I just got my FortiAP 231F and I have an IoT ssid in tunnel mode and my regular ssid in bridge mode. I get much better throughput on the bridge mode ssid but on the IoT tunnel I get almost 8-10dbm better signal on the same device in the same spot. Why is there such a difference in range?
Not saying this is entirely the cause of the issue but tunnel mode is tunneled back through to the firewall on its own layer3 interface (routing, inspection, NAT, etc.) all traffic is handled by the firewall. Bridge mode SSID drops the traffic off at the local switch, it is not tunneled back to the firewall for processing.
If those SSIDs are on the same AP, it makes zero sense why you would be seeing an 8-10dbm signal strength difference. What are you using to measure the signal strength?
5ghz will not propagate as far so if the clients are connecting on 5ghz they will have lower signal strength than 2.4ghz. 5ghz provides more bandwidth. My assumption is your bridge mode client is on 5ghz and your IoT device is on 2.4ghz.
Also, some devices have stronger transmitters so the (received) signal strength will be different.
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