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WatchGuard AP Deployment Overview

When you add one or more WatchGuard Access Point (AP) devices to your network, you can manage and configure the APs from the Gateway Wireless Controller on a Firebox. You do not connect directly to the AP to configure it. The Gateway Wireless Controller on your Firebox manages the AP for you.

To deploy any AP on your Firebox network you must:

  • Activate the AP.
  • Enable the Gateway Wireless Controller on the Firebox.
  • Connect the AP to your network.
    If your network has a DHCP server, the AP automatically gets an IP address.
  • From the Gateway Wireless Controller:
    • Configure the SSIDs for your AP to use.
    • Pair the AP with the Firebox.
    • Configure the AP settings and select the SSIDs to use.
    • Check the AP status.

Activate the AP

You must activate your AP with WatchGuard to enable your hardware replacement warranty, receive technical support, and get access to the latest AP software updates. You cannot manage the AP with the Gateway Wireless Controller until the AP is activated with a valid Basic Wi-Fi AP subscription and an AP feature key downloaded to the Firebox.

For more information, see About AP Activation.

About Automatic Deployment

If you plan to deploy a large number of WatchGuard APs on your network, and all the APs will be assigned the same SSIDs and do not require unique configurations, you can enable automatic deployment on specific SSIDs. The Gateway Wireless Controller automatically deploys unpaired APs and configures them with the specified SSID.

For more information, see About AP Automatic Deployment.

About VLAN Tagging

You can optionally enable VLAN tagging in the SSIDs for your AP. If you enable VLAN tagging, you must configure the necessary VLANs on your Firebox. For information about when to enable VLAN tagging and how to configure VLANs, see Configure VLANs for WatchGuard APs.

You can optionally enable the AP to use a tagged VLAN for management connections from the Firebox. But, you must configure an untagged VLAN that the Firebox can use to initially discover and connect to the AP.

For more information on how to deploy APs with VLAN tagging enabled, see Deploy APs With VLAN Tagging Enabled.

Deploy APs

To deploy an AP, you must enable the Gateway Wireless Controller, configure SSIDs on your Firebox, pair your AP with your Firebox, and configure your AP.

For a configuration example that demonstrates this type of deployment, see AP Deployment with a Single SSID.

Step 1 — Enable the Gateway Wireless Controller

Before your Firebox can discover and manage an AP, you must enable the Gateway Wireless Controller on the Firebox.

For more information, see Configure APs with the Gateway Wireless Controller.

Step 2 — Connect the AP

Use one of these options to connect the AP to your trusted, optional, or custom network. By default, the AP automatically requests an IP address from a DHCP server on the local network.

To enable the Gateway Wireless Controller to discover an AP on a custom zone network, you must modify the WatchGuard Gateway Wireless Controller policy to allow traffic from the custom zone.

Option 1 — Connect the AP to a Firebox interface

If you have an available trusted, optional, or custom interface on your Firebox, you can connect the AP directly to one of those interfaces.

Diagram of an AP device connected to an Firebox interface

For more information about interface configuration, see Common Interface Settings.

Option 2 — Connect the AP to a switch

If you have a switch that connects to a trusted, optional, or custom interface on your Firebox, you can connect the AP to that switch. With this option, you do not have to change the network settings on the Firebox interface.

Diagram of an AP device connected to a switch on the trusted network

Step 3 — Configure the SSIDs

Configure the SSIDs for your wireless users to connect to. You can configure up to eight SSIDs for each radio.

  1. In the Gateway Wireless Controller settings, select the SSIDs tab.
  2. Click Add to add an SSID.
  3. Configure the SSID (network name) and wireless security settings.

For more information, see Configure WatchGuard AP SSIDs.

Step 4 — Pair the AP

When you first connect the AP to your network, it is an unpaired access point. This means it is not yet managed by a Firebox.

To discover an unpaired AP and pair it with your Firebox:

  1. In the Gateway Wireless Controller settings, select the Access Points tab.
  2. Click Refresh.
    The unpaired AP appears in the Unpaired Access Points list.
    For more information, see WatchGuard AP Discovery and Pairing.
  3. From the Unpaired Access Points list, select the AP and click Pair.

Step 5 — Configure the AP

After you pair the AP with your Firebox, configure the AP settings.

  1. On the Access Points tab, select the AP, and click Edit.
  2. Configure the radio settings for each radio.
  3. Add the SSID you created in Step 3 to the SSID list.

For more information, see Configure AP Radio Settings.

Step 6 — Check the AP Status

Go to Dashboard > Gateway Wireless Controller > Access Points to see the status of your paired APs.

Make sure the AP status is Online. In the Activation Status column, you can also view the AP activation status.

Screen shot of Gateway Wireless Controller Dashboard - Access Points page

Troubleshoot AP Status

If your AP status is Not Trusted, you must make sure this AP is a known AP in your deployment before you trust the device. For more information, see AP Trust Store.For more information on the AP Trust Store, see the Fireware Help. To trust an AP, select the device, click Action, then select Mark Trusted.

If your AP activation status is Not Activated or Expired, and you have a valid Basic Wi-Fi subscription for your AP, make sure the AP is activated in your WatchGuard account. You can synchronize the AP activation status with WatchGuard servers if the status is not current.

To update your AP activation status and AP feature key:

  1. Select the AP.
  2. Click Action.
  3. Select Get AP Feature Key to immediately retrieve the activation status and AP feature key from WatchGuard servers and update the Gateway Wireless Controller.
    Select Update AP Feature Key to manually import an AP feature key to the Gateway Wireless Controller. You can view the AP feature key from your WatchGuard Support Center account. Copy and paste the feature key contents into the text box.

Deploy APs With VLAN Tagging Enabled

To set up an AP with VLAN tagging enabled in the SSIDs, you must configure VLANs and enable VLAN tagging in your SSIDs.

For a configuration example that shows this type of deployment, see AP Deployment with VLANs and Guest Network.

Step 1 — Configure VLANs on the Firebox

To enable VLAN tagging in your SSIDs, you must configure VLANs and enable them on a Firebox interface. The AP uses tagged VLANs to identify traffic for each SSID. The Firebox uses an untagged VLAN to pair with the AP.

To configure VLANs on the Firebox:

  1. Add one VLAN for each SSID.
    These VLANs are used for tagged VLAN traffic for each SSID.
  2. Add one VLAN for management communication connections to the AP.
    This VLAN is used for untagged management communications connections to the AP.
  3. Enable DHCP server or DHCP relay for each VLAN.
  4. Configure the Firebox interface to pass tagged traffic for the VLANs for each SSID.
  5. Configure the Firebox to pass untagged traffic for the AP management communications VLAN.

For an example VLAN configuration, see Configure VLANs for WatchGuard APs.

Step 2 — Enable the Gateway Wireless Controller

For the Firebox to discover and manage an AP, you must enable the Gateway Wireless Controller on your Firebox.

For more information, see Configure APs with the Gateway Wireless Controller.

Step 3 — Connect the AP

Select one of these options to connect the AP to your trusted, optional, or custom network. By default, the AP automatically requests an IP address from a DHCP server on the local network.

Option 1 — Connect the AP to a Firebox interface

You can connect the AP directly to the Firebox interface that you configured as a VLAN interface in Step 1.

Option 2 — Connect the AP to a 802.1Q switch

You can connect the AP to an 802.1Q switch that has the necessary VLANs configured.

To configure the VLANs on the switch:

  1. Add VLANs to the switch with the same IDs as the VLANs you configured on the Firebox.
  2. Configure the switch interfaces that connect to the Firebox VLAN interface and the AP to:
    • Send and receive tagged traffic for the VLANs assigned to each SSID.
    • Send and received untagged traffic for the VLAN you use for AP management.

For more information about VLAN configuration, see Configure VLANs for WatchGuard APs.

Step 4 — Configure the SSIDs

Configure the SSIDs for your wireless users to connect to. You can configure up to eight SSIDs per radio.

  1. In the Gateway Wireless Controller settings, select the SSIDs tab.
  2. Click Add to add an SSID.
  3. Configure the SSID (network name) and wireless security settings.
  4. In each SSID, enable VLAN tagging, and select the VLAN ID to use.

For more information, see Configure WatchGuard AP SSIDs.

Step 5 — Pair the AP

When you first connect the AP to your network, it is an unpaired access point. This means it is not yet managed by a Firebox.

To discover an unpaired AP and pair it with your Firebox:

  1. In the Gateway Wireless Controller settings, select the Access Points tab.
  2. Click Refresh.
    The unpaired AP appears in the Unpaired Access Points list.
    For more information, see WatchGuard AP Discovery and Pairing.
  3. From the Unpaired Access Points list, select the AP and click Pair.

Step 6 — Configure the AP

After you pair the AP with your Firebox, configure the AP settings.

  1. On the Access Points tab, select the AP, and click Edit.
  2. Configure the radio settings to use for each radio.
  3. Add the SSID you created in Step 4 to the SSID list.

For more information, see Configure AP Radio Settings.

Step 7 — Check AP Status

Go to Dashboard > Gateway Wireless Controller > Access Points to see the status of your paired APs.

Make sure the AP status is Online. In the Activation Status column, you can also view the license activation status for each AP.

Screen shot of Gateway Wireless Controller Dashboard - Access Points page

Troubleshoot AP Status

If your AP status is Not Trusted, you must make sure this AP is a known AP in your deployment before you trust the device. For more information, see AP Trust Store.For more information on the AP Trust Store, see the Fireware Help. To trust an AP, select the device, click Action, then select Mark Trusted.

If your AP activation status is Not Activated or Expired, and you have a valid Basic Wi-Fi subscription for your AP, make sure the AP is activated in your WatchGuard account. You can synchronize the AP activation status with WatchGuard servers if the status is not current.

To update your AP activation status and AP feature key:

  1. Select the AP.
  2. Click Action.
  3. Select Get AP Feature Key to immediately retrieve the activation status and AP feature key from WatchGuard servers and update the Gateway Wireless Controller.
    Select Update AP Feature Key to manually import an AP feature key to the Gateway Wireless Controller. You can view the AP feature key from your WatchGuard Support Center account. Copy and paste the feature key contents into the text box.

See Also

About AP Configuration

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