Understanding the Difference Between AP and SSID

Zyxel_Nami Posts: 476  Zyxel Employee
First Anniversary 10 Comments Friend Collector First Answer

Understanding the relationship between Access Points (APs) and Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs) is crucial for effectively setting up and managing a Wi-Fi network. There's a common misconception about how these elements interact, which this article aims to clarify.


  1. What is an AP?
    • An AP is a networking hardware device that connects Wi-Fi devices to a wired network. It serves as a bridge between Wi-Fi devices and the wired LAN, facilitating internet and network access.
  2. What is an SSID?
    • An SSID is the name assigned to a wireless network. When you search for available Wi-Fi networks on a device, the names that appear are the SSIDs. They help users identify and connect to the desired network.
  3. Relation between AP and SSID:
    • An AP can broadcast multiple SSIDs, meaning it can host more than one network. For example, you might have a guest network and a staff network broadcasted by the same AP.
    • Conversely, an SSID can be broadcasted by multiple APs. This is common in large spaces where many APs are needed to cover the area. They all broadcast the same SSID to provide seamless connectivity across the space.

Although an AP can broadcast multiple SSIDs, some users who would like to assign specific AP to broadcast specific SSID can still utilize SSID Tagging feature on Nebula. Please refer to this FAQ for more details.

Zyxel Nami