Table of contents:
The document covers what is a wireless survey, why wireless survey, the factors affecting the wireless survey, and the benefits of the wireless survey.
What is a wireless survey?
A Wireless Site Survey is recommended when implementing a wireless network. For larger wireless network deployments, a site survey is a must. The objective of a wireless site survey is to determine the feasibility of deploying a wireless network to meet your needs and to determine how to deploy a wireless network within the control of your site. A wireless site survey will provide this information by revealing places where signals are weaker and areas of no signals (dead zones), places of signal interference. A wireless survey also helps to avoid interference due to existing radio sources and the reduction of signal caused by physical structures such as columns, beams, walls, and metal objects.
Why wireless survey?
Failure of WiFi to deliver adequate service can be disastrous for business on many levels. It can have a very negative impact on the ability of employees to complete the essential tasks due to slowness, disconnection, roaming issues. Security and accessibility can also realize many hidden costs that you are not prepared for. The first step toward addressing these deficiencies is a wireless site survey.
This is a sample report generated in wireless surveys to plan the positioning of the AP’s on the floor plan. Reports can be generated based on the values measured on the environment. This is available for PCs and tablets for more efficiency.
The factors which influence the wireless network:
Physical obstructions :
Solid objects attenuate some part of the signal depending upon the material of walls, doors, glass doors, and fabric used in the gypsum wall, construction of the surrounding buildings with the new wireless network after a certain period of time influence the Wi-Fi signal in your office. The fewer obstructions and lesser the proximity of the user device lies from the wireless access point stronger the signal will be. These obstructions may keep changing, for example, you may add new drywall for partition, or a new object which blocks signal or there are chances of new construction around your office which may end up having new wireless devices causing blockage of the signal.
User density :
More the users connected to the access point lesser becomes the freeness of the airtime of that frequency band which in turn would negatively impact the performance. Consequently, it is not only the user count that matters, it is also the usage patterns of those devices. There are different types of wireless designs that are used depending upon the crowd for instance wireless designs for the conference room and auditorium under the seat AP deployment method are used for which AP covers the small areas so that a limited number of users are covered who can enjoy stronger signal strength.
Environmental factors(outdoor Wi-Fi):
Weather conditions can have a huge impact on wireless signal integrity. Compared to a normal day performance during a rainy day may degrade due to the water drops which reflects the signal. Fog and rain can weaken signals as they pass through.
Wireless technologies such as 802.11b/g use an RF range of 2.4GHz, and so do many other devices, such as cordless phones and so on. Devices that share the channel can cause noise and weaken the signals. Non-networking devices such as microwave ovens that share the same range of spectrum can possibly cause noise and weaken the performance as the receiving antenna might not be able to distinguish between signals it has received.
Benefits of the wireless survey:
- Identify areas prone to interference.
- Site survey assists in identifying the Dead spots where the wireless signal is almost dead.
- Identify the impact of an increase in the number of new users.
- Recognize the effect of new infrastructure around.
- Helps in providing data for network fine-tuning to provide seamless connectivity
- The wireless survey helps in reducing disconnection, slowness in the wireless network.
- Potential roaming in the network can be determined which helps us in fine-tuning the areas of
- The network capacity of the infrastructure with the existing network devices and design can be
Wi-Fi is an integral part of most organization’s daily operations. So, it is exceptionally vital to supply the best plans ideal for concerned situations. To get the best performance out of your wireless network, you must ensure that your access points (AP) are in the most optimal locations and that other radio emitters, which can cause interference, are kept to a minimum. This requires you to periodically perform site surveys of your wireless network. The recommended time frame for the wireless survey- once in 6 months- 1 year.