Wireless Wi-Fi Site Surveys

A reliable wireless network is an important part of maintaining productivity, and whether you’re installing a new network in the warehouse or looking to upgrade your current system in the office, a wireless site survey can aid in designing an optimized Wi-Fi network. A wireless site survey maps out the coverage area and provides information like data rates, density of devices, and quality of service. This information is crucial at the design phase of a wireless infrastructure as well as the optimization stage. It helps in identifying problems with the coverage, like dead zones, and provides you with optimal placement to get the most bang-for-your-buck. But what if your organization doesn’t have the technical staff to conduct such a survey? Most companies would not invest money on resources to conduct wireless site surveys due to the fact that this is a highly skilled and seldom used process. This makes choosing the right service provider to perform a Wi-Fi site survey extremely important as they work with you in designing a better, more reliable, wireless infrastructure.

A wireless site survey requires special equipment and training to get any usable results. A site survey takes into account statistics on load density, radio frequency interference, roaming handoff, and a number of other factors that are important when determining how to set up a wireless network. It’s not always just a matter of getting better access points or a new router; often, a WLAN can be improved by moving wireless access points around so that they can provide better coverage and performance. Setting up wireless infrastructure in an office or warehouse isn’t as simple as in your home, and a wireless site survey should be conducted to aid in the designing of the system. By having a survey conducted, your wireless system can be modelled and predicted, saving you the guess-work out of how many access points you will need to provide the wireless coverage that you want. A survey can also test your current system to ensure that you are getting the signal strength and coverage that you need and identify any dead zones or problems that need fixing.

The hardest part about wireless networks is that they can’t be seen. Troubleshooting and understanding what is going on with the network is near impossible without the right tools and expertise aiding you, and when the wireless network is part of your business operations, it is important to understand what can be done to improve performance and reliability. Take warehouses, for example, where a wireless system is needed to convey information between the central database and the workers on the floor. Dropped signals can result in a loss of data and productivity as the workers now need to spend time re-scanning the data that they had just collected. It’s in environments like these where a wireless site survey can drastically improve productivity and performance by analyzing the current network and designing a configuration that eliminates dead zones and slow speeds caused by RF interference.  They take into account specific wireless needs, like wireless voice over IP in medical facilities, and provide you with the most efficient wireless system so that you save money and protect your investments.

Wireless systems are an integral part of all businesses nowadays and so it’s important that they improve productivity, rather than limiting it with slow speeds and dropped connections. By conducting a site survey and implementing a well-planned wireless infrastructure, you can greatly improve the performance and experience of your Wi-Fi network. You don’t need to invest in the equipment or training; we at OCR can conduct a wireless site survey for you and work with you to design a solution that is sure to improve performance.

12 Thoughts on “Wireless Wi-Fi Site Surveys

  1. Tiara A. on June 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm said:

    We were looking to implement a WiFi network at our facilty and when we began asking for quotes we realized that some companies included a wireless site survey charge and others didn’t even bother to list it. It is then we began to realize that some suppliers were solution providors and some were simply hardware resellers. Anyhow, came across this article while researching how important a WiFi Site Survey is to a wireless implementation. There are some good reasons for getting a survey done before installing the equipment. Thanks for the info and we will get you guys to give us a quote on a system. Thanks.

  2. Abila B. on June 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm said:

    Also, when you get a wireless site survey done BEFORE you implement your corporate Wi-Fi infrastructure the company that did the survey will guarantee coverage and if anything is not right, you will not be on the hook for expensive repositioning and troubleshooting if there are issues. That is one of the major benefits by getting your site survey done by a reputable solution provider. We had some minor issues but they were fixed without additional costs after the implementation because of the work guarantee. The issues actually involved a faulty antenna but the problem was diagnosed and fixed before our system went live. It is well worth having a wireless survey done before getting the access points installed because it will help in understand what you should expect from the Wi-Fi network and if it doesn’t live up to expectations there is usually a reason!

  3. Jimmy C. on June 16, 2014 at 9:38 pm said:

    Also, an important aspect not to be overlooked is the site layout documentation. This has been invaluable to us when there are staff changes. This way new support people can readily pick up and run with the wireless infrastructure. Our wireless site survey included a complete list of materials that we can use for re-ordering and expanding the network. It is especially important to know what revision the firmware is in all the equipment as well. Keeping the site all at the same revision is important to ensuring the wifi network functions reliably.

  4. Yasemen O. on June 21, 2014 at 12:08 am said:

    We had our site survey done by you guys and I am happy to report that our facility is now fully operational with Wi-Fi. Our fork truck drivers report that they have no issues with drop connections as they roam from one end of the warehouse to the other as well as when in the production area. We were particularily worried about the interference from our heavy stamp presses and the electrolysis cleaning baths. Even the hand gun computers work in these areas perfectly. It was well worth spending the time to map these areas for RF interferance. Thanks for the great work!

  5. Jay M. on June 23, 2014 at 4:59 pm said:

    A Wi-Fi site survey is imperative when implementing a corporate wireless network. We decided to just put wireless access points up in a grid iron formation thinking that the overlay would cover everywhere. Well, when we lite up the wireless network within a day we had issues of non-coverage and then within a week roaming issues. We then had you guys come in and determine the issues and you found more than just the interference from other equipment but you also traced down the roaming issues. Setting up a wireless network requires a lot more planning and knowledge than we had. It is easy to get lulled into a false sense of plug-n-play. You guys also highlighted the security holes in the wireless network as well. So, unless you install wireless networks everyday, it is well worth getting a trusted solutions expert to help with the planning and design as well as a wireless site survey.

  6. Alyce B. on June 29, 2014 at 11:55 pm said:

    We had our wireless network installed by another vendor at what we thought was a great price. Jeepers, was that a mistake. We have had nothing but problems especially connectivity issues. Forget about roaming! That just aggravates the problems. Believe me, a wireless network could be a nightmare without a proper wireless site survey done before-hand. Ask for references of a *similar* install from your solution provider. If they can’t come up with one, then turn tail and run! Wi-Fi is to easy setup for a home with one antenna, but even that can have its issues as many homeowners can attest to. An enterprise wireless network is much more complex and critical. Ensure you protect your investment with a proper wireless survey before you install your wireless access points! Lesson learned, thanks for cleaning up our mess and getting us running smoothly!

  7. Leanne S. on July 4, 2014 at 4:58 am said:

    You’re so cool! This was a great article. So good to discover someone with a few original thoughts on wireless technology. Seriously… thanks for writing this up. It will certainly help me convince my boss that we should have a wireless Wi-Fi site survey done before we barrel through an installation. This site is something that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

  8. Ewily W. on July 12, 2014 at 3:50 am said:

    Thank you so much for providing information on wireless networking as an exceptionally great read. We did not even realize that services like a wireless site survey was available. Not to mention, I’m certainly happy considering the powerful points you serve as well as the additional comments posted. We will are interested in your services and hope to utilize you in the near future. Thanks so much for the wonderful summary!

  9. Marcella F. on July 19, 2014 at 11:40 pm said:

    Awesome! This has been an extremely helpful article. We are looking at putting in some Guest Wi-Fi access and perhaps a site survey is what we need and especially if you help to setup secure access for guests. We are also interested in covering some area outdoors with wireless access points as well and wanted to know what kind of coverage we can expect. Thanks for supplying this info.

  10. Lin N. on July 24, 2014 at 7:33 pm said:

    What I really appreciate about the wireless site survey that we had done were the heat maps of how the RF propagates through our building. It is really easy to spot where issues could occur and where we blast signals that may be picked up by our neighbors. Also, the soft site survey was not as revealing as the physical site survey. Our blueprints were not detailed enough to shows where racking and other furniture and equipment was and they made a big difference. Try to get a physical Wi-Fi site survey done as they are much more accurate.

  11. Linda A. on August 5, 2014 at 1:12 am said:

    Just wanted to give you a shout. This is a great article and I tweeted my boss on the benefits of a wireless site survey and cited your article. Much appreciated as we are currently undertaking a project to implement a wireless network system across all our facilities and are debating the merits of doing a site survey at each one. Will contact you guys too to see what technical consulting services you can provide to help us with this. Thanks.

  12. Kelly G. on August 6, 2014 at 11:21 am said:

    I leave a response whenever I appreciate an article on a site or I have something valuable to contribute to the conversation. We had a wireless network installed not too long ago (actually it was an upgraded wireless network) and when it was done it seemed that we had nothing but problems. It’s odd because our old wireless network worked really well and this one that was supposed to be faster just had a lot of issues when people tried to connect and with dropped connections. I think they finally narrowed it down to interference with all the other wireless networks in the offices next door. But, it is still pretty unstable. My phone constantly says that the network connection is unstable. Anyhow, I forwarded this article to the IT staff to read. I think they should have got a wireless site survey done BEFORE they implemented our new wireless system. What’s funny is that the old wireless network was more stable because nobody was using those old frequencies. I think it is becoming more and more important to plan these network out before they are installed to ensure that users are affected by some adverse repercussions of interference. Wireless networks are becoming all too common and these issues are bound to happen more often. Maybe our people will contact yours and get this problem ironed out! Thanks for the article.

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