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Updated:December 12, 2018
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Configure a VAP on a WAP125 or WAP581 Access Point
Virtual Access Points (VAPs) are virtual wireless networks that can be created in one
physical access point. VAPs segment the Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) into multiple broadcast domains. They
are the equivalent of Ethernet Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs). VAPs simulate up to four access points in
the WAP125 and up to 16 access points in the WAP581. Each VAP can be enabled or disabled, except VAP0.
Note: VAP0 in VLAN ID 1 is the default VAP.
Why do we configure a VAP on the WAP?
Configuring the VAP of the access point allows the WAP to extend its capabilities and
match the settings of a network. This is typically done when the device is first deployed, or after the device
has been reset to its factory default settings. Configuring a VAP means that the access point would be able to
support more wireless clients through different Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs) in one physical access point.
The diagram below shows three VAPs are created in a wireless network where the main
access point is the WAP125. Wireless devices are connected to each of the VAP. The VAPs serve as mini WAPs
connected to the main WAP allowing the wireless devices to be connected with separate SSIDs but within one main
wireless access point.
This article aims to show you how to configure the VAPs on a WAP125 or WAP581 Access
18.104.22.168 — WAP125
22.214.171.124 — WAP581
Configure a VAP
In this scenario, the default VAP0 has already been preconfigured and VAP1 in VLAN 10
with SSID CiscoTest will be added to be configured followed by VAP2 in VLAN 20 with SSID Cisco.
Note: Images may slightly vary depending on the WAP that you are using. The
images below are taken from the WAP125.
Step 1. Log in to the access point web-based utility by entering your Username and
Password in the fields provided and then click Login.
Note: The default Username/Password for the WAP is cisco/cisco.
Note: The default username/password is cisco/cisco.
Step 2. Choose Wireless > Networks.
Step 3. Choose the radio interface to configure. The options are:
Radio 1 (2.4 GHz) — This option will let you configure the settings of Radio 1.
Radio 2 (5 GHz) — This option will let you configure the settings of Radio 2.
Note: If you are using the WAP581, Radio 1 is for 5 GHz and Radio 2 is for 2.4
Note: In this example, Radio 1 (2.4 GHz) is chosen.
Step 5. Verify that the Enable checkbox is checked. This is checked by default.
Step 6. Enter the VLAN ID that needs to be associated with the VAP.
Note: In this example, the VAP will be set up for VLAN 10.
Step 7. Enter the name of the wireless network. This is also called the Service Set
Identifier (SSID). It is a combination of letters and numbers up to 32 characters long.
Note: In this example, CiscoTest is entered.
Step 8. Verify that SSID Broadcast is checked. This will make the SSID visible when a
wireless client searches for a wireless network. This option is checked by default. Uncheck this option if you
do not want the SSID visible in the list of networks. When SSID Broadcast is disabled, connecting to the
wireless network must be done manually.
Step 9. (Optional) Check the Wireless Multicast Forwarding (WMF) check box to enable
WMF. Enabling WMF provides an efficient way to transfer multicast traffic to the wireless devices.
Step 10. Choose a Security type from the drop-down list. The options are:
None — This option means that wireless security is disabled on the VAP. This is not
recommended as it would be prone to unauthorized access.
WPA Personal — This option implements Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) Personal security on the VAP. This is
typically used in small office environments where a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS)
server is not required.
WPA Enterprise — This option implements WPA security on the VAP. It is typically used in bigger office
environments that have a RADIUS server in place.
Note: For instructions on setting up wireless security on a WAP, click here. In
this example, None is chosen.
Step 11. (Optional) Choose a Client Filter mode from the drop-down list. The options
Disabled — This option means that the Client Filter feature is disabled.
Local — This option means that the client filter list is stored locally in the access point.
RADIUS — This option means that the client filter list is stored in a RADIUS server.
Note: In this example, Disabled is chosen.
Step 12. (Optional) Check the Channel Isolation check box to enable the feature. When
enabled, the WAP blocks communication between wireless clients on the same VAP. The WAP device will still allow
data traffic between its wireless clients and the wired devices on the network, across a Wireless Distribution
System (WDS) link, and with other wireless clients associated with another VAP.
When Channel isolation is disabled, the WAP would allow clients to communicate with one
Note: In this example, Channel Isolation is disabled.
Step 13. (Optional) Check the Band Steer check box to enable the feature. When
band steer is enabled, the WAP will utilize the 5 GHz band by steering dual-band supported clients from the 2.4
GHz band to the 5 GHz band.
Note: In this example, Band Steer is disabled.
Step 14. (Optional) Choose a scheduler profile from the drop-down list. For
instructions on setting up Scheduler, click here.
Note: In this example, there is no Scheduler profile configured on the WAP.
Step 15. (Optional) Associate a Captive Portal (CP) instance to a VAP. The settings of
the CP instance associated to the VAP will apply to clients who attempt to associate on the VAP. For
instructions on how to configure Guest Access Instance, click here.
Note: In this example, None is chosen.
Step 16. Click Save.
Step 17. Verify that the VAP is now configured by viewing the
networks in the range of your wireless computer.
Note: In this example, a Mac computer is used and it is now connected wirelessly
to the newly configured CiscoTest VAP1 network.
Step 18. Repeat Step 4 to Step 17 to add and
configure VAP2 in VLAN20 with SSID Cisco.
The configuration of the VAPs on your WAP is now complete.