What is Repeater in Networking: Working, Types, Uses, Functions of Repeater

What is Repeater in Networking: Working, Types, Uses, Functions of Repeater

What is Repeater in Computer Network

Definition: Repeater is a network hardware device that is worked at the physical layer of OSI model, and it helps to amplify or regenerate the signals before retransmitting it. Repeater is also known as “Signal Boosters”.

A repeater has ability to extend the data signal from one network segment and then pass it to another network segment, thus scaling the size of network. The repeater allows to transfer the data through large area distance, and it can ensure for security and quality of data as well as retransmitting the data with securely preserving the signals.


A repeater was released for wired data communication networks due to challenges of signal’s propagation over the longer distance area, but now simple installation in the wireless networks for scaling the cell size.

How to Use Repeater in Ethernet

Read Also: Advantages and Disadvantages of Repeater

The main aim for using repeater in the Ethernet is that repeater is capable to carry signal and broadcast it to other Ethernet capable without damaging any signals. The repeater is intelligent device that helps to control the flow of signals. If, to determine any defect in the signals then repeater is able to detect it and transported to the linked port.

How Does Repeater Work?

When electrical signal is broadcasted through a channel, then it gets attenuated based on the nature of technology. This deploys a limitation depend upon the length of the LAN network. This issue is created by embedding the repeaters at the specific intervals.

Repeater gets to amplify the attenuated signal then retransmits it. Repeaters are getting to popularity for incorporated to link between two small LAN and large LAN network.

Types of Repeaters

A repeater is classified into four categories as per according to their abilities; such as –

According to the Types of Signals:

Analog Repeaters: Data transmission is done in the format of analog signals in order to boost its amplitude. These repeaters are used in the trunk lines that helps to broadcast the many signals with using of frequency division multiplexing (FDM). It contains the linear amplifier and filters.

Digital Repeaters: In which, data transmission is done in the form of binary digits like as 0s and 1s. While transmitting of data, 0 and 1 values are generated, and it is capable to transmit data for long distance communication. This repeater can perform the retiming or resynchronizing functions.

According to the Types of Connected Networks:

Wired Repeaters: These repeaters are used in the wired LAN networks.

Wireless Repeaters: These repeaters are used n wireless LAN networks and cellular networks.

According to the Domain of LAN Networks:

Local Repeaters: They are connected with LAN segments separated by short distance.

Remote Repeaters:  They are connected with LAN segments that are long distance with each other.

Based on Technologies:

Microwave Repeater: This repeater is embedded in between the transmitting station and receiving station, but it is depend on the distance in between them. In these types of repeater, sensitive receivers, high power transmitters and high mounted antennas are used.

Satellite Repeater: The communication satellites are embedded at about the 36000Km surface the earth. These repeaters are able to cover the greater distances. Satellite repeater grabs the uplink signal from the ground, then amplifies it and gets frequency conversion to appropriate downlink frequency before getting to retransmission to the earth.

WiFi Repeater: WiFi Repeater is based on IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n standard, and it can scale the coverage area that is supported by the wifi router to larger region usually between two rooms.

LTE Repeater: LTE repeater obtains the signal from LTE eNB (e.g. base station) and re-transmits it after amplification towards connected devices.

Optical Repeater: These types of repeater are used for fiber optic communication system. This repeater grabs the optical signals into electric form. It is capable to reshaping and amplification operations before getting to retransmission.

Radio Repeater: Radio repeater transmits the all data into radio signals. It contains two ports; one is radio receiver and other radio transmitter. Radio receivers helps to grab the data in the form of signals, and radio transmitter helps to retransmits the data which are obtained from the repeater.

Telephone Repeater: Telephone repeater can be used for long range communications. In this repeater, amplifier is used that is consisted the transistors for enhancing the power. This telephone repeater uses the bidirectional communication system that means data is broadcasted in the form of audio signals. The main use of this telephone system is in the submarine communications.

Functions of Repeater in Networking

Read Also: Advantages and Disadvantages of Repeater

A repeater is used for performing several functions; below explain each one –

Uses of Repeater in Networking as Well

  • Repeater simply allows to facility for making network interconnection.
  • The primary function of repeater is to receive the signals for one LAN terminal cable and then to regenerate and retransmit the all signals as its original form over other cable segments.
  • A repeater ensures that the amplified signals are not discard or weak before arriving the destination point.
  • Mostly, repeater is capable to regenerate the signal strength but it is done before broadcasting.
  • A repeater works at the physical layer of OSI model and transparent to all protocols which are operating in the layer above the physical layer.
  • With using of repeater, network can be scaled the size limit of a single, physical, cable segment.
  • The number of repeaters that can be used intended is generally limited by a particular LAN implementation. Using a repeater between two or more LAN cables segment requires that the same physical layer protocol be used to send signal over all the cable segments.

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