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Wi-Fi wireless site survey

Wireless site surveys are of great value to ensure excellent network performance. It doesn’t matter if you are in design stage or post deployment stage. Furthermore, these surveys are essential for the maintenance of the network, in order to have a baseline so your wireless network still meets the same high service standards.

Why is a site survey essential ?

In design stage you need some predictive modelling or a predictive survey to check the network and capacity requirements. Avoiding predictive modeling can seem tempting because it saves on costs, but in the end if done right it will result in a great network experience !

When doing a AP on a Stick survey (APoS) we are validating the access points we placed on the map during predictive modeling in the real environment. This way we can check the coverage for this ap placement.

After the implementation yu may want to check how the network performs as designed for, this is the post validation survey. We use this kind of survey also when a health check has to be performed on the wireless network or to identify problems in the network.

What does a site survey provide ?

With a site survey we can measure the coverage of the wireless network, this will generate a heat map in the survey tool. Using the built-in wifi interfaces on the survey device it will gather all layer 2 wifi information and show this on a map.

Typically the survey device also has a spectrum analyzer built-in, when you perform a survey you gather RF energy in the air so you can see how busy the air is in that location. Using a spectrum analyzer we can find sources of interference in the network. These can be displayed in a report as a deliverable.

Different kinds of wireless site surveys

We use different kinds of site survey, the kind of site survey we want to perform depends on the output and the deliverables you want to get. Below are the 3 main site survey’s we can accomplish

  • Predictive surveys are used to design a new network based on floorpans. Using this survey we take network requirements & capacity in consideration
  • AP on a Stick surveys are to place an AP on a tripod and power it using a battery. We move the tripod around to see if the real RF propagation matches the predictive model we designed for.
  • Post surveys are more focussed on validation of the implemented network or to pinpoint problems in the current network configuration.
  • Healthcheck surveys are used to survey a certain location on a recurring time so you can build a baseline of the network when it does operate as designed. Once problems arise you can match the network against the baseline and easily find root cause.

Frequently asked questions about site surveys

A wireless site survey analyzes the radio waves in the area where a Wi-Fi network is deployed. Network teams use site surveys when planning a new network to determine where access points should be installed.

Depending on the kind of site survey you require, we can do a survey based on a floorplan or use a tripod and walk through the building or just walk through the building and gather data points everywhere we walk. None of these survey methods will interfere with the actual live network in the area.

This depends on the kinds of survey you require, but considering our experience we can make an estimation on the time we need to perform any of these survey methods. This can be discussed in advance.

  • Bad channel planning
  • Non-wifi interference
  • Not enough signal strength for the critical device
  • Roaming issue because of bad design

Would you like to have a wireless site survey carried out by AHFIBIT ?

With AHFIBIT we have already helped +150 companies. Thanks to our site survey results, they now enjoy an efficient wireless network.