Configuring a WiFi LAN

Configuring a WiFi LAN

When working with a FortiGate WiFi controller, you can configure your wireless network before you install any access points. If you are working with a standalone FortiWiFi unit, the access point hardware is already present but the configuration is quite similar. Both are covered in this section.

Overview of WiFi controller configuration

Setting your geographic location

Creating a FortiAP Profile

Defining a wireless network interface (SSID)

Defining SSID Groups

Dynamic user VLAN assignment

Configuring user authentication

Configuring firewall policies for the SSID

The WiFi Controller and Switch Controller are enabled through the Feature Store (under System > Feature Select). However, they are separately enabled and configured to display in the GUI via the CLI.

To enable both WiFi and Switch controllers, enter the following:

config system global set wireless-controller enable set switch-controller enable


To enable the GUI display for both controllers, have also been separated:

config system settings set gui-wireless-controller enable set gui-switch-controller enable end

If you want to connect and authorize external APs, such as FortiAP units, see the next chapter, Access point deployment.

Overview of WiFi controller configuration

The FortiGate WiFi controller configuration is composed of three types of object, the SSID, the AP Profile and the physical Access Point.

Overview of WiFi controller configuration

l An SSID defines a virtual wireless network interface, including security settings. One SSID is sufficient for a wireless network, regardless how many physical access points are provided. You might, however, want to create multiple SSIDs to provide different services or privileges to different groups of users. Each SSID has separate firewall policies and authentication. Each radio in an access point can support up to 8 SSIDs.

A more common use of the term SSID is for the identifier that clients must use to connect to the wireless network.

Each SSID (wireless interface) that you configure will have an SSID field for this identifier. In Managed Access Point configurations you choose wireless networks by SSID values. In firewall policies you choose wireless interfaces by their SSID name.

  • An AP Profile defines the radio settings, such as band (802.11g for example) and channel selection. The AP Profile names the SSIDs to which it applies. Managed APs can use automatic profile settings or you can create AP profiles.
  • Managed Access Points represent local wireless APs on FortiWiFi units and FortiAP units that the FortiGate unit has discovered. There is one managed access point definition for each AP device. An access point definition can use automatic AP profile settings or select a FortiAP Profile. When automatic profile settings are used, the managed AP definition also selects the SSIDs to be carried on the AP.

Conceptual view of FortiGate WiFi controller configuration

Setting your geographic location

Having trouble configuring your Fortinet hardware or have some questions you need answered? Check Out The Fortinet Guru Youtube Channel! Want someone else to deal with it for you? Get some consulting from Fortinet GURU!

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