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Aironet repeat of a repeater or over Ethernet

John Peterson


I have a 5 Aironets and wanted to setup these up as repeater?

The Root is going to be unreachable for 2 of the aironets, it is possible to set these up as reperters to repeat from the closest repeater, or can I set up the repearter to repeart from the Root via ethernet?


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Scott Fella
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You can setup the AP as a repeater and another AP as a repeater off of that repeater, but the performance you will get will not be worth it. Even the ap setup as a repeater connected to an access point that is wired, performance is not goo and you will notice that for sure. If you ask me, it's not worth it especially if you have multiple users on these repeaters. Each repeater cuts your total throughput in half.

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What would you recommend then?

Run cable to each AP.

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I'm only able to run a cable to a few, is it possible to set these up with the same ssid but on a different channel?

Can the channel be set to be automatic ?

Well that make things almost imposible. The channel and ssid on the repeater has to be the same in order for the repeater to associate to the wired AP.  Here is an old doc that might help:

Q. What are the implications if your AP is in repeater mode?

A. The Ethernet port is disabled in repeater mode. The effective throughput is cut in half once for each hop away from the parent AP.

In order to set up repeaters, you must enable Aironet extensions on both the parent (root) access point and the repeater access points. Aironet extensions, which are enabled by default, improve the ability of the access point to understand the capabilities of Cisco Aironet client devices associated with the access point. If you disable Aironet extensions, you can sometimes improve the interoperability between the access point and non-Cisco client devices. Non-Cisco client devices can find communication difficult with repeater access points and the root access point to which repeaters are associated.

The infrastructure SSID must be assigned to the native VLAN. If more than one VLAN is created on an access point or wireless bridge, an infrastructure SSID cannot be assigned to a non-native VLAN. This message appears when the infrastructure SSID is configured on non-native VLAN:

SSID [xxx] must be configured as native-vlan before enabling

Because access points create a virtual interface for each radio interface, repeater access points associate to the root access point twice: once for the actual interface and once for the virtual interface.

Note: You cannot configure multiple VLANs on repeater access points. Repeater access points support only the native VLAN.

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Therefore can I set up the aironet with the same ssid but on different channels and have a 15% overlap?

What is the best way for me to approach this?

I believe you need to be on the same channel. Just follow the guide which are pretty old. You will just have to test it and see if the performance is something your users can deal with. Setup your AP the configure another AP as a repeater and then test.

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If I find that the connection is low, shall I set up anothor root with a repeater accessing the second root?

Would this not cause any packets to be bouncing around?

You can. The thing you need to look at is the distance between the root and the repeater. This determines your connection speed between the two. If the connection is poor, user experience will even be worse. You can specify what root ap you want the repeater to connect to so you should be okay.

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Thanks Scott,

How about the channels, should these be different between each root? Or would the aironet sort this out for automatically?

You can manually assign the channel on each root.  That would be best.  Don't use the 'Select best channel' or whatever that is... I forget. 

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