Cambium’s cnPilot R201 / R200 can be configured as wireless repeater and used as range extender. This feature can be used to extend the wireless networks in a big size house or places where we need to extend the wireless coverage provided by the Base AP. This feature is also important for Small and Medium business establishments with only one Internet drop point which can be used to connect only one Access point and using the Repeater functionality internet coverage can be extended to other areas.
Quick tour on how to enable the repeater functionality is below.
Repeater Configuration Terminology:
The first AP having wired internet link on WAN port is hereafter referred to as the Base AP. The AP that will extend the internet link as a wireless extender will be referred to as a Repeater AP. The Repeater AP will connect with Base AP over the air. User devices will be able to connect to Repeater AP as well as Base AP.
Base AP Configuration for Repeater Mode:
Any Cambium Wi-Fi Access point such as the cnPilot™ Home and Small Business R200, R201, or the cnPilot™ ePMP 1000 Hotspot or E400 or the E500 can act as a Base AP and can provide connectivity to a Repeater AP. There is no special configuration requirement on a Base AP, we just need a secure PSK based SSID - preferably configured with WPA2-PSK, AES-CCMP which can be used by the extender AP to connect.
Repeater AP Configuration:
Cambium AP’s – cnPilot-R200 and R201 can be configured as Repeater AP and they can connect with R200/R201 , ePMP Hotspot 1000 or E400 as Wi-Fi extender and increase the coverage of existing Base AP’s.
Following configurations are required to configure R200/R201 as Repeater AP
- In Wireless 2.4 or 5 GHz radio configure ’ Wireless Connection Mode’ as Repeater Mode from the drop down. Then Save the Settings
- After configuring Wireless Connection Mode as Repeater, notice that a new Menu Tab of “Repeater” is added in the existing tabs under Wireless 2.4GHz or Wireless 5 GHz where Repeater mode was selected.
- Click on the Repeater Mode menu and notice the available SSID with their Authentication and Encryption mode. Select the configured SSID of your Base AP and press Connect Button to start the Repeater connection with Base AP.
- After selecting the Base AP SSID in the list of Available SSID, press connect button and you will see an option to select the Authentication mode, Encryption type and a text box to enter the password for the selected SSID. Please make sure that Authentication, Encryption and PSK passphrase as Password should be same as the Base AP SSID. After entering all the information press OK button to make the Repeater mode connection with selected SSID.
- After entering all the information and pressing OK button if all the entered information is correct then Wi-Fi Repeater link will come up. Notice that “Wireless Connection” shows Connection Status as Connected and shows the name of SSID where it is connected.
- Save all the configurations by pressing Save button and Reboot the AP. After rebooting the Repeater AP notice that Repeater Link is up with the Base AP SSID previously selected and entered same information to connect with.
Repeater AP LAN IP/WAN IP Changes:
If both Base AP and Repeater AP has same LAN IP / Range as 192.168.11.xx then Repeater AP’s LAN IP range will automatically change to 192.168.12.xx and Repeaters LAN IP will be 192.168.12.1.
Repeater AP’s WAN Port / Internet Port will get IP address from the configured LAN DHCP server of the Base AP.
Repeater Mode Best Practices:
- If both Base AP and Repeater AP are dual Band then configure the Repeater AP to connect on 5 GHz and provide client connectivity or user wireless connectivity on 2.4 GHz.
- Keep proper distance between Base AP and Repeater AP so that Repeater can connect with Base AP.
- If repeater AP is single Band then same radio can be used to connect the Base AP as extender and can provide wireless user connectivity also.
- Creating multi hops of Repeater mode will degrade performance, increase latency and it’s not advisable.
- Base SSID where a Repeater AP (R201/R200) will connect should be only PSK based and not 802.1x based else Repeater AP (R201/R200) will not be able to connect because 802.1x is not supported in R – Series of Access Points.
- Also disable the LAN DHCP server of Repeater AP, to avoid multiple DHCP server IP’s and NAT mode operations at each step.