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I have access to an ethernet port of a wireless router. I simply connect my laptop to it via an ethernet cable. There are a total of four such ports on the wireless router.

Now I want to connect a device (a wireless access point? wireless bridge? wireless switch?) via an ethernet cable to one of the other ethernet ports of the router. I want this device to act as a kind of wireless switch - it should "split" the ethernet connection coming from the router to two or more computers that connect to this device via a wireless.

Basically, I have a wireless router with its wireless function switched off. I don't know the password for that router so can't activate the wireless function. Don't know the password of the ISP either. The only thing I can do is to connect via ethernet cable to the wireless router and this does not require a password. Now I want to use that connection and build a wireless upon it.

What kind of device do I need? I am not really very well informed about network management and find the descriptions "wireless access point", "wireless bridge", "wireless switch" confusing. I know what an ethernet switch is - what I need is a device which would do the same but by allowing the clients to connect to it via a wireless.

What kind of device would do that? Any recommendations about specific products?

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What you are looking for is a wireless access point:

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Like Dominik said it's a Wireless Access Point. Note that most consumer wireless routers are actually a wireless access point, switch and NAT (network address translation) built into one.

In your case you might be able to reset the password on your wireless router by holding down its reset switch while powering in on. Keep holding the reset switch for 10 seconds or so.

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I believe you are looking for Wireless AP Bridges

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In order to do a hard reset of your router, hold the reset button a full 60 seconds (or longer if you can stand it). Generally, less than that only does a "soft" reset. That should restore your default passwords and access to wireless. You can have 253 machines connected to a 4-port router.

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You could also use another wifi router and connect the Internet port (or WAN) to the available Ethernet port. You need to configure the new router to DHCP for its Internet connection but they are usually like that by default. Then you are free to create the wifi network with any parameters you like and even use all the Ethernet ports from the new router.

This will add a layer of NAT in the network but I don't believe this will cause any problems.

This would be the preferred setup because nowadays a typical wifi router (that contains router/firewall/wifi AP/switch/etc) is really cheap probably because of the high sales volume compared to a standalone wifi accesspoint.

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