About Wireless Radio Settings

WatchGuard wireless Fireboxes have a single radio that can operate on the 2.4 GHz band or the 5 GHz band.

To view or change the radio settings, from Fireware Web UI:

  1. Connect to Fireware Web UI.
  2. Select Network > Wireless.
    The Wireless page appears. The radio settings appear at the bottom of the page.

Screen shot of the Wireless configuration page

To view or change the radio settings, from Policy Manager:

  1. Open Policy Manager.
  2. Select Network > Wireless.
    The Wireless Configuration dialog box appears.

Screen shot of the Wireless Configuration dialog box

The Radio Settings appear at the bottom of this dialog box.

Automatic Country Selection

Because of regulatory requirements in different parts of the world, you cannot use all wireless radio settings in every country.

You must have a country set for the Firebox to broadcast wireless on the correct channels for your region.

Each time you power on the wireless Firebox, the device contacts a WatchGuard server to determine the country and the allowed wireless radio settings for that country. To make sure your Firebox can contact the WatchGuard server, verify that the device has an Internet connection. Once the country is determined, you can configure all supported wireless radio settings that can be used in that country.

To update the region, your Firebox must use a valid DNS server. For more information on Firebox DNS server configuration, see Configure Network DNS and WINS Servers.

When you configure a wireless Firebox for the first time, the Wireless Configuration page in Policy Manager might not show the country. After the Firebox connects to the Internet for the first time, Policy Manager must connect to the Firebox to get the country setting, if it has been determined.

To update the configuration with the country setting from the wireless Firebox, from Policy Manager:

  1. Click Download.
    The Download Country Information dialog box appears.

Screen shot of the Download Country Information dialog box

  1. Type the Firebox status (readonly) passphrase.
    The Country is updated to show the country setting from the Firebox.

In the Wireless Configuration dialog box, the Country setting shows which country the device detects it is in. You cannot change the Country setting. The available options for the other radio settings are based on the regulatory requirements of the country the device detects it is located in.

If the wireless Firebox cannot connect to the WatchGuard server, the country is unknown, and is shown as Default. In this case, you can only select from the limited set of wireless radio settings that are allowed in all countries. The wireless Firebox periodically continues to retry to connect to the WatchGuard server to determine the country and allowed wireless radio settings.

Force a Country Update

If the wireless Firebox does not have a country set yet, or if the country is not up to date, you can force the device to update the wireless country information.

To update the Wireless Radio Region, from Fireware Web UI:

  1. Select System Status > Wireless Statistics.
  2. Click Update Country Info.
    The wireless Firebox contacts a WatchGuard server to determine the current operating region.

Screen shot of the Wireless Statistics page and the Update Country Info button in Fireware Web UI

To update the Wireless Radio Region, from Firebox System Manager:

  1. Start Firebox System Manager
  2. Select Tools > Update Wireless Radio Region.
    The wireless Firebox contacts a WatchGuard server to determine the current operating region.

Screen shot of the Update Wireless Radio Region action in Firebox System Manager

Select the Frequency Band and Wireless Mode

The WatchGuard wireless Firebox supports two different frequency bands, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The band you select and the country determine the wireless modes available. Select the Band that supports the wireless mode you want to use. Then select the mode from the Wireless mode drop-down list.

The 2.4 GHz band supports these wireless modes:

802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b

This is the default mode in the 2.4 GHz band, and is the recommended setting. This mode allows the wireless Firebox to connect with devices that use 802.11n, 802.11g, or 802.11b.

802.11b,802.11g

This mode allows the wireless Firebox to connect to devices that use 802.11g or 802.11b.

802.11n, 802.11g

This mode allows the wireless Firebox to connect to devices that use 802.11n or 802.11g. .

802.11b

This mode allows the wireless Firebox to connect only to devices that use 802.11b.

The 5 GHz band supports these wireless modes:

802.11a and 802.11n

This is the default mode in 5 GHz band. This mode allows the wireless Firebox to connect to devices that use 802.11a or 802.11n.

802.11a ONLY

This mode allows the wireless Firebox to connect only to devices that use 802.11a.

802.11n and 802.11ac (for devices that support 802.11ac)

This mode allows the wireless Firebox to connect to devices that use 802.11n and 802.11ac.

If you choose a wireless mode that supports multiple 802.11 standards, the overall performance can drop considerably. This is partly because of the need for backward compatibility when devices that use slower modes are connected. The slower devices tend to dominate the throughput because devices that use a slower mode can take much longer to send or receive the same amount of data.

The 5 GHz band provides greater performance than the 2.4 GHz band, but is not compatible with all wireless devices. Select the band and mode based on the wireless cards in the devices that will connect to the wireless Firebox.

Select the Channel

The available channels depend on the country and the wireless mode you select. By default, the Channel is set to Auto. When the channel is set to Auto, the wireless Firebox automatically selects a quiet channel from the available list in the band you have selected. Or you can select a specific channel from the Channel drop-down list.

Channel Width and Extension Channel

You can configure a radio to use a 20 MHz, 40 MHz, or 80 MHz channel width. To set the channel width for each radio, configure the Channel Width.

Select a setting for the Channel Width:

20MHz

This mode sets the radio to use 20MHz channel width. This is the default setting.

40MHz

This mode sets the radio to use 40MHz channel width. This mode assumes that no other 802.11a/b/g access points use the same channel.

80MHz

This mode sets the radio to use 80MHz channel width. This mode is for 802.11ac/n only.

Extension Channel

Controls whether the radio adds an extra 20MHz of channel width above or below the selected channel.

Transmit Power

You can optionally set the maximum transmit power to limit or expand the transmission distance of your wireless signals. You can set the transmit power between 3dBm to 20dBm, or set the value to Auto. The default (Auto) is 20dBm. The transmit power cannot exceed the regulatory limits set by your region.

To set the transmit power:

From the Transmit Power drop-down list, select a value.

Fragmentation Threshold

Fireware allows you to set the maximum frame size the wireless Firebox can send and not fragment the frame. This is called the fragmentation threshold. This setting is rarely changed. The default setting is the maximum frame size of 2346, which means that it will never fragment any frames that it sends to wireless clients. This is best for most environments.

For more information, see Change the Fragmentation Threshold.

RTS Threshold

RTS/CTS (Request To Send / Clear To Send) helps prevent problems when wireless clients can receive signals from more than one wireless access point on the same channel. We do not recommend that you change the default RTS threshold. When the RTS Threshold is set to the default of 2346, RTS/CTS is disabled.

For more information, see Change the RTS Threshold.

See Also

Enable Wireless Connections