With the advent of FortiOS v5.0 the Fortigate wireless controller can now support wireless mesh mode. Wireless Mesh will enable an ethernet connected FortiAP to share it’s network connection with another FortiAP in a location where it was not feasible for it to have it’s own dedicated ethernet connection.
This guide assumes you already have your Fortigate controlled wireless network up and running and are only adding one or more wireless mesh leaf nodes to the existing network configuration.
You should see the default mesh.root interface in your Wifi Network settings, the SSID will be called “fortinet.mesh.root”, this can be customized if needed. In my lab environment there are lots of the default Fortinet devices around so I’m renaming to “marc.mesh.root”. Also set the shared password at this time.
Now let’s enable mesh downlink on the APs or AP profiles:
The Fortigate and APs are now ready to downlink the connection via mesh connection, however the leaf node APs need to be configured as well, this can be done via GUI or CLI:
cfg -a MESH_AP_TYPE=1 cfg -a MESH_AP_SSID=marc.mesh.root cfg -a MESH_AP_PASSWD=shared_password cfg -c
You should now see the leaf node AP connect to the root mesh AP and ready to authorize in the Fortigate Wifi settings.