Communications

mAP Lite Wireless Access Point

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Tiny wireless access point

My peers and I work on networks. Directly, hands on, configuring new or existing network elements. Doing so requires using a laptop to directly communicate with the elements we’re working on. We do that primarily with an Ethernet connection. A limiting factor is the length of Ethernet cable we carry. Sometimes we need to remote this connection to avoid excess noise in the equipment area or because we’re working on connections between devices. Dragging a longer cable around is a terrible solution, and we don’t always carry such a thing anyway.

This little thing (like a pack of crackers at the diner; one ounce), along with an otherwise too-small Powerbank plus micro USB cable and a slim Ethernet cable – Bang! A very easy remote connection. The little Powerbank I use with it, while it doesn’t do spit for my phone, runs this AP for at least four hours and only goes down one bar on its reserve indicator. So I don’t have to fiddle around finding a way to get power to it. Most people see these things suggested as ways to get WiFi to many devices in a hotel. Probably work great for that too. I’m in hotels way too much and haven’t ever had the need to use this for that purpose. It can use Power-over-Ethernet, too, so it should work very well for expanding a home or work LAN as well (without a lot of worry about running power too). While it’s very easy to configure for my purposes (a built-in web page), the options available are staggering. Don’t be put off by that unless you’re a stone noob, then get help. We’ve used a few other types of these things – they all sucked and ended up in a drawer. This one’s the keeper.

-- Wayne Ruffner 02/8/18