AP Nomenclature during WiFi design

During the initial WiFi design phase it is important to use an efficient AP naming convention.

In large WiFi deployments the initial AP names are often relevant only during the design, reporting and installation phases. In my experience working with VARs, once the WLAN is installed and operational it becomes efficient to rename the APs in accordance with a nomenclature that is meaningful to the people who will support that infrastructure.


The naming convention I use when placing APs during WiFi design varies depending on the nature and scale of the building in question. Smaller buildings requiring few APs or spanning only a single floor, I find it efficient to use a very simple two-digit naming convention in the format APYY.

  • Where YY denotes the AP number within the context of the Building as a whole
    • AP01, AP02, AP03…


When the building is larger or spans many floors this simple two-digit naming convention becomes inefficient. Often it is not possible to cover an entire floor in a sequential manner, this can create a floor plan where the numbers are not continuous throughout a single floor, which I feel is ugly and should be avoided if possible.


Buildings with a maximum of 9 floors above (and / or below) ground may be presented in a neat and tidy fashion using a three-digit naming convention in the format of XYY.

Where X denotes the floor,

  • 0 Ground, 1 First, 2 Second, -1 Lower Ground, -2 Basement

YY denotes the AP reference within the context of the floor

  • APs on the Ground Floor:
    • AP001, AP002, AP003…
  •  APs on the First Floor:
    • AP101, AP102, AP103…
  •  APs on the Second Floor:
    • AP201, AP202, AP203…
  •  APs on the Lower Ground Floor:
    • AP-101, AP-102, AP-103…


The big advantage of this naming convention is the ability to introduce additional APs to a design at a later date without creating AP numbers that are out of sequence within the context of each floor. Also if an AP were to be removed only the APs on that floor would need to be adjusted.


Buildings with more than 9 floors above or below ground may necessitate two digits to define the floor, resulting in a four-digit naming convention in the format APXXYY.

Where XX denotes the floor

  • 00 Ground, 01 First, 02 Second, -1 Lower Ground, -2 Basement

Where YY denotes the AP reference within the context of the floor

  • APs on the Ground Floor:
    • AP0001, AP0002, AP0003…
  •  APs on the First Floor:
    • AP0101, AP0102, AP0103…
  •  APs on the Second Floor:
    • AP0201, AP0202, AP0203…
  •  APs on the Lower Ground Floor:
    • AP-101, AP-102, AP-103…


You may think “why not use the four digit nomenclature by default?”

  • I regularly come into contact with buildings with fewer than 9 floors
  • Also AP0101 or AP0201 do not roll of the tongue as easily as AP101 or AP201.

All this being said, providing the nomenclature can be understood by you initially ( and subsequently by somebody else ) it does not make a huge difference how you name the APs during the design phase.

If you have any thoughts or would like to share an AP naming structure you use please whack it in the comments section or share via Twitter @nickjvturner

3 thoughts on “AP Nomenclature during WiFi design

  1. I like to add Organization/Building and AP Function to the convention. For Example: Organization-Building/Floor-APFunction/APNumber

    Client Servicing AP: ACME-A1-AP001
    External Antenna Client AP: ACME-A1-EAP001
    Monitor Mode AP: ACME-A1-MAP001
    Bridge AP: ACME-A1-BAP001
    Keith Parson’s Bane: ACME-A1-WAP001

    What are your thoughts?
    Todd (WifiTodd)


    1. Patrick

      The issue I see here, depending on the floorplans you might have so much clutter, it makes it hard to differentiate the APs. So for reading purposes short and easy should be the best solution. After all this naming is for documentation purposes of the survey and the design, not the final naming for the customer.


  2. This is thorough and appropriate! I like it. I feel this lends itself more towards an installed AP nomenclature.
    Also got to be careful with MAPs, as these could be misinterpreted as Mesh.


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