A repeater is an access point that extends the radio range of the infrastructure or to overcome an obstacle that blocks radio communication. A repeater is not physically attached to the wired LAN, but communicates through radio to another access point which is primary Access Point connected to the wired LAN. Wireless clients associating to the repeater AP will thus be able to be located farther from the wired LAN.
The repeater forwards traffic between wireless users and the wired LAN by sending packets to either another repeater or to an access point connected to the wired LAN. When you configure an access point as a repeater, the access point’s Ethernet port does not forward traffic.
Effective throughput is cut in half once for each hop away from the parent Access Point. Because each repeater must receive and then re-transmit each packet on the same channel, throughput is cut in half for each repeater you add to the chain.
What are our advise on using Repeater mode:
1. Use Repeater mode only for link extension where there is obstacle that prevent normal RF communication where line of sight is not possible. It is not used to increase RF coverage for more wireless clients.
2. Please make sure the repeater access point associates to the access point with which it has the best connectivity. Setting up a static, specific association between a repeater and a primary access point is a must to improves wireless link stability. Take note the Wireless clients may not be able to establish a radio link to the access point if the repeater access point does not have a valid link or establish stable link to a primary access point.
3. Do not set up a chain of several repeater access points as any uplink failure can cause the entire downlink to fail, and the throughput for client devices at the end of the repeater chain will be quite low.
4. Another aspect when using Repeater mode may cause Hidden Node issue. Packet loss and retransimission are common symptoms when it occurs.
An alternative solution to using Repeater mode would be using two Radios approach, one in Access Point and another in Client Bridge mode connected back to back using Ethernet connection. There would not be any degrade in throughput, instead it has better wireless link performance and stability. Our new product, XO2, which has two Radios in a single device which can function as true Repeater providing carrier class solution.
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