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Community Member

Using WLC for remote Lightweight Access Points in branch office?

Dear all,

we have in our HQ a WLC (4404) and lightweight access points and but in our branch office only autonomous access points(1242).

The branch office connected to the HQ via MPLS.




Is it possible to use the controller in the HQ for the AP's in the branch office too?

Our goal is to convert the autonomous access points in branch office to lightweight and use the central wlc for it.


Many thanks in advance.


Beste regards,





Yes, you can do this if the

Yes, you can do this if the AP at the remote sites are in FlexConnect mode.




HTH, Steve ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please remember to rate useful posts, and mark questions as answered
Community Member

Hi Myoey,Indeed you can, I am

Hi Myoey,

Indeed you can, I am sending you the steps I can think about ...


First step: Convert the access point to light weigh AP (LAP)


  1. Download LAP image from ... pick the LAP image equivalent for the WLC image (would work if its different but prefer to pick a near code)  ... check

  2. Download TFTP Server, if you don’t have it already.  

  3. Initialize the TFTP server on the PC, give it the IP address , then add the image to the root directory for the server.

4. Connect the PC and the access point via Ethernet (directly or switch)  and console cable.

5. Use Hyper terminal or PuTTY to access the AP, enter the command

Show ip int bri

If the IP address isn't with the same subnet as TFTP server then give it IP, else ignore the next step

To give it IP address (same subnet as TFTP)

Int bvi1

Ip address <IP Address> <Subnet>

No shut



6. Ping the TFTP server from the AP, if the ping is successful we will continue.

If there is a problem with the ping, check the Ethernet cable connectivity and repeat the ping.

7. After a successful ping, enter the following command from the CLI:

AP#archive download-sw /overwrite /force-reload tftp://<ip address of tftp server>/<filename>


The AP will reboot and try to join the WLC


Second step: After the AP join change the mode to FlexConnect mode

From WLC GUI -> Wireless -> access point -> select the AP -> change the AP mode to Flex -> apply

the AP will reboot again and join in the new mode


Third step (Optional):

From the WLC GUI -> WLAN -> advanced : you can enable local switching (so data traffic wont have to reach the controller each time)  and/or enable local authentication if you don't want the authentication to be handled by the controller itself


Fourth step: if the VLANs are different in the remote site than the WLC set VLAN tagging

WLC GUI -> Wireless -> access point -> select the AP -> Flex tab -> Vlan tagging

to fix the tagging between the WLAN in the WLC and the local VLANs on site.


Fifth step (Optional):

if you have some APs where you expect fast roaming for clients on site create Flexconnect group


I hope this was helpful for you!






Adding to other replies,

Adding to other replies, please refer the following link for FlexConnect Information, Configuration, Restrictions etc.

Hope that helps.

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