The wireless network has become a part of our daily lives, as it provides us the freedom and flexibility to connect and communicate from anywhere. It has also grown to be an integral tool for organizations that rely on technology to render their business operations, communications, and data transfer.
Despite the benefits of Wireless networks, they can be challenging to set up, especially if you want to ensure maximum coverage and performance. This is where wireless site surveys come in with 3 of its methods found effective to solve wireless network challenges of many organizations.
A wireless site survey examines the radio frequency-specific areas where a Wi-Fi network is installed. The survey helps to determine the best locations for access points, optimize signal strength and avoid interference from other wireless devices.
Conducting a site survey before wireless network deployment is essential, and there are three key types of wireless site surveys, each with its unique benefits and application. This article will explore these three types of wireless site survey and their specific use cases.
What is Wireless Site Survey?
A wireless site survey also known as a radio frequency site survey is an assessment of a physical location’s radio frequency behavior to determine the suitability for a wireless network installation.
It is the designing and planning process of a wireless network to provide a wireless solution that will give the required data rates, wireless coverage, quality of service, roaming capacity, and network capacity. The survey usually involves visits to sites to test radio frequency interference and to discover the best installation locations.
3 Key Types Of Wireless Site Surveys
A comprehensive assessment requires three key types of wireless site surveys, each performing different functions. They are Predictive, Passive, and active site surveys.
Predictive Site Survey
Predictive surveys are carried out before moving to a new space to determine where the Access Points (APs) would be placed for the best performance. You can think of this type of survey as a weather forecast for Wireless network deployment.
Predictive surveys will identify potential design flaws, estimate equipment needs and forecast the potential cost of the projects.
Passive Site Survey
This type of site survey collects data by passively listening to existing signals without transmitting any signal. When carrying out this kind of survey, you silently observe the existing wireless signals in the surveyed area to find out the number of wireless routers transmitting them, their configuration, and their strength.
This type of survey will help you optimize the placement of your access points, adjust the power settings and identify potential sources of interference. This survey is mostly done using special equipment that can detect and record wireless signals from multiple access points at the same time.
Active Site Survey
This third type of site survey involves the transmission of wireless signals from a temporary access point and the measurement of such signal’s strength and quality at various locations across a site. It is done after the wireless network’s installation and it can help you identify issues like signal overlap, interference, and coverage gaps.
There are two major methods used in this type of survey. The basic Service Set Identifier Method (BSSID) and the Service Set Identifier method (SSID). the BSSID will lock you into an access point’s radio MAC address and will not allow you to roam while the SSID allows you to roam between multiple Access points.
This type of site survey will help you validate the performance of your wireless network, identify potential sources of interference and optimize the placement of your Access Points.
The Importance Of Conducting A Wireless Site Survey Before Installing A New Network
A wireless site survey will help you ensure optimal network performance and this is essential to be done before you install a wireless network into your facility.
The process will evaluate your wireless environment to determine signal strengths, interferences, and sources. Determining these factors will significantly impact the performance of the network including its range, speed, and reliability.
By conducting a wireless site survey you will identify the different areas of weak signal strength or where there are network interferences so that they can make the necessary adjustments to optimize network performance. This will help you minimize connectivity issues, reduce downtime, and improve the overall user experience.
Who needs a wireless site survey?
Conducting a wireless site survey is essential for whoever is ready to set up a wireless network in their facilities. The following are some of them
- Business owners and managers who rely on wireless networks to conduct daily operations
- Network engineers who are responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining wireless networks
- IT managers and administrators who oversee the daily operations of an organization’s IT infrastructure
- Facility managers
- Architects and Building Contractors.
Partner With Cloudavize To Maximize Your Wireless Network Performance
At Cloudavize we have vast experience in wireless network services. Our experts can work with you to conduct a site survey that will pinpoint the root causes of wireless problems and take appropriate actions to optimize the performance and reliability of your network.
Contact us today at (469) 250-1667.