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The Guide To Wireless Site Surveys

Henrik Bøe Mar 14, 2024 9:44:22 AM

A wireless Site Survey is crucial in determining optimal areas for placing wireless access points to avert interference and overlapping coverage from other points. Interference may stem from various sources, including physical structures and external radio interference, thus each location demands a unique solution.

“Each location is unique, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all solution.”​


Understanding the Importance of Wireless Site Surveys


Conducting a wireless Site Survey ensures there’s no interference between overlapping channels, minimizes the number of required access points, and identifies ideal locations for optimal coverage. Bypassing this step can lead to a sluggish, unreliable network post-installation, frustrating users and hindering work productivity.


“It is frustrating and costly to ‘fix’ the wireless network after it has been installed.”​


Do I Need a Wireless Site Survey?


Beyond just the size of the area, considering the reliance of your business on the wireless network is pivotal. If network issues significantly impact your business operations, a site survey becomes indispensable, regardless of the area size.


Types of Wireless Site Surveys

  • Predictive Survey: Conducted without on-site measurements, using an RF planning tool to predict wireless coverage for access points.
  • Passive Survey: Involves listening to existing access points and other signal sources to measure various factors including signal strength and interference.
  • Active Survey: Utilizes a WiFi adapter to connect to access points, collecting detailed information about network traffic, bandwidth, and more.


“An active survey is time-consuming but provides a very thorough report on the optimal placement of different access points.”




Properly conducting a wireless site survey ensures the reliable functioning of your wireless network, fostering seamless operations and heightened productivity across your business.



What is a Wireless Site Survey?


A wireless Site Survey helps determine the ideal placement for wireless access points to avoid interference and overlapping coverage from other points, ensuring optimal coverage and minimal interference.


Why is conducting a Wireless Site Survey important?


Conducting a Wireless Site Survey helps in minimizing the number of required access points, identifying the best locations for access point placement, ensuring there’s no interference between overlapping channels, and avoiding issues caused by external radio interference.


Is the size of the area the only factor to consider for conducting a Site Survey?


No, other crucial factors include the dependency of your business on the wireless network and the impact on your business in case the network is unavailable or slow.


Can too many access points degrade the signal?


Yes, having too many access points placed in wrong areas can actually degrade the signal and worsen the network performance.


What are the different types of Wireless Site Surveys?


There are three types: predictive, which uses an RF planning tool without on-site measurements; passive, which listens to existing access points to measure signal strength and interference; and active, which connects to access points to gather detailed information about network traffic and bandwidth.


When is an active survey conducted?


An active survey is often conducted at the beginning of a new wireless network deployment, in conjunction with a passive survey. It is more time-consuming but provides comprehensive details for enhancing wireless performance without the need for new infrastructure investments.