Join Martin Guidry for an in-depth discussion in this video Building a hybrid network with wired and wireless clients, part of Setting Up a Small-Office Network.
- I'd like to talk about hybrid networks, networks that are partially wired and partially wireless. This setup can be necessary when you own some devices that only connect wired and other devices that only connect wireless. It can also be a transition strategy. If you currently have an entirely wired network and you'd like to move to a wireless network, you don't necessarily have to replace all of the equipment at once.
You could go through a temporary state, where you are partially wired and partially wireless. The device that converts from a wired network to a wireless network is called an access point, or an AP. Access points are easy to purchase. When buying one, you should think about what standards does it support? Do you want to use 802.11 b/g/n, one or all three? Remember, all of the devices that connect to the access point will need to have at least one standard in common with the access point.
You want to think about the quality of the antenna. And higher quality antennas are less susceptible to interference from other devices. Many wireless access points on the market today also have additional functionality. Beyond being an access point, they can also function as a router, a switch, a modem, or other functions. If you need some of these other functions, you might be able to save some money by buying one device that is both an access point and a router.
However, if you already have a router and you're perfectly happy with it, then there's no need to buy an access point that has routing functionality built into it. We also have the concept of a reverse access point, which converts our network from wireless back to wired. These are fairly uncommon, don't see a whole lot of them, although I do have one in my home office. I have a older model DVR that only has a wired connection.
But I didn't want to run a wire into that room. So what I did, I already had a existing wireless network. I bought a reverse access point and placed it right on top of the DVR, and then I just run a cable from the reverse access point into the DVR, and it works great. So for that one little section, my network is converted back to a wired network. And this is the most common reason to use a reverse access point.
You basically have a device that only accepts a wired connection, and you'd really like to use a wireless signal into it. You can accomplish that with a reverse access point.
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