Configure Access Point Radio Settings

Applies To: WatchGuard Cloud-managed Access Points

WatchGuard access points have two radios and can operate on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands at the same time. Wireless radio settings are applied globally to the wireless networks you configure. For more information about how to create wireless networks, see Configure Access Point SSID Settings.

  • The 2.4 GHz band and has a much better range than a 5 GHz wireless network because it uses longer wavelengths. However, the 2.4 GHz band is very congested with a lot of interference and few non-overlapping channels from which to select (1, 6, 11).
  • The 5 GHz band supports faster data rates at shorter distances than the 2.4 GHz band and has more non-overlapping channels available to reduce interference.

To configure access point radio settings in WatchGuard Cloud:

  1. Select Configure > Devices.
  2. Select the access point you want to configure.
  3. Select Device Configuration.
    The Device Configuration page opens.

Screen shot of the main Device Configuration page for access points in WatchGuard Cloud

  1. Click the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz radio to configure the settings for the selected radio.

Radio Settings

In the Radio Settings page for an access point, you can configure the wireless mode, channels, channel width, and transmit power for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios.

Screen shot of the radio settings for an access point

Country of Operation

The country of operation of the access point is automatically detected by WatchGuard Cloud. This determines the maximum transmit power, wireless modes, and wireless channels available to the access point in the regulatory domain for the region.

Wireless Mode

The wireless frequency band and the country of operation of the access point determine the wireless modes available.

  • The 2.4 GHz radio supports 802.11n (default) or 802.11ax.
  • The 5 GHz radio supports 802.11ax (default) or 802.11ac.

Channel Selection

The available channels depend on the country of operation, wireless mode, and channel width you select.

By default, the preferred channel is set to Auto. In this mode, the access point automatically selects a quiet channel with the least interference from the available channels in the selected band. You can specify the specific channels available from the Candidate Channels selection list.

You can also select Manual, then select a specific channel. Make sure that you select a channel that is not already in use by another access point in your airspace.

In some regions, you can select DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) channels that operate in the 5 GHz band. DFS channels are also used by radar systems, and transmissions from your access point stop if radar signals are detected on that channel. DFS channels are helpful in 802.11ac mode with an 80 MHz channel width because of the extra channels available, but can cause slow connections when the access point detects radar signals. DFS channels are not selected by default.

Dynamic Channel Selection

Enable Dynamic Channel Selection to automatically switch to a new channel when interference is detected on the current channel. The access point scans the network based on the specified Scan Interval (the default is 4 hours) to find a channel with the least interference. Dynamic Channel Selection is disabled by default.

Dynamic Channel Selection might cause disruption to video or voice calls if the channel changes and the wireless client reconnects to the access point. If you frequently encounter these issues, change the Scan Interval to a longer interval such as 12 hours, or disable Dynamic Channel Selection and use a static wireless channel.

Channel Width

The channel width controls how broad the signal is and how many frequencies the signal uses. Greater channel widths provide faster speed and throughput, but can cause greater interference in high density areas.

  • The 2.4 GHz band supports 20 and 20/40 MHz channel widths. The default is 20 MHz.
  • The 5 GHz band supports 20, 40, and 80 MHz channel widths. The default is 80 MHz.

We recommend you start with 20 to 40 MHz channel widths. Use higher channel widths only if you require very high application throughput demand in low-density deployments with a small number of wireless devices.

Transmit Power

You can optionally set the maximum transmit power to limit or expand the transmission distance of your wireless signals. We recommend that you set your transmit power to limit your coverage area so that it does not expand outside the necessary boundaries for your deployment.

You can set the transmit power between 8 dBm to 28 dBm, or set the value to Auto. The default settings of Auto enables the access point to use the maximum transmit power allowed for the country of operation.

The actual transmit power depends on several factors:

  • Any manual transmit power you specify
  • The maximum power allowed by your regulatory domain
  • The maximum power supported by the radio
  • Any additional antenna gain

The transmit power cannot exceed the regulatory limits set by your region.

Advanced

In the advanced radio settings page for an access point, you can configure roaming settings for fast handover, specify client association limits, and enable specific 802.11 protocols for the radio.

Screen shot of the advanced radio settings for an access point

Fast Handover

Fast Handover can help wireless clients roam between WatchGuard access points and connect to the access point with the strongest signal. Type the Minimum RSSI Threshold (Received Signal Strength Indicator) required to connect to an access point. The valid range is between -100 to -60 dBm. The default is -70 dBm.

The closer the RSSI value is to 0, the stronger the signal. For example, -60 dBm is a better signal strength than -70 dBm.

Client Limit Per Radio

You can enable a limit on the number of clients that can associate to each access point radio. In the Number of Associations text box, type the maximum number of associated clients (1 to 127).

Allow 802.11a (5 GHz only)

On the 5 GHz radio, you can enable the use of 802.11a on your network if required to support legacy client devices that use this wireless mode.

Allow 802.11b/g (2.4 GHz only)

On the 2.4 GHz radio, you can enable the use of 802.11b/g on your network if required to support legacy client devices that use these wireless modes.

If you choose a wireless mode that supports multiple 802.11 standards, the overall performance can drop because 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.

See Also

About WatchGuard Cloud

Configure Access Point Device Settings

Configure Access Point SSID Settings