6 Best Outdoor Access Points | April 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Looking for a router with the power to give your employees or customers Wi-Fi access throughout your building and even outside? Our selection of outdoor access points has something for every application and budget. We've found models affordable enough for home use, so you can surf the Web in the garden, and powerful enough to cover an entire community or office complex. Skip to the best outdoor access point on Amazon.
6 Best Outdoor Access Points | April 2017
Overall Rank: 1
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 3
Best High-End
★★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
6
The StarTech R300WN22MOD5 has a rugged, but nondescript, grey metal, IP67-rated housing that looks just like a standard junction box, so it should blend into your building well. It also won't crack from sun exposure, like some plastic housings will.
  • low interference from other devices
  • can be used to bridge two networks
  • range isn't very far
Brand StarTech
Model R300WN22MOD5
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
The Hawking Technology HPOW5 sends out an omnidirectional signal and can function as an access point, a network bridge, or a repeater, so you get a range of features from one handy and affordable device. It also includes both a wall and pole mounting kit.
  • suitable for commercial applications
  • company offers good tech support
  • setup is time consuming
Brand Hawking Technology
Model HPOW5
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
3
The EnGenius AC1750 works with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac network architecture, so it will connect to your system no matter whether you have an old or new modem. Its fast wireless speeds allow you to surf, download, and stream without buffering.
  • internal 5dbi high gain antennas
  • ip55-rated waterproof housing
  • comes with poe injectors
Brand EnGenius
Model AC1750
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
The Ubiquiti Networks Unifi Pro looks nice enough to be installed in plain view indoors, but has a durable weatherproof housing that keeps all of the sensitive interior components well-protected for outdoor use. It gets a 400' range from three dual-band antennas.
  • 1300mbps data transfer speeds
  • easy to mount and set up
  • designed to be managed remotely
Brand Ubiquiti Networks
Model UAPACPROUS
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Advantages Of An Outdoor Access Point For Your Home

For most people experiencing slow Wi-Fi speeds in their homes, an outdoor access point can be the answer to all of their woes. Unless you have an outdated router, you're probably experiencing slow connectivity issues because of the frequency you are using to transmit your Wi-Fi signal. The majority of routers transmit on the 2.4GHz band wave, and it is a very crowded frequency.

Consider this: every house in your neighborhood probably connects to the internet via a wireless router. Then consider that likely every one of these routers is using the 2.4GHz band. Many other wireless devices also use the same frequency such as garage door openers, baby monitors, hand radios, R.C. cars, wireless phones and many more. What you're left with is a congested frequency that offers slow speeds and low data transfer rates.

The 4.9GHz band doesn't have this problem. There is less traffic on this frequency, and the connection speeds are much faster. Unlike the average home router, all outdoor access points make use of the 4.9GHz frequency by default.

In addition to faster speeds, outdoor access points have a wider range than indoor routers. People try a variety of techniques to increase their home's Wi-Fi range from purchasing range extenders to buying two separate routers in the hopes of getting a strong Wi-Fi signal in every nook and cranny of their home. Unfortunately, these techniques are often more of a headache than a solution. With a strategically placed outdoor access point, your entire home can be connected to uncrowded, lightning fast service through the 4.9GHz band.

The Advantages Of An Outdoor Access Point For Your Business

The world of business offers its own unique connectivity issues. Luckily, an outdoor access point is the solution to many of them.

A simple example of this is the need for a business to offer public Wi-Fi. People love to stay connected to their network, and you can always count on the consumer to remember which businesses offer free Wi-Fi. The need for a strong Wi-Fi signal doesn't stop there. An outdoor access point also allows employees and business partners to stay connected outside of the office. As long as they are within the large range of the access point, they are covered. This can be a great advantage, especially for data-dependent employees who are working around your property.

Another benefit of using an outdoor access point for your business can be realized when setting up a video surveillance system. Connecting IP cameras to your network allows for remote viewing, as they connect over your Wi-Fi network. If your network is weak, you may have trouble accessing your surveillance system and you may even experience poor quality recordings. A strong signal equates to better video quality and the ability to manage your surveillance cameras from virtually anywhere.

Outdoor access points also offer better connectivity to you and your employees throughout the bulding. Believe it or not, a booming business that has to expand to different floors or offices is sometimes a problem. This is especially true when you are talking about connectivity. Even some of the best indoor routers have trouble providing consistent service over multiple floors. Offices that are tucked away in a corner of the building are often prone to drops in connection. This is unacceptable in the world of cloud computing. If you need multiple employees to be able to access the information on your cloud throughout the day, these drops in connection mean drops in productivity. An outdoor access point can easily ensure your entire building stays connected.

Things To Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Access Point

Location is an important factor to consider before buying an outdoor access point. Where will you be setting it up? In areas of extreme sunlight such as an exposed roof, the plastic housings of some models may wear down over time. If this is the case, consider a more durable housing option like metal. This won't be a problem if your outdoor access point will be relatively unexposed, such as on the shady side of a building. Interference may be another contributing factor here. If you are in a busy office complex, the chances of disruptions in connection are higher, as other machines on the same frequency can disrupt your signal.

Another factor is the range of service you are looking for. Are you looking to simply provide signal to the average home, or would you like a signal provided to your whole apartment building or business? Different operating signal strengths will influence your purchase in this case.

How much experience do you have in computer technology? You may need to put it to good use. Knowing how to set up an ISP may be needed with some models. Opt for a more user-friendly access point if this is not in your repertoire.

Also consider what types of devices will be connecting to your outdoor access point. Some access points are only optimized for personal computers, while others are more optimized to support gaming consoles and mobile devices. Always choose an outdoor access point optimized for your needs.



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Last updated on April 22 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.