Difference Between Access Point and Switch (with Table)

Hundreds of gadgets are utilized to circulate information or data from one location to another in the internet era. The more simple this technique appears to be, the more complicated the functionality it contains. A person may have a number of electronic gadgets that need to be linked to the internet. An access point or switch is a piece of hardware or software that allows a person to connect to a network.

Access Point vs Switch

The main difference between Access Point and Switch is that An access point is a wireless router that connects devices (WiFi) whereas Switches are devices that connect devices inside a single network and transport incoming and outgoing internet data between them. Both devices are an important aspect of computer networking and communication systems. Both devices are an important aspect of computer networking and communication systems.

Difference Between Access Point and Switch

An access point is a device that is part of a LAN that is used to extend a computer network’s wireless reach. This can expand the number of people who can access a computer network. The access point device converts a wired signal to a wireless signal and establishes a WiFi connection with other devices in the network. Wireless routers can be utilized as access points on occasion.

Switches are used in big computer networks to connect several computers in a single local area network (LAN). Multiple switches may be necessary to link distinct groups of computer networks, depending on the size of the network.

Comparison Table Between Access Point and Switch

Parameters of ComparisonAccess PointSwitch
DefinitionAccess points connect a wired Ethernet network to a wireless network. This allows PCs and other devices to connect wirelessly to a wired network.Switches can recognize the intended destination of data they receive and transfer it solely to the computers for whom it was intended.
PortsFor different sorts of network and device connections, an access point can contain up to 7 to 8 ports.A switch has a large number of ports, which can range from 50 to 100 depending on the type
RequirementAn access point can need up to 8, 5, 6 watts of electricity to run, depending on the type.A switch takes between 14 and 30 Watts of electricity to operate.
Other termsAP, WAP, wireless access point, and other terms are used to refer to an access point.Switching and bridging hub, MAC bridge, and other terms are used to describe switches.
LifespanBefore becoming obsolete, an access point can only be utilized for 3 to 4 years.Many Switch models are available that can last 5 to 10 years, despite the fact that fresh updates are released on a regular basis.

What is Access Point?

By connecting to a hub, switch, or router, access points, also known as base stations, deliver wireless internet. Computers can connect to wired networks via wireless access points. These access points work similarly to cell phone towers in that they allow you to roam between many places while maintaining wireless connectivity.

The security standards provided to users by access points are based on Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2 (WPA2), which includes AES encryption. An access point has a MAC address, which may be obtained by signing in to the web-based router setup.

As a result, an access point may be understood as a device used in computer networking to facilitate network connections and WiFi. The access point adheres to a variety of wireless data standards. Access points and wireless routers were among the first devices to use these data standards.

New wireless data standards have been established as a result of modernization, yet there are still a plethora of technologies that rely on previous standards. Access points have their own set of restrictions, such as a maximum of 10 to 25 customers per access point. The number of customers per access point, on the other hand, is determined by a variety of variables.

What is Switch?

Switches can recognize the source of information delivered to them and transfer it to the correct destination, switches are quicker and more efficient than hubs. Switches are capable of simultaneously sending and receiving data. Residential networks that exchange music and play network games benefit greatly from switches.

The data connection layer was originally referred to as layer 2 and layer 3. Multilayer or layer-3 switches deliver and receive data using layer 3. A changeover is long-lasting, lasting between 5 and 10 years. The power required to run a switch device ranges from 14 to 30 watts, depending on the type.

A switch, like an access point, has a MAC address. It contains a lot of ports, which is useful when you need to connect many devices at once. A switch’s operation necessitates the usage of several cables. For network connectivity, the hots of networks rely on switches.

Fiber Channels, Ethernet, ATM, RapidIO, and other networks are supported via switches. Managed switches, unmanaged switches, smart switches, Enterprise managed switches, and other devices can all be found on switches.

Main Differences Between Access Point and Switch

  1. An access point is a wireless device that allows data to be sent from one location to another. Switches, on the contrary, are exclusively utilized in wired networks.
  2. An access point can use somewhere between 6 and 8 watts of electricity. A switch, on the contrary, needs between 14 and 30 Watts to operate.
  3. WAP and AP are additional terminologies used in place of access points. On the other hand, a switch is known as a switching hub and MAC bridging.
  4. Data is received and delivered via access points, which transform it into 5GHz and 2.4GHz signals whereas switch transfers data in the form of packets to its destination.
  5. Access points receive and send data, converting it to 5GHz and 2.4GHz signals whereas switch sends packets of data to its destination.


A computer network is a large expanse containing millions of pieces of data that is extremely difficult to comprehend. It is, nonetheless, one of the most important mediums used by everyone in modern times.

The unique feature of twenty-first-century technology is that it is difficult as usual, yet electronic gadgets have made it accessible to the general public. Switches and access points are two examples. These gadgets are both inexpensive and simple to use.

Users can connect to networks through access points and switches, which is how words like “online pals” came to be. It is also advantageous in the workplace. As a result, acquiring one of them would never be a waste of money.


  1. https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi16/technical-sessions/presentation/vasisht
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/nchembio.611