What is a wireless router or access point?

1. External world of the Internet
2. Wireless LAN environment in a home or office
3. Wireless router
4. Computer connected to the wireless LAN
5. Mobile device connected to the wireless LAN
6. Printer connected to the wireless LAN

 

The figure is only for illustrative purposes.

A wireless router or access point is located in the center of a wireless LAN (local area network) and functions as an intermediary for the communication between various devices.

 

Suppose you want your computer and your printer to communicate using a wireless LAN.
Usually, your computer and printer will not communicate directly. Instead, the communication will be relayed through an intermediary device.
Because both your computer and your printer are connected to this intermediary, communication between your computer and printer is possible.
Within a wireless LAN environment, this intermediary device is called an access point.

 

On the other hand, in order for your computer to connect to the external Internet, you need a device that functions as an intermediary between your home LAN and the Internet. This device is called a router.

 

A wireless router has the functions of both a router and an access point.
Accordingly, in a wireless LAN environment, you need a wireless router or access point that functions as the intermediary device.

 

In addition, a wireless LAN connection using a wireless router or access point is called Infrastructure mode.

 

You can also connect your printer wirelessly to your computer directly without using a home wireless router (access point).
For more information, see the following:

What is Wireless Direct?

What is Ad-hoc mode?