Firebox Gateway Wireless Controller and older APs
Some time back I was doing work for a company and as part of that, got a NFR XTM 525 and several AP300's for my personal use and to learn on. I also have several 26W's that I've put a few places. Even in an 'expired' state, everything works well enough for me. Let's be honest - for a homelab environment, there's no way I could afford or justify buying all new WG equipment and keeping support up, but having them keeps me familiar with them for times that I need to work with them.
That being said, I just got thrown a new curveball. Over time, I've acquired several more AP200's and 300's, which have never been an issue connecting to and managing with the GWC in the Watchguards that I have. Until now. I picked up a pair of M500's that I wanted to replace my XTM 525 with, but in testing, my APs won't tag up with the GWC. Based on my research, it's due to not having or having had at least a basic subscription on the APs. It seems that at one point, once a subscription expired, the GWC would stop managing it, but at some point, Watchguard relaxed that and allowed for expired units to still be managed. That's all well and good, because while I get not supporting hardware that doesn't have some sort of support on it, making it so it basically can't be used is no bueno (yes, I get that they'll keep going on their last config, but when you need to make a change...). But what about older APs that are still viable but, as far as I know, never had a 'basic subscription' available, like the AP200's and AP300's? IT seems like if I were to purchase some AP320's, odds are they would have had at least a basic subscription at some point and be expired, and work.
This subscription nonsense it just out of control. I fully get that without some sort of support contract, you can't call in for support or anything, although I feel that firmware updates should remain available, BUT, AT YOUR OWN RISK because if it should go sideways, you don't have a support contract, so you're on your own. But moving the goalposts and requiring some sort of subscription for newer APs to be managed by the GWC only if they have or have had a subscription is absurd.
Is there any way to get my 'legacy' (Old... Not obsolete) APs working with the newer WG OSes that are looking for this subscription? I could probably go and find some second hand AP320's and odds are they would have had some sort of subscription at some point, and would work, but there's really nothing wrong with the 'legacy' AP's that I have. It seems like this may have just been an oversight... They relaxed the 'rules' to allow newer units that had a subscription but it expired to be managed, but forgot about 'legacy' units that never even had that option.