Contents

Radio Settings

APs can operate in Access Point mode or WIPS sensor operating mode. For more information on these operating modes, see AP Scan Modes.

By default, when in Access Point mode, the device selects the channel it uses automatically. It looks for a channel with minimum Wi-Fi interference. Channel selection runs at boot time to find the initial best channel and also runs periodically during regular operation to maintain optimal performance.

  • Boot Time Selection — The boot interval for each AP is randomized to minimize the chance that neighbor APs select the same channel, and more thorough channel scans are performed to find the best channel.
  • Periodic Selection — The AP surveys the radio environment at regular intervals to find the best channel and selects the new channel. The Selection Interval setting is configurable. The default interval is every 12 hours.

About Mesh APs

If you want the AP to function as a mesh AP, you must define and add a mesh profile to a radio in the device template.

  • An AP that operates as a mesh AP cannot operate in WIPS mode or perform background scanning.
  • You cannot add more than one mesh profile to an AP.
  • You cannot attach a Wi-Fi profile and a mesh profile to a radio at the same time.
  • We recommend you use the 5 GHz radio for mesh operation

For more information. see Manage Wireless Mesh Networks.

Configure Radio Settings

To configure radio settings in Access Point mode:

  1. Select Configuration > Device Configuration > Device Templates.
  2. Select a device template or add a new device template.
  3. Expand the Radio Settings section.
  4. Set the Operation Mode for the radio to Access Point.
  5. Configure the radio settings.

Field

Description

Operation Mode

APs can operate in Access Point mode or WIPS sensor operating mode. For more information on these operating modes, see AP Scan Modes.

  • When configured in Access Point mode, you can configure radio settings for the 2.4 and 5 GHz radios, and specify one or more SSID profiles to broadcast.
  • When a dual-radio AP is configured in WIPS sensor mode, the AP is dedicated to WIPS security scanning, and you cannot configure the radio settings. Both radios must be configured in WIPS sensor mode.
  • On AP models with three radios, the third-radio runs in dedicated WIPS sensor mode, and the 2.4 and 5 GHz radios are in dedicated Access Point mode. You cannot configure the 2.4 and 5GHz radios in WIPS Sensor mode. The settings will be ignored.

Frequency Band

The radio frequency band. The possible values are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The default value is 2.4 GHz.

Channel Width

The channel width for the radio. The possible values are 20 MHz or 20/40 MHz. For a/n/ac devices, the 20/40/80 MHz option is available. The options are enabled for 2.4 GHz  and 5 GHz modes.

Operating Channel

The operating channel for the radio. By default, the AP selects the operating channel automatically (Auto). Users can manually set the channel if desired. Select Manual to manually set the operating channel. Based on the location you select in the left pane, a list of channel numbers for manual channel selection appears. If  the manually selected channel is not present in the country of operation selected for the device in the applied AP template, the AP automatically reverts to Auto mode and selects a channel.

Selection Interval

This option is visible only when the Operating Channel is set to Auto. This option specifies the time interval, in hours, at which the channel selection happens. You can enter any value from 1 through 48. The channel can change automatically after this time interval if some other channel is found to have lower interference than the current channel. The default interval is 12 hours.

Enable Dynamic Channel Selection

This option is visible only when the Operating Channel is set to Auto. To enable dynamic selection, select the Enable Dynamic Channel Selection check box. Dynamic selection occurs when interference on the current channel increases. The AP dynamically switches from the current channel to an available channel with lower interference. The mechanism is independent of the Selection Interval, and the channel is changed only when the interference on current channel is very high.

Candidate Channels
 

This option enhances the behavior of auto-channel selection. The AP dynamically checks whether the current channel interference has increased and selects a channel with lower interference and diverts the traffic to this channel. For countries where channel 13 or above are allowed on the b/g band, only the channels 1, 5, 9, and 13 are selected by default. You can modify the candidate channel list.

Channel Number

This setting is visible only when the Operating Channel is set to Manual. This setting specifies the operating channel number. The channel numbers displayed depend on the operating region. If you define the channel number for APs in the mesh network, make sure that it is the same for all the APs that operate as mesh APs.

Scanning
VoIP-aware Scanning

Select VoIP-aware background scanning for 802.11ac Wave 2 APs to optimize high priority traffic during background scanning. Background scanning is used for radio and channel optimization. If you want to enable WIPS security features with background scanning, you must also enable the Wireless Security Features option in the Background Scan settings. Wireless Security Features are enabled by default.

If you enable VoIP-aware Scanning, make sure that SSIDs added to this radio have the Application Visibility option enabled for traffic detection.

If you enable this option on Wave 1 APs (AP120, AP320, AP322) background scanning is disabled because VoIP-aware Scanning is not supported. If you change the scan type of a Wave 1 AP from No Scanning or VoIP-aware Scanning to Background Scanning, the device reboots.

Background Scanning

Select this check box to enable background scanning on the AP. Background scanning is used for radio and channel optimization. When you enable background scanning, you can configure the Scan Interval and AP Interval.

Do not enable background scanning if the radio is used for Voice over IP (VoIP). Use VoIP-aware background scanning instead.

If you want to enable WIPS security features with background scanning, you must also enable the Wireless Security Features option in the Background Scan settings. Wireless Security Features are enabled by default.

SSID Profiles
Add SSID Profile

Select an SSID Profile to broadcast on this radio. Each radio supports up to 8 SSIDs. To configure SSID Profiles, see Manage SSID Profiles.

You can also select a Mesh Profile if you have configured meshing and want to use the radio as part of the mesh network. Radios on a mesh AP cannot be configured as a WIPS sensor or as an AP with background scanning. For more information, see Manage Wireless Mesh Networks.

Radio Advanced Settings

Transmit Power
 

Use this setting to control the transmission power of the AP. In Manual mode, select the Transmit Power check box and specify the transmission power of the AP in dbm. If the custom transmit check box is not selected, the maximum allowed transmit power allowed for the country of operation is set for the AP.

Select Automatic mode to enable APs to dynamically adjust and optimize their transmit power in coordination with other WatchGuard APs in your environment to provide optimal coverage and minimize interference. The AP automatically adjusts the transmit power based on the transmit power and RSSI of neighboring APs, AP failures, and newly deployed APs in the vicinity. APs start at maximum transmit power and automatically adjust (in 3 dBm increments) after approximately 30 minutes or after a full background scan. You must enable background scanning on the AP or use APs with a third scanning radio.

You can customize the Minimum and Maximum Tx Power Range, Loudness Threshold (to define a loud neighbor AP), and Connectivity Threshold (the number of allowed loud neighbor APs). The default values are provided for optimized power control. You can make adjustments to these default values for your specific deployment.

Fragmentation Threshold

The fragmentation threshold in bytes. You can set the threshold from 256 through 2346 bytes. This setting applies to 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz modes.

RTS Threshold

The threshold for Request to Send (RTS), in bytes. It specifies the threshold for the size of frame above which the AP should use Request to Send (RTS)/Clear to Send (CTS) handshake for transmission. This setting applies to 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz modes.
If the threshold is set to a very low value, the wireless channel is not efficiently used. This threshold is intended for use with large frames to avoid losing frames because of collisions and to avoid inefficient use of channel resources.

Beacon Interval

The time interval, in milliseconds, between AP beacon transmissions. The value is set to 100 milliseconds. and cannot be edited.

DTIM Period

DTIM (Delivery Traffic Indication Message) period is the time period after which clients connected to the AP should check for buffered data waiting on the AP.

802.11n/ac Guard Interval

A time period at the end of each OFDM symbol to allow the signal to dissipate before the next signal is transmitted. This interval prevents overlaps between two consecutive symbols. Legacy 802.11a/b/g devices use 800ns GI. GI of 400ns is optional for 802.11n. This setting applies only to 802.11n/ac. By default, the Guard Interval is set to Short.

Enable
A-MPDU

Enable or disable MAC Protocol Data Unit (MPDU) frame aggregation. This setting applies only for 802.11 n/ac. For the 802.1ac radio, frame aggregation is enabled by default, and it cannot be disabled.

Enable
A-MSDU

Enable or disable MAC Service Data Unit (MSDU) frame aggregation. This setting applies only to 802.11 n/ac. For the 802.1ac radio, frame aggregation is enabled by default, and it cannot be disabled.

Enable MU-MIMO Enable or disable the MU-MIMO capability on the 5 GHz radio of 802.11ac wave 2 APs. Disable this option when clients encounter bandwidth issues when both SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO clients connect simultaneously to Wave 2 APs.

Client Steering Common RSSI Threshold

Steering RSSI Threshold The steering RSSI threshold can be between -60 to - 85 dBm. Default value is -70 dBm.
Smart Client Load Balancing
Minimum Client Load Specify the minimum number of clients that can connect to an AP before client load balancing is triggered. The default value for this field is 30 and the threshold is 45. The minimum client load on each radio is taken into consideration while the load on a single AP is examined.
Minimum Client Load Difference The minimum difference between the number of clients connected on neighboring APs that is considered to balance the client load.
Smart Steering
  The Smart Steering RSSI Threshold is 5 dBm less than the Steering RSSI Threshold in Client Steering Common Parameters.

Roam Initiation Threshold Interval

The time interval, in seconds, for which the signal strength of a client must be lower than the Roam Initiation RSSI Threshold for the AP to initiate the roam.

Roam Initiation Threshold Packets

The packet count threshold used to disconnect a client with low RSSI. This is the minimum number of packets from clients with RSSI lower than the Roam Initiation RSSI threshold within the interval to initiate a roam for the client. If the specified number of packets is not received within the Roam Initiation Threshold Interval, the AP waits longer to get this number of packets before it initiates a roam.

Min Association RSSI Parameters

RSSI Threshold

If the signal strength of a client is below this threshold value, the AP responds to the client association request with an association failure.

Desperate Client Interval

If the number of association requests from a client exceeds the Maximum Association Retries within this interval, the client can associate to the AP.

Desperate Client Timeout

When the Desperate Client Interval is exceeded for a client, the client will be held in that state for the Desperate Client Timeout time period.

Max Association Retries

If the number of association requests from a client exceeds the Max Association Retries within Desperate Client Interval, the client can associate to the AP.

Antenna Settings

 Selection

If you want to work with internal antennas, select Internal.  If you want to work with external antennas, select External. This setting applies only to 802.11n.

WMM Admission Control Policy - Voice Call Related Fields

Admission Control Mandatory

Select this check box to make admission control mandatory.

No Ack Policy

When you enable the no acknowledgment policy, the acknowledgment for the unicast QoS data packets is not required from the receiver. No retransmissions take place for the QoS data packets when the no acknowledgment policy is enabled.

Maximum Allowed Calls

The maximum number of allowed voice calls.

Maximum Share of Medium Time

The maximum percentage share of the medium time for voice calls.

Calls Reserved

Number of voice calls reserved for roaming clients.

Share of Medium Time Reserved

The percentage share of the medium time reserved for roaming clients. The share is strictly reserved for roaming clients only.

WMM Admission Control Policy - Video Call Related Fields

Admission Control Mandatory

Select this check box to make admission control mandatory.

No Ack Policy

When you enable the no acknowledgment policy, the acknowledgment for the unicast QoS data packets is not required from the receiver. No retransmissions take place for the QoS data packets when the no acknowledgment policy is enabled.

Maximum Allowed Calls

The maximum number of allowed video calls.

Maximum Share of Medium Time

The maximum percentage share of the medium time for video calls.

Calls Reserved

Number of voice calls reserved for roaming clients.

Share of Medium Time Reserved

The percentage share of the medium time reserved for roaming clients. The share is strictly reserved for roaming clients only.

Background Scan Settings
Scan Interval After the AP Interval, the radio scans one background channel for the period defined in the Scan Interval. Connected clients are not disconnected during the Scan Interval. You can enter an interval from 50 to 150 milliseconds. The default is 100.
AP Interval The interval after which the radio scans one background channel for the period defined in the Scan Interval. You can enter an interval from 5 to 3600 seconds. The default is 10.
Wireless Security Features You can enable Background Scanning for use in radio communications optimization without enabling WIPS scanning. Disable this option to turn off WIPS scanning during background scanning.
Inter-AP RSSI Sync
Inter-AP RSSI Sync

Enables you to share client visibility information among neighboring APs for improved steering. Enable this feature only for high-density multi-AP deployments.

Sync Period is the time interval in seconds for broadcasting periodic sync messages. You can enter an interval from 10 to 60 seconds. The default is 10.

Background scanning must be enabled on all AP radios except for devices with a third scanning radio.

Client Steering Common Blackout Thresholds
Steering Attempts Threshold This is the maximum number of steering attempts for a client in a 10 minute window after which the steering for that client is suspended for a period specified by the Steering Blackout Period. The default value for steering attempts is 2. The minimum value is 1 and maximum value is 5.
Steering Blackout Period This is the steering suspension period for a client. No steering methods will be applied to a client in this time period. The default value for steering blackout period is 15 minutes. The minimum value is 10 minutes and maximum is 60 minutes.
Link Aggregation
 

The Link Aggregation option is only supported on 802.11ac Wave 2 APs.

Link aggregation enables both Ethernet ports of the AP to logically merge into a single link for higher aggregate bandwidth. You must connect the AP to a compatible switch with link aggregation enabled. Both links should use CAT6 Ethernet cabling.

You can choose from these options to define the transmit hash policy:

  • Layer 2 (MAC)
  • Layer 3+4 (IP+Port)
  • Layer 2+3 (MAC+IP)

If you enable link aggregation for the device, the Enable Wired Extension option in the SSID profile, if set, is ignored and the wired extension is not enabled.

Access Radio Exceptions
  This option is not in use by WatchGuard APs.
Enable VLAN Extension
  This option is not in use by WatchGuard APs.
Antenna Settings
  This option is not in use by WatchGuard APs.
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