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This paper investigates the efficiency of under/over frequency relays for protection of distributed synchronous generators considering islanding detection and frequency-tripping requirements. Comparison between frequency and vector surge relays, which are islanding detection-dedicated devices, shows that the former can be as effective as the latter. This feature supports the idea that frequency relays can replace vector surge relays for islanding detection purpose. In this case, frequency relays must also meet the generator manufacturer recommendations and the utility frequency-tripping requirements. In order to investigate the relay capability to meet both necessities, it is proposed the concept of application region, which defines a region in the detection time versus active power imbalance space where frequency-based relays can be adjusted to satisfy the anti-islanding and frequency-tripping requirements simultaneously. The paper also presents a set of formulas to determine directly the application region.