What is an AP or WAP in Networking?

A WAP (Wireless Access Point) or more commonly referred to AP (Access Point) is a piece of networking hardware that creates a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), enabling WiFi compatible devices to connect to the main wired network. In a standard configuration, the AP would normally connect to a wired router, network switch or network hub via an Ethernet cable, enabling it to broadcast a WiFi signal within a designated area; any nearby WiFi compatible devices are then able to connect wirelessly to this new Local Area Network without the need to connect to the wired router (hub or switch).
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