Many of the routers offers different operation modes that you can use. However, some of them do not really tell you the best situations to use specific operation modes. In this guide, we will provide some basic guidelines to help you decide.
Wireless Router Mode
(Default, Home Internet Sharing)
Connection: Internet -> Modem -> Router -> Computer
Related Terms: Gateway, Default Gateway
Official Tooltip Information
In wireless router/ IP sharing mode, the router connects to the Internet via PPPoE, DHCP, PPTP, L2TP, or Static IP and shares the wireless network to LAN clients or devices. In this mode, NAT, firewall, and DHCP server are enabled by default. UPnP and Dynamic DNS are supported for SOHO and home users. Select this mode if you are a first-time user or you are not currently using any wired/wireless routers.
Wireless Router Mode Usage Notes
If you have 1 router, this will almost always be the default router operating mode that you will implement for your basic home use. You connect the modem to the router, and then the router “shares” its internet connection to all the devices.
(Home Wi-fi Range Extension)
Connection: Internet -> Modem -> Router ->Wireless Extend to Repeater
Related Terms: Wireless Hub
Official Tooltip Information
In Repeater mode, your router wirelessly connects to an existing wireless network to extend the wireless coverage. In this mode, the firewall, IP sharing, and NAT functions are disabled.
Repeater Mode Usage Notes
You will generally use repeaters or wireless extenders when you have hard to reach places with your home wifi setup. The repeater acts as a “transition” island between your actual client device with the main router.
The repeaters should carry the same SSId.
In general, if you do need to extend your home wifi range. It may be cheaper to purchase a wifi extender instead of using your router in repeater mode because wifi extender is usually cheaper.
Access Point(AP) Mode
(General Internet Extension – Home, Hotel, Etc)
Connection: Internet -> Modem -> Router ->Wired Connection to AP
Related Terms: Wireless Switch
In Access Point (AP) mode, the router connects to a wireless router through an Ethernet cable to extend the wireless signal coverage to other network clients. In this mode, the firewall, IP sharing, and NAT functions are disabled by default.
Access Point Usage Notes
Use Access Point when you cannot alter the main router, but still need a temporary wireless network. This mode is best to be used in an office, hotel, and places where you only have wired network.
Or known as Client Mode (Generally for home gaming console)
Connection: Internet -> Modem -> Router ->Wireless Connection to Media Bridge -> Wired Connection to end user devices.
The Router can be configured in Media Bridge mode.The Media Bridge mode provides the fastest 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection for multiple media devices simultaneously. To set up the Media Bridge mode, you need two routers: one configured as the Media station and the other as a router. Configure one router as a “router” and another router as an 802.11ac Media Bridge to provide a simultaneous 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection for your media devices such as computer, Smart TV, game console, DVR, or media player via Ethernet cable. Change to Media Bridge mode to provide a simultaneous 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection for your media devices.
In Media Bridge mode, only wireless devices connect to the P-AP. Client devices need to be connected to the Media Bridge with a network cable.
Media Bridge Usage Notes
With client mode or media bridge, it can connect to a wired device and works as a wireless adapter to receive wireless signal from your wireless network.
For a Smart TV, Media Player, or game console with an Ethernet port. Use the Client Mode to make your devices Wi-Fi enabled, granting them access to your wireless network. So imagine the Media Bridge or client router acts as the end user device’s wireless adapter.
The reason for this mode is that it can increase the speed of your wireless connection so that it matches the speed of the Ethernet connection. AC is a relatively newer wireless technology that has not been widely adapted by the major gaming console. For example: Playstation 4 and Xbox One only support up to 802.11 b/g/n standards. However, with the media bridge setup, you can grant them AC speeds by using two AC rated routers that connect wireless to one another.
Finally, although the tooltip states that you need to use two same routers to achieve Media Bridge or Client Mode. It is not true but recommended. The reason is that your wireless speed is capped and bounded by your slower connections or router.
In general, you should however use the same brands of router for the Media Bridge type connection to ensure compatibility.
Other Network Terms
Hubs are used to connect computers on a network with cables so as to communicate with each other. The hub can send or receive information, but it can’t do both at the same time. So if you have alot of information passed in your network, hubs can flood and have poor performances.
Switchesfunctions the same way as hubs, but they can identify the intended destination of the information that they receive. In general, you should use a switch instead of hub when you have multiple devices.