Defining a wireless network interface (SSID) | FortiWiFi and FortiAP Configuration Guide (2023)

Defining a wireless network interface (SSID)

You begin configuring your wireless network by defining one or more SSIDs to which your users can connect. When you create an SSID, a virtual network interface is also created with the Name you specified in the SSID configuration.

Defining a wireless network interface (SSID) | FortiWiFi and FortiAP Configuration Guide (1)

If a software switch interface contains an SSID (but only one), the WiFi SSID settings are available in the switch interface settings.

To create a new SSID
  1. Go to WiFi and Switch Controller > SSIDs and select CreateNew > SSID.
  2. Fill in the following SSID fields as needed:


    Enter a name for the SSID interface.


    WiFi SSID.

    Traffic Mode

    Tunnel — (Tunnel to Wireless Controller) Data for WLAN passes through WiFi Controller. This is the default.
    Bridge — (Local bridge with FortiAP Interface) FortiAP unit Ethernet and WiFi interfaces are bridged.
    Mesh — (Mesh Downlink) Radio receives data for WLAN from mesh backhaul SSID.


    IP/Network Mask

    Enter the IP address and netmask for the SSID.

    IPv6 Address/Prefix

    Enter the IPv6 address. This is available only when IPv6 has been enabled on the unit.

    Secondary IP Address

    Optionally, enable and define secondary IP addresses. Administrative access can be enabled on secondary interfaces.

    Administrative Access


    If you have IPv4 addresses, select the permitted IPv4 administrative access types for this SSID.


    If you have IPv6 addresses, select the permitted IPv6 administrative access types for this SSID.

    DHCP Server

    To assign IP addresses to clients, enable DHCP server. You can define IP address ranges for a DHCP server on the FortiGate unit or relay DHCP requests to an external server.
    Note: If the unit is in transparent mode, the DHCP server settings will be unavailable.

    For more information, see Configuring DHCP for WiFi clients.


    Device Detection

    Detect connected device type. Enabled by default.

    WiFi Settings


    Enter the SSID. By default, this field contains fortinet.

    Client limit

    Limit the number of clients allowed in the SSID.

    Broadcast SSID

    Disable broadcast of SSID. By default, the SSID is broadcast.

    Beacon advertising

    Enable to advertise specified vendor specific elements over beacon frames containing information about the FortiAP name, model and serial number. This can be used to determine the coverage area of a FortiAP.

    • Name – The FortiAP name.

    • Model – The FortiAP model.

    • Serial Number – The FortiAP serial number.

    For more information, see Determining the coverage area of a FortiAP.

    Security Mode

    Select the security mode for the wireless interface. Wireless users must use the same security mode to be able to connect to this wireless interface. Additional security mode options are available in the CLI. For more information, see Configuring security.

    • Captive Portal – authenticates users through a customizable web page.
    • WPA2-Personal – WPA2 is WiFi Protected Access version 2. Users use a pre-shared key (password) to obtain access.
    • WPA2-Personal with Captive Portal – The user will need to know the pre-shared key and will also be authenticated through the custom portal.
    • WPA2-Enterprise – similar to WPA2-Personal, but is best used for enterprise networks. Each user is separately authenticated by user name and password.
    • Other choices are: WPA3-Enterprise, WPA3-SAE, WPA3-SAE-Transition, OWE, and OSEN.


    Available only when Security Mode is WPA2-Enterprise.

    Select one of the following:

    RADIUS Server — Select the RADIUS server that will authenticate the clients.

    Local – Select the user group(s) that can authenticate.

    Portal Type

    Available only when Security Mode is Captive Portal. Choose the captive portal type. Authentication is available with or without a usage policy disclaimer notice.

    Authentication Portal

    Local - portal hosted on the FortiGate unit
    External - enter FQDN or IP address of external portal

    User Groups

    Select permitted user groups for captive portal authentication.

    Exempt List

    Select exempt lists whose members will not be subject to captive portal authentication.

    Customize Portal Messages

    Click the listed portal pages to edit them.

    Pre-shared Key

    Available only when Security Mode is WPA2-Personal.

    Select between Single or Multiple encryption key modes that clients must use.

    Setting multiple pre-shared keys will enable dynamic VLAN assignment.

    Additional Settings


    Select when the SSID is enabled. You can choose any schedule defined in Policy & Objects > Objects > Schedules.

    Block intra-SSID traffic

    Select to enable the unit to block intra-SSID traffic.

    Optional VLAN ID

    Enter the ID of the VLAN this SSID belongs to. Enter 0 for non-VLAN operation. See Reserved VLAN IDs.

    Broadcast suppression

    Enable and add broadcasts you want to suppress.

    Quarantine host

    Enable so you can quarantine clients connected to the SSID.

    Split Tunneling

    Select to enable some subnets to remain local to the remote FortiAP. Traffic for these networks is not routed through the WiFi Controller. Specify split-tunnel networks in the FortiAP Profile. See Remote WLAN FortiAPs.

    Enable Explicit Web Proxy

    Select to enable explicit web proxy for the SSID.

    Listen for RADIUS Accounting Messages

    Enable if you are using RADIUS-based single sign-on (SSO).


    Enter a description or comment for the SSID.

  3. Click OK to save.
To edit the settings of an existing SSID
  1. Either
    • Go to WiFi and Switch Controller > SSIDs.


    • Go to Network >Interfaces.

      WiFi interfaces list the SSID beside the interface Name.

  2. Edit the SSID fields, as needed.
To configure a virtual access point (VAP)/SSID - CLI

The example below creates an access point with SSID "example" and WPA2-Personal security. The wireless interface is named example_wlan.

WiFi SSIDs include a schedule that determines when the WiFi network is available. The default schedule isAlways. You can choose any schedule (but not schedule group) that is defined in Policy & Objects > Objects >Schedules.

config wireless-controller vap

edit example_wlan

(Video) FortiGate WIFI | Wireless Configuration |Step By Step

set ssid "example"

set broadcast-ssid enable

set security wpa2-only-personal

set passphrase "hardtoguess”

set schedule always

set vdom root


config system interface

edit example_wlan

set ip

(Video) How to create a Guest SSID Network on FortiAP/FortiGate with Captive Portal+Email Collection


Configuring DHCP for WiFi clients

Wireless clients need to have IP addresses. If you use RADIUS authentication, each user’s IP address can be stored in the Framed-IP-Address attribute. Otherwise, you need to configure a DHCP server on the WLAN interface to assign IP addresses to wireless clients.

To configure a DHCP server for WiFi clients - GUI
  1. Go to WiFi and Switch Controller > SSIDs and edit your SSID entry.
  2. In DHCPServer select Enable.
  3. In AddressRange, select CreateNew.
  4. In the StartingIP and EndIP fields, enter the IP address range to assign.
    By default an address range is created in the same subnet as the wireless interface IP address, but not including that address.
  5. Set the Netmask to an appropriate value, such as
  6. Set the DefaultGateway to Same as Interface IP.
  7. Set the DNSServer to Same as System DNS.
  8. If you want to restrict access to the wireless network by MAC address, see Configuring security.
  9. Select OK.
To configure a DHCP server for WiFi clients - CLI

In this example, WiFi clients on the example_wlan interface are assigned addresses in the range to connect with the WiFi access point on

config system dhcp server

edit 0

set default-gateway

set dns-service default

set interface example_wlan

set netmask

config ip-range

(Video) How to configure Fortinet Access Points

edit 1

set end-ip

set start-ip



Defining a wireless network interface (SSID) | FortiWiFi and FortiAP Configuration Guide (2)

You cannot delete an SSID (wireless interface) that has DHCP enabled on it.

Configuring DNS for local standalone NATVAPs

For SSIDs in local standalone NAT mode, up to three DNS servers can be defined and assigned to wireless endpoints through DHCP. Wireless endpoints can then receive these DNS server IPs through DHCP when connecting to the SSID.

To configure the DNS servers

In this example, an SSID (wifi.fap.01) is configured in local standalone mode with local standalone NAT enabled. Two DNS servers, and, are specified.

config wireless-controller vap

edit "wifi.fap.01"

set ssid "wifi-ssid.fap.01"

(Video) Fortinet Troubleshooting Fortinet Wireless in FortiOS

set passphrase **********

set local-standalone enable

set local-standalone-nat enable

set local-standalone-dns enable

set local-standalone-dns-ip

set local-bridging enable

set local-authentication enable



Defining a wireless network interface (SSID) | FortiWiFi and FortiAP Configuration Guide (3)

You can check the configured DNS server with the following commands:

  • On FortiGate:

    # diagnose wireless-controller wlac -c wlan wifi.fap.01

  • On the managed FortiAP:

    FortiAP-431F # vcfg

    FortiAP-431F # dhcpconf


How do I set up FortiAP? ›

To add and configure the discovered AP unit - GUI
  1. Go to WiFi and Switch Controller > Managed FortiAPs. This configuration also applies to local WiFi radio on FortiWiFi models.
  2. Select the FortiAP unit from the list and edit it.
  3. Optionally, enter a Name. ...
  4. Select Authorize.
  5. Select a FortiAP Profile.
  6. Select OK.

How do I create a new SSID? ›

Go to Wireless > SSIDs and click Create. Type a name for your SSID. This is the name of the network which will be displayed in the wireless network selection on your mobile device or laptop. Type a secure passphrase.

How do I create a SSID in Aruba access point? ›

Click Configuration, Wireless.
  1. Click Configuration, Wireless.
  2. Select a group and then click Networks. ...
  3. To create a new SSID profile, click the + icon. ...
  4. Under Basic Settings, configure the following parameters: ...
  5. Configure the following SSID parameters as required. ...
  6. Click VLAN to configure VLAN settings.

What is the default IP for FortiAP? ›

192.168. 1.2 is the default FortiAP IP address when it boots up with the FortiAP image managed by FortiGate. The FortiAP unit is designed to require no configuration in most networks.

Can I use FortiAP without FortiGate? ›

FortiCloud-managed FortiAP WiFi. In this example, you use FortiCloud to configure a single FortiAP-221C, creating a working WiFi network without a FortiGate. FortiCloud remote management is supported on FortiAP models 221C and 320C.


1. How Does FortiNAC Really Work?
(Samuel Barlass)
2. FortiAP Overview
3. FortiGate Firewall Step by Step Configuration Guide | Basic Configuration, Backup & Restore
(IgoroTech Official)
4. Fortinet FortiWiFi Expanding FortiGate Opportunities
5. Full Fortinet Setup & Walkthrough **For Beginners** | SD-WAN | VLAN | Wi-Fi | Testing & More
(Keith Barker - The OG of IT)
6. How to configure Fortinet Access Points
(Troy Roberts)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated: 04/11/2023

Views: 6202

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.