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The Control And Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) protocol is a standard, interoperable networking protocol that enables a central wireless LAN Access Controller (AC) to manage a collection of Wireless Termination Points (WTPs), more commonly known as wireless access points. The protocol specification is described in RFC 5415.[1]

Protocol overview[edit]

CAPWAP is based on Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP). The state machine of CAPWAP is similar to LWAPP's, but with the addition of a full Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) tunnel establishment. The standard provides configuration management and device management, allowing for configurations and firmware to be pushed to access points (APs). Because the overall state design of the CAPWAP protocol is largely the same as the finite-state machine (FSM) in LWAPP, a detailed diagram is not needed.[citation needed]

The protocol uses a generic encapsulation and transport mechanism, making it independent of a specific radio technology. The specification of CAPWAP for a particular wireless technology is called a binding. An IEEE 802.11 binding is provided in RFC 5416.[2]

CAPWAP uses UDP ports 5246 (control channel) and 5247 (data channel).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Calhoun (ed.); et al. (March 2009). "Control And Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) Protocol Specification". IETF. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  2. ^ Calhoun (ed.); et al. (March 2009). "Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) Protocol Binding for IEEE 802.11". IETF. Retrieved 24 October 2013.