We get asked a lot of questions about the wireless network design process and especially when it comes to WiFi site surveys. Businesses planning on refreshing their network may need a site survey and we are here to help understand why it's important.
If you're trying to improve your network's performance, a wireless site survey must be completed in order to get the most out of your new WLAN design.
So we’ve put together a shortlist of four of the most frequently asked questions about site surveys and had our VP of Engineering, Michael McNamee, explain and answer your questions.
Question 1: What is a wireless site survey?
A wireless site survey, or a WiFi site survey, is an assessment performed at the business's physical location using several RF measuring tools. We use these tools to analyze the propagation of the RF signals throughout the entire layout.
It’s performed in real-time under real-world conditions, which gives us the ability to analyze both RF interference and perform simulations of the devices and applications our customers are planning on using.
Question 2: Is performing an onsite wireless survey better than a predictive WiFi survey?
Most of the time a predictive site survey can be just as good on-site survey, or physical site survey, is done in a live environment instead of a virtual environment. However, it’s not always superior because it’s not always needed in simpler environments such as those with basic carpet and drywall.
However, in more complex or larger environments like those found healthcare, manufacturing, warehousing or education buildings, performing a site survey is critical to a successful WLAN design.
Every business or environment is different and has different needs or goals so we recommend starting with a predictive site survey to get the discussion going regarding what applications and devices have to be supported and a preliminary assessment of the environment in question.
Question 3: What do customers have to provide to start the wireless site survey process?
When we prepare to perform any assessment we ask that our customers provide floor plans or blueprints of the buildingx.
We also like to have a design meeting where we discuss how the customer is planning on using the wireless network or — in other words, what they’re trying to accomplish — as well as having a detailed conversation about the environment we will be working in.
Finally, we also require the customer to set-up access to the facility and an escort or point of contact that can assist us when on-site.
Question 4: What’s included in a completed wireless site survey?
When we do a wireless site survey, we use 3rd party design software that gives us a lot of advantages — and a lot of data. It’s our goal to provide each customer with an extremely transparent and detailed report of our results.
This includes a detailed report of our walk through and an analysis of each access point location, including RF coverage maps.
If we do a spectrum analysis we’ll provide data on all non WiFi related interference as well as channel and frequency utilization.
We conclude with a full proposal and statement of work for their new wireless network. This includes total cost, the materials and labor needed, and what will be delivered to the customer and how we will do it.
Finally, we create a complete project plan that details the process, step-by-step from the first day of our analysis all the way through the design process, as well as deployment and support services of their new wireless network.
At SecurEdge, we’re experts in wireless network design in some of the most challenging environments anywhere. If you have any questions about your current or new wireless network design, please contact us here — we’d love to help.