Difference Between Access Point and Switch (With Table)

When it comes to moving information and data from one location to another, hundreds of gadgets can be used in the internet age. The more straightforward this technique appears to be, the more sophisticated the functionality it is composed of.

A person may own several electronic devices, all of which must be connected to a network to function. Access Points and switches are examples of hardware or gadgets that assist a person in establishing a connection with a computer network.

Access Point vs Switch

The main difference between an access point and a switch is that an access point is a data transfer medium that sends and receives data through a signal, but a switch does not. Data is first converted to packets by a switch before being sent to its final destination. Communications systems and computer networking are made possible by using these technologies, which are essential and indispensable.

Wireless access points are most often used as signal transmitters between wireless devices and other types of wired networks, and they are becoming increasingly common. Typically, it is a standard-sized device used as a portal by other devices to connect with a local area network.

A switch, or more precisely, a network switch, is a networking device primarily used for connecting several common devices to a network. To move data between numerous devices, a switch uses packet switching technology.

Comparison Table Between Access Point and Switch

Parameters Of ComparisonAccess PointSwitch
MeaningAccess points are the most commonly utilized equipment to connect to the local networks.Multiple connections can be made using a switch, but packet-switched technology is used to do so.
Other namesAn access point can go by many different names, including AP, WAP, and other variations like a wireless access point.Several names for a switch include switching & bridging hub, MAC bridge, etc.
PortDepending on the model, an access point may feature seven or eight ports connecting various networks and devices.  Depending on the model, a switch can have up to 50 ports.
LifespanFor the most part, access points can be utilized for three to four years before they need to be replaced.Many Switch models have five to ten years or more, while new versions are constantly being released.
Power requiredPower consumption for access points ranges from 8 to 6 watts for various types and models.Switches typically require between 14 and 30 Watts of power to operate.

What is Access Point?

Wireless access points, often known as APs or WAPs, are a type of access point that can be used wirelessly. Resetting the access point can be accomplished in various ways, with the procedures varying from device to device.

Access points provide users with security standards based on WiFi Protected Access version 2, generally known as WPA2, and protected using AES encryption. An access point is identified by its MAC address, obtained by entering into the router settings, accessible via the internet.

The term access point can be understood to mean a device utilized in computer networking to facilitate network connectivity and wireless fidelity (WiFi). The access point uses a variety of wireless data standards to transmit information to and from the network.

However, there is still a plethora of equipment based on older standards. These standards include 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11n, and various other protocols.

When using a single access point, clients should not exceed 10 to 25 people at once. On the other hand, the number of clients served by a single access point depends on various parameters.

What is Switch?

Obtaining and transmitting data packets are the functions of a switch. There are seven layers to a Switch, widely used to link devices. Datalink and application layers are all part of this hierarchy, and the last two are also known as presentation and network layers.

Additionally, it has been referred to as layers 2 and 3, respectively. A multilayer or layer-3 switch sends and receives data using layer 3. Typically, a transfer can last for five to ten years. The power needed to run a switch device can range from 14 to 30 watts, and however, this is dependent on the model.

Both switches and access points use a MAC address, and it includes many ports that are useful when multiple devices need to be plugged in simultaneously. Several cables are required to operate a single switch, and switches are required to link networks together.

Switches enable a wide range of networks, including fibre channel, Ethernet, ATM, and RapidIO, among others. Managed, unmanaged, innovative, and Enterprise managed switches are only a few devices found in switches.

Main Differences Between Access Point and Switch

  1. Data is transported from one area to another via an access point. While switches are only used in wired networks, routers are used in wireless networks.
  2. 2.4GHz and 5GHz transmissions transmit and receive data from access points.
  3. Depending on the model, an access point might use anywhere from 6 to 8 watts of power. On the other hand, a switch can use anywhere from 14 to 30 watts of power.
  4. An access point’s lifespan is typically between three and four years. Contrarily, it can be of service for between five and ten years.
  5. WAP and AP are two other designations for access points that can be used in place of them. On the other hand, switching hub & MAC bridging are two terms used to describe a switch.


A computer network is a vast area with a plethora of data that can be difficult to decipher. However, it is one of the most common means of communication used by modern people.

The 21st century’s technology is unique in that, while it is still complex, the development of electronic gadgets has made it accessible to the general public. Examples of these devices include access points and switches. Devices like this one are inexpensive and straightforward to use.

As a result of access points and switches, words like “online pals” were coined. Aside from personal use, it’s also advantageous in business. Because of this, it’s a good idea to buy one of them.        


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8970501/
  2. https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO201606050645975.page