Importance of Site Survey Prior To WiFi Implementation
The speed and authenticity of a wireless network hinges on factors like the location and the architecture of the building. A WiFi connection is setup using access points, controller, clients and network components. Basically, the speed of the wireless network depends on the ease with which Radio Frequency signals are carried through within the building. An uninterrupted transmission ensures that connectivity is good.
Factors affecting WiFi speed
Any external interference resulting from use of electrical appliances, mobile phones in the building also deters RF transmission. Access points in neighboring buildings can also cause disturbance to the WiFi signal speed. Bandwidth allocation and total users on the network also determine the signal strength. Walls, ducts, elevators, concrete, asbestos, steel beams and so on also act as barriers for connectivity.
Reasons for undertaking a site survey
In order to predominantly measure the factors above, a site survey is required. With the help of RF spectrum analyzer software, a complete visual understanding of the building is obtained before proceeding to the design stage. Using this information, total access points required are calculated; also the most suitable positions for access points inside the building can be evaluated by checking the signal strength at each position.
The survey can be done using a software or manually or both. But to perform a manual site survey, one must have prior experience. Furthermore, the maximum number of users, minimum bandwidth allocation per user, types of applications used in the wireless network are all important inputs to be considered before creating the WiFi setup design. This will greatly reduce the design and operation costs.
Analysis of the survey
A completed WiFi survey must primarily analyze if there is any interference from nearby access points, wireless phones and satellite dishes. The functionality of cables, routers, switches and racks must also be ensured. Signal strength both outside and inside the building, number of users and their bandwidth size, WiFi leakage and its obstacles must be recorded.
You can either execute the survey manually or by hiring a vendor for a certain fee. The vendor submits a report, which indicates the positions where the access points must be marked, coverage pattern and signal strength at different floors. A wireless site survey is extremely recommended for small and medium scale business for an effective WiFi network, reduced expenses and improved connectivity.