APs Purchased prior to new licensing policy

I recently learned from a third party and just today confirmed with call to WG sales that AP must have support license to manage any APs including after model ? 300.

For my businesses I have been a customer of watchgard for 10+ years and have purchased and replaced several generations including APs. I never ran into any dependency on support license to manage the APs. Just buy the main appliance unit, pay for support for the main appliance, buy the AP hardware and everything works.

Related to use of the WG in my businesses, two years ago I put WG into my residence, adding 4x AP420 managed by M270. These APs are not cheap but I had no idea I would have to pay support on each of the APs incremental to the support for the main M270 device. Heck I could have gotten by with just 2 and lived with the gaps.

Now comes a new WG policy implemented AFTER I purchased these AP420 that imposes 4 x 100 / year cost in perpetuity. AS I understand once firmware12.5+ is installed on the main appliance, you lose the ability to mange APs that do not have active support. I need to manage all these APs, changing SSIDs and passwords fairly regularly so losing this ability to manage essentially bricks.

This type of retroactive policy change leaves impression that WG is more concerned with extracting rents regardless of the impact on long time loyal customers rather than retaining trust and loyalty. I have no issues with WG changing policy as it applies to new equipment purchase but as it impacts already purchased equipment, given a long relationship with WG and with a working reliance as to how these devices work in terms of licensing and cost in the past, does not sit well with me.

Seems Watchguard could easily side step the impact of this policy change as impacts these longtime loyal customers with a bridge onetime license to cover all AP devices purchased and put into service prior the date the new policy was announced. Purchases of APs after that date would fall under their new policy. That would respect long-time customers and allow WG to implement this new policy
A separate issue is use in a residential setting. Maybe watchgard just does not want to play in the residential market but if they want to get penetration here they should think about simplification of licensing and support and changing pricing points.

Assuming WG makes no changes here, are there any other ways to manage these AP420s with m270 if I upgrade to or past 12.5 ?


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    After 3 calls for various reasons, they renewal team notified me there there is an exception that has been implemented that provides a perpetual license to all AP hardware purchased prior to Sept 1 2018. That seems reasonable to me and consistent with my original posting. I just wish i did not have to go thru multiple phone calls to WG to figure this out. I was told this is already implemented behind the scenes granting a perpetual license to each device. The customer portal will NOT reflect this behind the scenes perpetual license.

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    This is one more reason that I buy a different brand of APs. I have a "unified" (hint) solution for all wireless, whether it's my own or any clients' wireless, regardless of whether or not they have a WatchGuard firewall (most don't, unfortunately).

    Gregg Hill

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    Hello from the Wi-Fi team at WatchGuard. Thank you everyone for your 100% honest views here in the thread. I know you all have a lot of other vendors, networks, users, employees, customers, etc to handle on a daily basis. Your time spent expressing each of your situations with our Wi-Fi product is incredibly valuable. Please, keep it coming. We do read your feedback and in fact, this post is to inform you of a recent change to our Basic Wi-Fi packages directly influenced by your feedback.

    After a lot of discussion and analysis of your feedback, we have removed the management restrictions of Basic Wi-Fi packages: Expired Basic Wi-Fi APs will now still be able to be managed from the Gateway Wireless Controller (including current and End of Life APs). More information can be found in my WatchGuard Product and Support blog post.

    New Basic Wi-Fi APs still need to be activated before they can be paired with Gateway Wireless Controller (GWC), but the ability to configure/monitor the APs will never be disabled in the GWC user interface.

    As a former VP of Operations for a Managed Services Provider myself, I can certainly empathize with vendor policy/product changes that impact the channel and customer ecosystem. Thank you all again for taking the time to document your feedback around this change and I look forward to reading more from you all in the future.

    Lastly, an area we have been innovating heavily in are the Wi-Fi packages and I would personally love to hear what you think about them. Each package is built to uniquely addresses the needs of certain market segments:

    • Total Wi-Fi: Use WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud for AP management, WIPS security to enable a Trusted Wireless Environment, intelligent visibility and remote troubleshooting. Plus, you also get access to additional tools for guest user engagement, location-based analytics, social media integration, captive portals, and splash page design. Suitable for deployments of all sizes and uses.
    • Secure Wi-Fi: Use WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud for AP management, WIPS security to enable a Trusted Wireless Environment, intelligent visibility and remote troubleshooting. Suitable for deployments of all sizes and uses.
    • Basic Wi-Fi: Use the Gateway Wireless Controller on a WatchGuard Firebox to manage APs suitable for small deployments under 20 APs with lightweight use.

    Included with all Wi-Fi packages is 24/7 phone and email technical support, RMA replacement service, and software updates.

    Warm Regards,
    Ryan Orsi & Your WatchGuard Wi-Fi Team
    Director Product Management, Wi-Fi

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    Whenever I see "We do read your feedback and", it usually means "We hear you, but we really are not going to change."

    BRAVO to WatchGuard for not only listening, but responding in a positive way. I don't use your APs, but I am sure you will make a lot of people happy with this announcement!

    Good job!

    Gregg Hill

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    Now if they would just fix the Website so that my locations with mixed environments could be on the same WatchGuard ID.....

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