Everything You Need To Know About Wireless Site Surveys

It is not easy to design a fool-proof network, whether wired or non-wired. The network must provide apt wireless coverage and strong signal strength, whether used for connecting computers and printers, warehouse inventory systems, or automated factory machinery. A wireless site survey is a process to assess the suitability of a location for installing a wireless network.

The method involves analysis of the physical layout of your site, the type of construction materials involved, and whether or not there are other wireless devices present in the area.

The goal is to determine the optimal placement of wireless access points and other equipment to ensure reliable wireless coverage throughout the site.

Conducting A Wireless Site Survey

There are 5 steps, in general, involved in conducting a wireless site survey:

  1. Planning: start with determining the scope of your survey. Look at the size and layout of your site, the coverage area required, and finally, the type of wireless network.
  2. Site assessment: You should conduct a thorough physical inspection of the site to know any potential obstacles and sources of interference that will hinder performance, such as walls, floors, ceilings, and electronic equipment.
  3. Radiofrequency (RF) measurement: Use special RF measurement equipment to assess the strength and quality of the wireless signal at various locations throughout your site.
  4. Data analysis: Analyze the data collected during the RF measurement phase to determine the optimal placement of wireless access points and other equipment.
  5. Report generation: Generate a report detailing the survey findings and providing recommendations for improving wireless coverage and performance.

Trained professionals usually do wireless site surveys with relevant experience in wireless networking and RF measurement. They are often used in the planning and deployment of wireless networks in commercial, industrial, and institutional environments.

3 types of wireless site survey

Surveys depend on the specific needs and requirements of the user. 3 common types of surveys include:

Predictive site survey: This type involves using a computer model along with simulation software to predict the coverage and capacity of the wireless network. This is done on the basis of environmental/surrounding characteristics and the placement of the wireless access points (APs). This type is often used to plan a new wireless network or make changes to an existing network.

Passive site survey: Surveys are done simply by observing and recording the existing wireless network coverage and its performance without changing anything to the network. Passive site surveys assess the current state of wireless networks and identify potential issues.

Active site survey: Active testing and measurement of the coverage and performance of your wireless network by walking in outskirts of the site with a laptop or any other device to collect data on signal strength, rates, and other metrics. Active wireless surveys on site are often used to validate the results of a predictive site survey or to troubleshoot issues with an existing wireless network.

Importance Of This Survey

Conducting a wireless site survey is important for you to ensure that your wireless network works to maximize performance and coverage.

It helps to identify potential interference issues and areas with poor signal coverage and determine the optimal placement of wireless access points.

What Would a Site Survey Show?

A wireless site survey gives out a blueprint showing the placement of walls, desks, or other equipment. The survey also gives several types of results like a heat map and a color-coded map showing signal strength throughout the area according to AP placement. Your map can detect and signify that strength is too low in some areas where the teams can move APs or add units.

Final Words

Skipping a site survey can be a recipe for disaster. It may save you some bucks initially but it will cost you a lot more in the long run. Connect with professionals from Ranger’s Wifi to learn more about this.