Wireless - Lightweight Access Point

A Lightweight Access Point (LWAP) is a type of wireless access point (AP) that operates in conjunction with a wireless LAN controller (WLC). Unlike autonomous access points that operate independently, LWAPs rely on a central controller for management, configuration, and control. Here are some key features and aspects of an LWAP:

  1. Centralized Management: LWAPs are managed centrally by the WLC. This means that configurations, firmware updates, and network policies are all handled by the controller, which simplifies the management of large wireless networks.

  2. Lightweight Firmware: The firmware on a lightweight access point is less complex than that of an autonomous AP. The LWAP relies on the WLC for most of its intelligence and decision-making capabilities.

  3. Scalability: LWAPs allow for easier scaling of wireless networks. As the network grows, new LWAPs can be added and automatically configured by the WLC, making it easier to expand network coverage.

  4. Advanced Features: Through the WLC, LWAPs can support advanced features such as adaptive radio management, seamless roaming, and enhanced security protocols.

  5. Reduced Workload on AP: Since the WLC handles many of the processing tasks, LWAPs can operate more efficiently with a reduced workload. This can improve performance, especially in large networks with many clients.

  6. Flexibility in Deployment: LWAPs can be deployed in various modes, such as bridge mode or monitor mode, to suit different networking needs. This flexibility is managed by the WLC.

LWAPs are designed for centralized control and ease of management, making it ideal for large and complex wireless networks. LWAPs can operate in various modes depending upon the needs of the specific wireless network.

The designation of an Access Point as a Lightweight AP should not be confused with Cisco's proprietary Light Weight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP).