When setting up a wireless network, there will be 2 basic options, a wireless access point, or a wireless router.
The wireless router usually comes with a built in 4 port wired Ethernet switch, and additional networking functionality such as a DHCP server with will assign network addresses to wired and wireless computers and devices connected to the network. It also performs network address translation, or NAT, which converts the public IP address your ISP’s cable modem or DSL modem is assigning to your computer, into a private address that is invisible from the Internet side of the edge device. This is the choice to make if you do not have another device that is performing these functions. The way to determine this is to open a command prompt and type ipconfig /all and see what the IP address is, and if there is a DHCP server listed before the DNS servers. If your IP address starts with 192, 172, or 10, you are already on a private network. If a DHCP server address is listed, and its address starts with one of the above numbers, this function is being handled as well. You do not need a wireless router. What you need is an access point. I have reviewed the Linksys WAP54G below.
Pros: Very easy to configure, wall mount option a plus
If you find yourself needing extended coverage for your wireless network, such as a hard to cover floor or area in your building, this access point will do the trick.
You can extend the same address subnet and DHCP scope to devices that connect through the access point. It can be wired to a nearby Ethernet port, or used in bridge mode to connect wirelessly to another access point or wireless router.
Also, if you have a network configuration where the DHCP addresses are being provided by a server or another device, this would be the choice for you instead of the Linksys Wireless Router, which also provides DHCP server functionality.
I have deployed this access point alone, in a multiple access point environment, and as an extender with a Linksys WRT54GS wireless router, and had flawless results in each configuration.
All in all, a fine product.