• I have been researching this for hours now but can't come up with a definitive answer. Is a wireless access point a layer one or layer two device. I would tend to think it would operate at layer two like a switch but depending on what source you look at, it could go either way. Thanks in advance for your responses.

  • Hi Trip:

    All Wi-Fi stations (STAs) operate at OSI layers 1 and 2.

    At layer two MAC there is a little variety - all devices have STA functionality but some devices also have access point (AP) functionality. The STAs that aren't APs are, ugh, nonAPs. Many of us have taken to calling STAs either APs or clients. Many APs also have portal functionality for bridging to Ethernet.

    At layer one PHY there is a lot of variety.
    2.4GHz, 5GHz
    Within each of these six PHYs there is yet more variety.

    I hope this helps. Can you add your location to your forum profile? Thanks. /criss

  • tripwire45, let me put it this way:

    An Access Point is a Layer 2 device and therefore works on Layers 1 and 2.

    Now, a Wireless Gateway (WG) usually comes with Limited Layer 3 Capabilities as it "handles" IP addresses, Protocol Filters, etc. Some may work with RIP (v1 and v2). A WG is an All-in-one product with an Access Point for Layer 2 Wireless Access.

    Moreover, Access Points are half-duplex devices with switching-like capabilities.

    I hope this helps,


  • Thanks for the responses. I appreciate it.

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