Netgear AP Mode VS Router Mode – Comparison

If you own a Netgear router or are thinking of buying one, you might speculate about the various features and modes that come with it. Router mode and AP mode are some of these. If you are thinking about these modes and their functions, this article will help you out. The working of these modes might seem complicated at first due to the technical terms, but you will get familiar with them quickly. We will first see what AP mode and router mode is. We will then look into Netgear’s AP mode vs. router mode comparison.  

Netgear AP Mode VS Router Mode

It is vital first to understand the purposes of these modes and how they work. The section below discusses them in detail. If you know the basics of these modes and want to check out the comparison between them, you can jump to the latter section of the article. 

The information stated in this article is exclusively for Netgear routers’ AP mode and router mode. These might or might not apply to the routers of other brands. 

What Is Router Mode

Router mode is the default setting on routers. When your router is in router mode, it links your home network to the internet. If you wire your devices to the router or connect them wirelessly, the router will route traffic to and away from them. The router acts as the main LAN in router mode. Whenever you connect devices to your router, they extend your primary LAN. 

Netgear Wifi routers have a DHCP server. DHCP servers assign an IP address to each client. Here, the client is any device that uses the internet. A wifi router can create routes joining such clients and the internet. 

When your router is working in router mode, you can enjoy some additional features. You can filter IP addresses and block particular websites. Blocking a specific website means that any device using wifi from your router won’t be able to access that particular website. On router mode, you can also create a guest network and use VPN services readily. 

What Is AP Mode

AP mode is useful when you need to extend a wifi network. If you have one router and can provide internet to all the devices it is supposed to; you do not particularly need AP mode. 

But if you need to extend the coverage to meet all requirements, you can set up a second router in AP mode. Setting up the second one in AP mode will expand the wifi network of your original router. Therefore, all devices connected to this network lie in the same IP.

When devices are connected to a wifi network that has been extended by AP mode, you can also easily attach the devices and share files among them. The devices work as though connected to a single router’s wifi network. 

So, suppose you need to connect your soundbar to tv wirelessly via wifi. And you have a router whose wifi can only serve one of those devices. Joining the other device to different wifi is not the solution since then you can’t connect them. In such a situation, you can extend the original router’s wifi network using AP mode on another router. This will allow you to join the two devices together as they would under the network of one router. 

Now that we have an idea of AP mode and router mode let us look at the differences between them and how you can use them correctly. 

Differences Between Netgear Router’s AP Mode And Router Mode

The main difference you need to know is the features available to you in these modes. Some are exclusively available in router mode and some in AP mode. Besides the two modes’ usual purposes, knowledge about these features will give you a better picture of which one of the two you can use based on your requirements. 

Blocking Sites And Services

As mentioned above, when you use your Netgear router in its default router mode, you can block certain websites or services. But it is important to remember that you cannot do so while using it in AP mode. In AP mode, the extended network does not allow for filtering IP addresses. 

Parental Controls

Parental Control is a security feature in the Netgear router. This feature allows you to monitor the websites your young ones can access. You can only use Parental Controls in Router mode and not AP mode. Hence, for devices in reach of your kids, the default router mode is more suitable. 

Remote Management

You can control your Netgear routers easily via remotes. This is only applicable if you use them in router mode. AP mode does not allow remote management. However, you can operate them from their mobile app. You can use your smartphone to manage the routers in AP mode. 

Guest Network

Setting up a guest network is only allowed in router mode, not AP mode. You can set up a different access point to your router via the guest network. This is helpful when you have guests over and need to share your network. 

Wizard Setup

Wizard setup is a preinstalled tool in android phones. The primary function of a premium licensed wizard setup is to restore previous applications on a new phone. You might need to use this setup when you change your phone and need the earlier applications in the new one. This setup is allowed in router mode and not in AP mode. 

To Sum It Up

This article helps you understand how your Netgear router functions in AP mode vs. router mode. We look into the functions of these modes and the difference in features they allow. If you have a router that can suffice the internet for all your devices, you can use it in router mode. AP mode is needed when you need to extend this network. Certain features are only available in router mode and not in AP mode that you should be aware of. The article runs through the most important ones.


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David Peter
By David Peter

Hi, this is David Peter from California, USA. By profession, I am working as an Telecommunication engineer with a reputable Telecommunications Company here in California. I am a tech savvy person, and that is why I love my job. This blog is my part time hobby, and I love to write reviews about different products based on my own knowledge and experience. When you go through my reviews, you will feel that they are unbiased reviews as they come direct from my heart for tech lovers. The purpose is to help and guide people who are looking to buy or upgrade their electronic gadgets like modems and routers etc. Enjoy and give your feedback in comments!


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