So tested the CHIP Repeater
The CHIP test center checks the performance of repeaters in a special room: there, each repeater model is tested in combination with an AVM Fritz!Box 7590AX as a router. A notebook equipped with an Intel AX201 WLAN module serves as the remote station.
The key point of the test is the speed, which is measured in the download and upload in the different scenarios. There are primarily two test scenarios. On the one hand there would be “optimal”: Here the connection is established with a router 12 meters away. On the other hand, there is the “practice” scenario, in which the distance between router and repeater is 30 meters. All repeaters are also measured under optimal conditions in access point mode, i.e. with a LAN cable between the router and the 12 meter distant repeater.
In addition, we evaluate Furnishing of the individual models. This includes the WLAN options, for example whether a model supports the tri-band function or the cross-band feature, in which frequency ranges it works and whether it uses the 160 MHz channels. Another sub-item in this category are the controls that are located directly on the device. This includes, among other things, whether the WiFi signal can be switched on and off on the repeater itself, whether there is a way to reset it to the factory settings directly on the device, or whether the repeater can be mounted on the wall. In addition, a test engineer checks which connections the respective model has – such as Fast Ethernet, gigabit or 2.5 gigabit LAN ports.
The next test category is called features and security. This is also made up of various individual sub-headings. This includes the category passwords and encryption – for this we evaluate, for example, whether a device supports WPA3, offers WLAN guest access or a device password protection was already assigned individually at the factory. This category also includes whether a repeater can be operated via an app. What working modes does it offer? So: Can it also be used as an access point or mesh extender? The extras it has also play a role. Can the status LED be switched off or does it give an overview of the connected devices?
The experts also test and evaluate them service. This includes first of all the installation and configuration. It is relevant whether the respective model can be set up with the help of an assistant and whether the users are safely guided step-by-step through the configuration. We rate a simplified configuration menu, the so-called “Simple Mode”, as positive; also whether Repeater automatically downloads updates and then installs them. The second sub-item is then whether the configuration data can be read on the repeater. Does the repeater show, for example, the LAN SSID, the WLAN key or the user name including password?
The next test category is that power consumption. The power consumption is measured in the test center in the two modes “standby” and “operation”. The average is then calculated from this, which in turn is extrapolated to the year.
The final test result is made up as follows: The speed of the repeater is taken into account at 35 percent, both equipment and functions each account for 25 percent of the final score. Operation accounts for 10 percent of the test result, and power consumption accounts for 5 percent.