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Fat AP vs Fit AP in Networking

There are many types of wireless APs, which can be divided into Fat AP and Fit AP according to the access mode. So what is the difference between the Fat AP and the Fit AP? Fat AP means that it can be used alone. The Fit AP needs to be used with the AC controller, and the controller of the main network needs to add authorized software. So how to set the Fat mode for the wireless AP? Let’s learn how to set the Fat AP below.

Fat AP vs Fit AP in Networking

What Is The Difference Between Fat AP and Fit AP?

1. Fat AP

In addition to the wireless access function, Fat AP generally also has WAN and LAN ports. And it supports DHCP server, DNS and MAC address cloning, VPN access, firewall and other security functions. Fat AP usually has its own complete operating system, which is a network device that can work independently. It can realize functions such as dial-up and routing. A typical example is our common wireless router.

Fat AP is simply understood as an AP with management functions, that has its own management function and broadcasts the SSID and also connects to terminals. It belongs to a kind of small but complete wireless AP.

2. Fit AP

Fit AP, can also be simply understood as a thin Fat AP, which removes routing, DNS, DHCP server and many other loading functions, and only keeps the wireless access part. The AP we often refer to is the Fit AP, which is equivalent to a wireless switch or hub, and only provides a wired/wireless signal conversion and wireless signal receiving/sending function. As a part of WLAN, Fit AP can not work independently. It must cooperate with AC management to become a complete system.

Fit APs do not have management functions. It can be understood as a signal sending and receiving antenna. Its management functions are performed by the backend, called the Wireless Controller (AC). Fit APs cannot manage themselves. AC is in charge of management. Fit AP is only responsible for broadcasting SSID and connecting terminals. Typically, very small networks use Fat APs, while small networks use Fit APs.

Fit AP

The main reason is that large enterprises generally deploy wireless network coverage in large campus, and it is very troublesome to manage when a large number of wireless routers are deployed. It is impossible to use a router like a home router. If you need to configure hundreds of wireless routers, it is more convenient and faster to use the wireless controller (AC) for unified management of all wireless APs.

High-end wireless controllers (AC) can even manage hundreds of thousands of wireless APs, and wireless APs can be configured centrally or delivered. Enterprise-level wireless APs can actually be very fat, and can be edited and implemented through different software, but it does not make sense in the case of large-scale deployment.

How to Set the Fat Mode for Wireless AP?

1. Preparation before setting

i. Switch to the Fat AP mode: Find the Fat/Fit mode switch on the side of the AP housing, and switch the mode to the Fat position.

ii. Power supply and connection: Some APs need to be powered by 802.3af/at standard PoE network cables. Please use standard PoE switches or PoE injectors to power APs. It is recommended not to connect to the network when setting. If the wireless AP is powered by DC or Passive PoE, connect the computer to the network cable port of the AP, and use the power adapter to supply power.

2. Log in to the user interface

i. Set up the operating computer: Please set the local connection of the operating computer to a static IP. IP address:, subnet mask:, no need to set gateway or DNS.

ii. Enter the management address: Open the browser, clear the address bar and enter, a login box will pop up after clicking return button. Note: If the management address has been modified, please use the modified address to log in.

iii. Enter login information: In the login box, enter the default user name and password of the wireless AP, both of which are admin. Then click Login to enter the management interface. Note: If you have modified your login username and password, please log in with the modified username and password.

Log in to the user interface

3. Wireless Settings

i. Enter wireless settings: After logging in to the AP interface, click Wireless to set up wirelessly.

ii. Modify existing wireless settings: If there are already wireless signals in the wireless service, you can click the settings icon to modify the wireless settings. It is recommended to delete useless signals and encrypt useful signals. Note: When the type is set to guest network, hosts in the guest network can not communicate with other wireless network hosts. After wireless network internal isolation is enabled, hosts connected to the same wireless network can not communicate with each other. If the above functions need to take effect across APs (among multiple APs), they need to be combined with VLAN settings. For details, please refer to related documents.

iii. Add a new wireless signal: Click Add in the wireless service to add a new wireless signal.

iv. Save the settings: After the settings are completed, the interface will prompt “You have unsaved configuration, do you want to save it now?”. Please be sure to click the button to save the configuration on the right to save the configuration.

4. Address modification

The default IP address of the AP is If there are multiple APs in the LAN, in order to facilitate management, the management address needs to be set to an address on the same network segment that does not conflict.

For example, the IP address of the first AP is, the IP address of the second AP is, the IP address of the third AP is…, and so on. Click System – Settings Management to set the management IP address, and click OK after modification.

Note: After modifying the address, please use the modified IP address to log in to the management interface of the AP and save the configuration, otherwise the configuration will be lost after restarting.

5. Wire connection

After the setting is successful, power on the AP and connect it to the front-end network. At this point, the Fat AP setting of your wireless AP is completed. And the corresponding signal can be searched on the wireless terminal to connect to the Internet.

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