What Is a Wi-Fi Survey?

As wireless technology continues to evolve, companies need to update their equipment to meet new requirements. Recent developments include 5G coverage and Wi-Fi 6. Companies are also increasingly using wireless to connect large-scale and hybrid workplaces, as well as to support IoT devices. 

When these transformations take place, companies may be unaware that they have gaps in their wireless networks. A company may think the wireless network is working fine when there are hidden problems. That’s where Wi-Fi site surveys come in. 

But what is a Wi-Fi site survey exactly? 

Wi-Fi Site Survey Explained

During a Wi-Fi site survey, wireless experts visit a site to capture the Wi-Fi signal and spectrum data. The site survey also includes the inspection of access point mounting and cabling accessibility.

The purpose of the site survey is to evaluate the current wireless environment or proposed changes to the environment to uncover gaps and potential issues. The site survey can uncover any sources of interference or barriers to achieving the necessary wireless coverage. An engineer uses equipment to measure the Wi-Fi coverage area and signal strength, as well as to assess cabling paths.

Wi-Fi site surveys can test predictive wireless designs before a network is deployed, verify that changes or additions are installed correctly, and ensure that the network continues to be fast and reliable for its users and applications.

Types of Wireless Site Surveys

The term survey can mean different things to different people, but it generally relates to one of the following 5 site survey types:

1) Wi-Fi Design Survey 

This type of survey involves a site visit, generally made before you create your predictive wireless design. By performing a Wi-Fi Design Survey, you capture existing radio frequency (RF) conditions, including your neighbor’s wireless networks and the channels they use, and other sources of RF interference, such as dynamic frequency selection (DFS) or radar activity, motion sensors, or microwaves. You can also use the Design Survey to visualize potential limitations for access point (AP) mounting, such as ceiling heights and materials. 

2) Pre-Deployment Site Survey 

Pre-deployment surveys are used to simulate access point and antenna performance. In this type of survey, an access point is temporarily placed in the location and configuration of the design, and the Wi-Fi is analyzed to ensure it performs as anticipated in the predictive design. 

3) Post-Deployment Site Survey 

A Post-Deployment Site Survey checks to see that the network has been deployed and configured properly and that the performance meets the expectations of the predictive design. 

4) Health Check Survey 

Health Check Surveys are ongoing maintenance surveys used to check Wi-Fi performance proactively over time so you can spot potential interference, coverage, or capacity problems before they cause costly outages. 

5) Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Survey  

A troubleshooting site survey is a reactive survey used to track down issues reported by users. 

When to Conduct a Wireless Site Survey 

Wireless site surveys should be conducted regularly so your company uncovers any gaps in your current wireless environment before they become an issue. Being proactive about solving network problems is preferable to fixing performance issues after customers have complained about unsatisfactory experiences or an outage has occurred. 

Site surveys are also an important part of preparing for any planning or design phase of a wireless installation. For example, if your company is looking to adopt Wi-Fi 6, a site survey can be used to test the new configuration and predict what new equipment and additional access points will be necessary to implement. The site survey will assess the current infrastructure to determine if it is scalable for the new implementation. 

Setting the Stage for Optimum Wireless Coverage 

When wireless providers conduct wireless site surveys, the results help them provide you with optimum wireless coverage. The results give the engineers the information needed to design a custom wireless network solution that bridges any gaps. 

At Intellispring, we understand that finding gaps in your coverage using a wireless site survey means you need to implement new equipment, including additional access points. We will work with your company to conduct the appropriate type of site survey and deliver a report that outlines the necessary next steps to solve any problems. We can design installations based on the survey specifications to guarantee the necessary coverage and implement them. 

As a Cisco Premier Certified Partner, Intellispring has the certified expertise to help your company achieve optimum coverage using leading network technologies. 

Uncover your wireless gaps. Reach out to Intellispring to request a Wireless Site Survey today.