ASUS RT-N12E: how to set and test the repeater mode

In this post, we are going to show you how to set and test the repeater mode in the Asus RT-N12E router.

As you can observe in the back of the router’s box, the device can work as:

  • a router
  • a repeater
  • an AP

As a repeater the router works by establishing a connection to the DSL router and ampliflying the signal and sending it to the devices connected to it. Therefore, the repeater would be between your DSL router and your PC/laptop/tablet/phone in order to increase the range of coverage.

To avoid confusions between the Technicolor TC7230 DSL router and the Asus router, we will named the later as DUT (which stands for Device Under Test) ūüėČ


 

Steps to configure the Repeater Mode in the Asus router (our DUT)

Once the DUT is connected to the Ethernet port of your PC, follow the next steps:

STEP 1. Log in the DUT url with the user and password provided at the bottom of the device.

 

 

STEP 2. Go to Internet Setup and select the Repeater mode

 

STEP 3. Select the SSID of your DSL router and introduce the password (also available at the bottom of most of the routers):

 

STEP 4. Enter the IP you want to use to test the Asus DUT. This IP address needs to be in the same network as your DSL router and you can use the DSL router address as the address of the DUT’s gateway:

 

STEP 5. When you click on Next, you need to wait a coupe of minutes till the DUT connects to the router and then you’ll see your DUT is already connected:

Testing the Asus router as a Repeater

The Asus router (DUT) only works for the 2.4GHz band. However, our DSL router works for both, 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, so we decided go ahead and test the connection to both bands and check what happens ūüôā

Test for the 2.4GHz connection

As you can see, now our PC reaches Internet through its Ethernet interface (through the repeater):

 

We tested the connection performance by using this ATT tool and the results obtained in this case were:

And this is the latency:

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MP3 File (5MB) 1 sec

Video Clip (35MB) 9 sec

UPLOAD

Email Attachment (1MB) 2 sec

Photo Gallery (8MB) 15 sec

 

When the PC is directly connected to the DSL router (Technicolor TC7230), the performance will be a bit better:

 

You can distinguish that here the connection to internet is wireless while before it was Ethernet through the repeater.

and the latency:

DOWNLOAD

MP3 File (5MB) 1 sec

Video Clip (35MB) 9 sec

UPLOAD

Email Attachment (1MB) 2 sec

Photo Gallery (8MB) 12 sec

 

Test for the 5GHz connection

There is no 5GHz interface in the DUT, but it is available in the DSL router (same SSID ended in -5G), so when we set the repeater to connect to the 5GHz WiFi, something weird happens:

 

Notice that we even turn off the WiFi connection from our device and we can still browse (and the wireless capture in Wireshark was stopped):

 

It looks like the PC is connected to internet through the Ethernet interface (the Repeater hasn’t got a 5GHz interface!) and we got these results:

 

 

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MP3 File (5MB) 1 sec

Video Clip (35MB) 7 sec

UPLOAD

Email Attachment (1MB) 2 sec

Photo Gallery (8MB) 18 sec

 

However, this is what we see in the router configuration:

 

And the SSID is the one for the 2.4GHz wifi.

We’ve checked in the specs that it says there is no interference avoidance for the 5GHz signals, but does it mean it can work in that band? Any thoughts about this? ūüôā

 

5GHz test on the DSL router

In order to compare the results obatined in the previous case, let’s analyze what the 5GHz WiFi can provide, so we connect our PC directly to the DSL router:

Surprisingly, the results are quite similar to the ones obtained in the anomaly case!

 

DOWNLOAD

MP3 File (5MB) 1 sec

Video Clip (35MB) 7 sec

UPLOAD

Email Attachment (1MB) 2 sec

Photo Gallery (8MB) 14 sec

 

Conclusions

As you can observe, the DUT is quite simple to set up. Also, as we saw in a previous post about performance and benchmarking, if we run the tests again, slightly different results appear, so an average of the results obatained would be more accurate. In addition, the it’s a good practice to keep the same conditions (number of devices connected to the network, browser activity and so on).

However, we are still wondering what happened with the 5GHz:

Does this means the DUT was actually connected to the 5GHz interface but the configuration url is not configured to show it? Or it could be our PC showing the wrong information so the PC was actually connected to the DSL router though the wireless interface?

Tell us what you think in the comments below or by email, as we are considering writing a review of this router ūüėÄ

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