A gateway AP is an access point that has a wired interface configured with an IP address, that is connected to the to the LAN and has a route to the Internet. The AP only converts to a repeater when one of the following is true:
- The AP cannot receive an ARP reply packet from the default gateway on the LAN which is usually a local firewall or router
- The AP is unable to obtain a valid IP address via DHCP
If the AP is configured with a static IP, it will advertise "ssid name-bad gateway" when the default gateway is unavailable. If it has no other APs to mesh with that provide a route to the Internet, the AP will remain offline. If it does find another AP with a route to the Internet, it will act as a repeater but the Dashboard will report that it has an invalid IP configuration.
If the Internet is unavailable and the SSID is configured to allow LAN access, the AP will continue to act as a gateway because it still has a valid IP and can reach the local router or firewall.
For more information related to this subject, please review the following KB's:
Static IP Assignment on a Cisco Meraki Access Point
Cisco Meraki Gateway AP vs. Repeater AP
If an AP joins dashboard as repeater but you expect it to be a gateway, follow these quick verifications:
- Connect a laptop with Wireshark installed to the switch port where the AP connect and confirm it receives an IP by DHCP and can ping its gateway
- If the laptop does not receive IP by DHCP, troubleshoot accordingly until it successfully gets an IP address. After that connect back the AP, it should join dashboard as gateway.
- If the laptop does receive an IP by DHCP but not ARP replies from its default gateway, troubleshoot accordingly.
- If you need the AP to use static IP address because there is no DHCP server available on site, you can use the local status page to configure it.