Which inexpensive AP has a switch?

Hi all. First let me say I'm a big networking/hardware newb compared to most of you. I'm looking for a wifi access point that also has a built in switch. I have a detached garage that friends and family like to hang out it. But we always have trouble getting a wifi signal. There is a cable running out there though, which is hooked up to the back of my router. This works great for the one desktop I have plugged in.

But we need wifi out there. So how about an access point with a switch built in, so that we can easily use the desktop computer and have wifi? (the desktop has no wifi card)

If it helps, I also have a standard TP Link switch. So maybe an AP with no built in switch would work, and I could just plug the AP and the Desktop into the little switch? Any help here would be greatly appreciated!

Just take a router, and configure it as AP.


yes you can get a wifi router with an integrated switch (5 ports on the back) and reconfigure it to be just an AP, the ports will still work as a switch so you have a single device doing two jobs.
here the instructions for a OpenWrt device https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/network/wifi/dumbap

but you don't need an OpenWrt device to do this, most wifi routers have an "AP mode" selector that turns the WAN port into another LAN port, and does the other configuration changes to turn them into a dumb AP


I had an old router but it got so hot I didn't want to use it. So I'm just looking for a good wifi access point. Does anyone have a recommendation? Perhaps one where you don't need any of their crappy proprietary software to use it. I was about to buy a TP Link one for $60, but one of the reviews said:

"You can’t program this device (create and ssid and password protect your WiFi) without downloading their app that logs all the sites you visit TP Link shares this information with their “partners” per their privacy policy."

I'm not interested in any of their scumbaggery, so hopefully someone here can recommend me a good simple wifi access point. Thanks!

Tp-link eap245v3 has two lan ports. Not sure if it qualifies as a switch though.

Tp-link EAP devices can function in stand alone mode, as well as in a centralized model. The later is a prerequisite for using the mobile app. I like the app.

Edit: spelling

Are you aware if you can program that device (create and ssid and password protect your WiFi) without downloading their app that logs all the sites you visit? I know that TP Link shares this information with their “partners” per their "privacy" policy.

I'm not interested in any of their scumbaggery. Thanks!

You can put OpenWRT on the EAP245v3 - so - no scumbaggery concerns

Yes you can run that device for your own, that is actually a business AP with business functions.

To configure this AP centrally you need the omada server, and that won’t come flying home to you by mail without you ordering it. But I doubt they spy very much anyway, if they did that on business networks they are out of the game pretty fast.

And AP are very dumb things and placed in the end point of the network so any “data dump spying” connected to China will be found very fast and stopped by enterprise firewalls pretty fast.

The simplest solution to the problem would probably to upgrade your desktop with a wifi card/usb dongle and run wifi on all devices and only have a AP on the ethernet cable you already have.

In answer to the original question, recently I purchased an HP MSM317 to explore its potential. These are readily available on eBay (here in the UK I paid about 15 USD).

Size wise it's not much bigger than a cigarette packet and is designed to be embedded into a standard wall socket, is powered by POE and has an in-built ethernet switch delivering 2-3 downstream ports as well as WIFI.

It's designed to be managed using an HP ProCurve MSMxxx Access Controller but I was able to get it into "controlled mode" on my home lan (with a local address & web server UI). Unfortunately I've since found its LAN & wireless ports are disabled until a link is established with an HP MSM controller. Sadly these controllers are a bit more expensive (I'm surprised there isn't a software implementation that could run on a PC to deliver the same capability).

I wonder had anybody looked at how to fool the MSM317 into thinking it's under MSM control (and unlock its capabilities) ? A wireshark trace is an obvious place to start, though beyond my technical competence.

Yes this is old, discontinued technology but (if unlocked) is perfect for delivering discrete & compact switches.

Thanks Paul

Looks like you don't really need a switch, but AP with LAN port(s). You may be better off finding a cheap OpenWrt-supporting AP, but if you just need a brand new inexpensive unit with WAN and LAN ports (which can be merged/combined into two LAN ports), check out GL-Inet MT300N or AR300M.

it's usually the routing who generates the CPU load, and heat, if you set it up as an AP, as previously suggested, it probably won't run hot.

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I don't know what was going on, but just being an AP it felt hot. Like hotter than I was comfortable with. Maybe it had other problems, dunno. But i ditched it and got a real AP instead. TP Link, works great and very little heat.

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