About WatchGuard AP License Subscriptions

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

The feature key is only required for Basic Wi-Fi APs managed by a Firebox. You do not have to download or import the generated feature key that appears in your WatchGuard account for your Total or Secure Wi-Fi AP into Wi-Fi Cloud. The expiry date information is automatically communicated from WatchGuard servers to Wi-Fi Cloud.

WatchGuard offers these types of wireless security subscriptions for WatchGuard APs:

Basic Wi-Fi

Use the Gateway Wireless Controller on your Firebox to configure, manage, and monitor WatchGuard APs directly from the Firebox.

Secure Wi-Fi and Total Wi-Fi

Use WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud for WatchGuard AP management, security, and monitoring. A Total Wi-Fi subscription provides additional tools for guest user engagement, analytics, social media integration, captive portals, and splash page design. For more information, see About WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud.

AP License Enforcement on the Gateway Wireless Controller

Beginning with the Fireware v12.5.1 release, WatchGuard enforces licensing requirements for Basic Wi-Fi APs. Each WatchGuard AP managed by a Gateway Wireless Controller on a Firebox must be activated with a Basic Wi-Fi subscription.

As of January 15th, 2020, WatchGuard has modified the licensing policy to allow full management of Basic Wi-Fi APs after an AP license subscription expires. The AP license expiry date will indicate a future date of 3/1/2024 in Fireware v12.5.x or lower, or “never” in Fireware v12.6 and higher to indicate an extended management license for current APs and APs that have reached their End of Life (EOL) date.

AP Subscription Expiry

When a Basic Wi-Fi AP subscription expires:

  • The expired AP will continue to broadcast SSIDs and allow wireless access to the network.
  • You can still manage, configure, monitor, and perform software updates on an expired WatchGuard AP.
  • There is no technical support provided for an expired AP or an AP that has reached their End of Life date.

If the Firebox has an active support subscription, you can receive support for issues specific to the Gateway Wireless Controller. Support issues specific to APs managed by the Gateway Wireless Controller require a valid AP subscription.

How to Activate New APs

You can activate your new APs at www.watchguard.com/activate.

Log in to your WatchGuard account, then add the serial number of your AP to your account. Make sure the AP you want to activate has a Basic Wi-Fi subscription. (Total and Secure Wi-Fi subscriptions are for cloud-managed APs.) For more information, see About AP Activation.

AP Activation Status and AP Feature Key Management

After you successfully activate an AP, the Gateway Wireless Controller continuously monitors the status of your AP subscription and expiry date. You can view the current license status of your APs in the Gateway Wireless Controller, and you will receive notifications in the user interface when an AP has less than 90 days remaining until expiry. When you activate or renew a WatchGuard AP subscription with a Basic Wi-Fi subscription in your WatchGuard account, you can update the AP license status and AP feature key in the Gateway Wireless Controller.

Automatic AP feature key synchronization enables the Gateway Wireless Controller to retrieve the license status and AP feature keys for your APs from WatchGuard servers. This synchronization occurs on a periodic basis to make sure the Gateway Wireless Controller has the latest activation status and AP feature key for your AP. This option is enabled by default. For more information, see Configure Gateway Wireless Controller Settings.

You can also manually update the AP license status and AP feature key for an AP.

For more information on how to monitor and manage your AP license status and AP feature keys with the Gateway Wireless Controller, see Monitor AP Status.

How to View and Manage your AP License Subscription Status

You can view the current license status and expiry date of your APs, and manage your AP license subscriptions in your WatchGuard Support Center account.

  1. Log in to the WatchGuard Support Center at login.watchguard.com.

  1. Select My WatchGuard > Manage Products.
    A list of your activated products appears.

You can view your expiration date in the Support Expiration column. Your products are sorted by expiration date.

  1. Select an AP to view the product and license details.

Screen shot of the AP details in the WatchGuard Products account page

  • Click Renew to see your renewal options for the AP.
  • WatchGuard products can be purchased through our worldwide channel of authorized resellers.
  • You can also contact WatchGuard Sales to discuss the renewal options for your AP subscription.
  • Certain products are also available to customers in the U.S. and Canada through the WatchGuard online store.
  • Click Retire this Device if there is an activated AP in your account that you no longer use. When you retire an AP:
  • WatchGuard no longer sends you renewal reminders for Support and other subscription services for the AP.
  • The AP is not eligible for technical support.
  • The AP continues to function based on the last configuration applied to the AP.
  • If you retire an AP, you can later remove it from retirement, as long as the product has not reached end of life. To remove a device from retirement, contact WatchGuard Customer Care.
  • Click Get Feature Key if you want to manually download your Basic Wi-Fi AP feature key to import to your Firebox. Automatic feature key synchronization is enabled by default on the Firebox, and feature key updates to APs in your WatchGuard account are automatically downloaded to your Firebox. Only perform a manual update if you do not have connectivity to WatchGuard servers or if you have disabled automatic feature synchronization.

See Also

About AP Activation

Monitor AP Status

About WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud