The Solution to Build and Maintain
Why WI-FI design should start with survey ?
A Wireless Site Survey is recommended when implementing a wireless network. For larger wireless network deployments, a site survey is a must have item. For smaller wireless deployments, a site survey is good to have. When deploying a wireless network, we are looking for the optimal wireless coverage and performance with the minimal use of equipment. This saves on time, man power and equipment cost. To get optimal wireless coverage and performance, we need to understand the Radio Frequency (RF) behavior of our wireless network deployment site. A wireless site survey will provide this information by revealing places of signal interference, places where signals are weaker and areas of no signals (dead zones).
A wireless survey also helps to avoid interference due to existing radio sources and interference cause by physical structures such columns, beams, walls, and metal objects. In fact anything can affect the radio signal profile of a site including furniture and people. It is important to remember that 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 constraints of your site.
How does a Wireless Site Survey help?
When deploying a wireless network WiFi access points (APs) are often placed at random but is this add-hoc placement of WiFi APs a good strategy? In small deployments the add-hoc approach is not a problem but with medium to large deployments a wireless site survey is advised and often needed. A wireless site survey helps to determine where to place WiFi APs to avoid interference and avoid overlap coverage from other APs.
In practice many network managers just randomly place WiFi APs and simply install extra WiFi APs when extra coverage is needed or when they get complaints about bad WiFi access. In an add-hoc wireless network the network manager has no idea what kind of interference exist and how the site’s radio signal profile changes. By getting a wireless site survey, it will help determine if there are co-channel interference and how much, where external radio interference are causing problems and how to minimize the number of WiFi APs needed and where to optimally place the WiFI APs for best coverage.
It is important to understand that a wireless site survey is a snap-shot of the site’s radio signal profile at that time. As the site changes with new addition of people, cubicles, furniture, and electronic equipment, its radio signal profile changes and may require a new site survey.
How do we do it ?
There are basically three types of wireless site surveys passive, active, and predictive.
The goal of all of wireless site surveys is to provide detailed information that addresses the site’s radio frequency coverage. Before implementing or attempting to optimize a wireless network, you’ll want to understand all the possible areas of interference, AP placements, power considerations, and wiring requirements that are needed
A predictive site survey is performed without any type of field measurements. It uses RF planning software tools that can predict wireless coverage of the APs. To perform this site survey, a floor-plan drawing (AutoCAD, JPEG, PDF) is a must-have. Predictive site surveys are used when the site or building is not yet built and are helpful for budgeting purposes.
A passive site survey tool listens to existing access points and other signal sources for signal strength, interference, and access point (AP) coverage. In a passive site surveys, the listening WiFi adapters does not need to associate to the AP, it just passively listen to give a picture of the Radio Frequency (RF) characteristics of wireless network site. Passive surveys are often perform when upgrading existing wireless networks such as adding additional APs.
In an active site survey, the survey WiFi adapter is associated to the AP(s). This allows gathering of detailed information such as network traffic, throughput packet loss, and data rates. An active site survey is often performed in conjunction with a passive site survey at start of a new wireless network deployment.
Gateway ICT is a partner of top vendors in Wireless to deliver the best solutions aligned with the business requirements. our service includes:
Survey & health check
design or expansion
Deployment & integration
Hardening & Security