What Is the Different Between Thin AP (TAP) and Fat AP (FAP)?
Both of the two are used to provide internet access or network connectivity to the relevant domain users. They are the organizations' wireless access points to interconnect their users, employees, guests, etc.
However, it depends on the businesses to choose which suits their needs best because both of these two have their classifications and advantages.
Both of the two can be distinguished with WLAN technology's evolution, which has become more popular. The enterprises are interested in deploying them at their offices, businesses, etc.
FAT AP and Thin AP are classified according to their working principles, and in some cases, only FAT AP is only used for the WAN port. There are two types of WLAN network models: the distributed networking mode (FAT AP) and the second is the centralized WLAN network mode (Thin AP).
FAT AP wireless connection is an intelligent access point that is traditionally being in use by the companies. It is an autonomous working device that requires to be manually configured. It has its operating system, which means that it has both WAN and LAN ports.
It individually supports all the security functions like firewalls, VPN access, MAC and DNS address cloning, DHCP server, etc. In short, the FAT AP device can perform routing and dialing functions.
FAT AP is generally used by small organizations like a home or small retail businesses and offices with a limited number of people. One easy example of FAT AP is any wireless router at your home or business place.
Thin AP is a radio antenna connected with a switch that is associated with the AC management. The entire configuration occurs in the AC facility, which means that these AP types cannot work on an autonomous basis.
They are different from the traditionally used FAT APs. Mostly they come up in places with a large number of users, employees, etc. They do not have their DHCP server, firewall, VPN access, or DNS/MAC address cloning. It is just like a switch or hub used for signals receiving or transmitting functions.
Concluding the topic, both of the two have their functions and uses depending upon the network's size. FAT AP, however, is required to be configured manually one by one individual, which can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming job.
They have also distributed networks with limited or no centralized control, whereas the Thin AP can be managed centrally. One single configuration can be copied to the entire Thin AP network.
FAT AP network works well within the defined range, which means that it requires reconnecting, re-authentication, and IP acquiring functions if the user moves to another area where different FAT AP is installed.
However, that is not the case in Thin AP because it automatically switches to another Thin AP network without losing any data connectivity. Another drawback in FAT AP is that it cannot automatically balance the load of extra users and can be crashed on excessive connections, which are not in Thin AP, where the AC management balances the load automatically.
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