO, beamforming, airtime fairness, and more. These features are some of the reasons why it's rated high among other best wireless access points.
Its speed and performance are so good they are better than what you get on the Unifi AP AC Pro above. And to make things even better, it doesn't run hot like its competition. Endowed with two Gigabit Ethernet ports, this WAP supports PoE and can be easily controlled via the Omada Cloud Controller OC200. It's simply one of the best wireless access points you can choose right now.
9. Asus AC1200 Dual-Band WiFi Range Extender
Smart and Great For Games
The ASUS AC1200 Dual-Band WiFi Range Extender is one of the best access points you can buy for your gaming. While it doesn't offer as much speed as the Unifi AP AC Pro or the TP-Link Omada 1750, it's a device that can do well on its own. Its performance shows when you connect it with a router from the same brand. Whether you're looking to eliminate dead spots, improve network stability, or extend your devices' range, this is one of the top access points to choose from. It's able to cover up to 3,000 square feet and has a combined speed of 1167Mbps on both frequencies.
The ASUS AC1200 WiFi Range Extender also features two external antennas to help enhance coverage. Smart LED indicators on the device allow you to denote the ideal spot for optimum Wi-Fi performance. And since it comes in a small package, you can easily install it anywhere. To make things even more interesting, this WAP works efficiently with Alexa, which means you can set up your WiFi extender using your voice. Secure and easy to install; this is one of the best wireless access points you can choose for your home.
10. Ubiquiti UAP-AC-M-US Unifi Mesh Access Point
Best Mesh Access Point
The final product on our list of best wireless access points is the Ubiquiti UAP-Ac-M-US Unifi Mesh WAP. It's a high-performance WAP designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Highly functional and efficient, this Wi-Fi extender comes with two RP-SMA connectors that can be used with the dual-radio Omni-directional antennas it comes with. You can also use them with other connectorized antennas to create a customized pattern shaping. Like the other Ubiquiti access points on our list, this mesh Wi-Fi extender features remote firmware upgrade and can be controlled via a single control plane.
The Ubiquiti UAP-AC-M-US uses the 802.11ac protocol, and it features 2x2 MIMO functionality. This allows you to get robust network connectivity across all devices. You can also use this Wi-Fi extender as a hotspot and control it via the guest portal. It comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and also supports PoE. If you're looking for an enterprise WAP capable of working outdoors and indoors, this is one of the most ideal and reasonably priced access points you can buy.
There are many reasons why you may want to get a WAP for your home office or your small business. Whether you’re having network slowdowns, dead spots, or low coverage, the access points in our review above are capable of handling these issues. You’ll be able to connect them to your router, stream HD videos, and even play games while enjoying consistent speeds across multiple devices.
Simply read through their pros and cons, make comparisons, and check out their specs to determine the ideal one for you. We’ve also shared some tips on some of the necessary factors to consider when choosing wireless access points.If you liked our article on access points, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.