Introduction to Wireless LAN

Hello Abhishek

Let me answer your second question first: Yes, the APs connect via a physical cable to the Access Layer switches.

Concerning your first question, don’t confuse the terms ACCESS point and ACCESS layer switch. They have different meanings. An Access Layer switch is a switch that resides on the access layer of the three tier network design model: Core, Distribution and Access. The access layer of this model is the portion of the network that connects to the end devices such as phones, PCs, access points and so on. (For more information about the three tier network design model, take a look at this link:

The main purpose of the Access Layer switches as far as the access points are concerned is to provide network connectivity to the enterprise network. Additional features that these switches provide for the access points are:

  1. Power over Ethernet to power the access points via the Ethernet cabling, so no mains or power supply is needed where the APs are being installed.
  2. Separation of each SSID into a separate VLAN
  3. QoS and port security features.

For the most part, these additional features are available not only to Access points but to all devices connecting to the Access Layer switches.

I hope this has been helpful!