First Step to any Wi-Fi Installation: A Wireless Site Survey

You’re trying to set-up a wireless network for your company, party, or whatever the case may be, and you’re asked if you’d like to do a “Wireless Site Survey,” what does that entail, and why should you even get one? On a basic level, a site survey can be understood as the process of planning and designing your network to provide a wireless solution that will deliver the required wireless coverage per the customer’s request. What goes on in a site survey, and why should you, the consumer, want this done? There is a process we go through here at Slice that we will quickly walk through, as well as discussing the benefits of choosing to do a site survey.

What does the process look like? It starts with communication. You must want a site survey as it is not required, but rather highly recommended. Once it’s been determined you’d like a site survey, a technician is sent to your site. The technician walks around the perimeter, determines the infrastructure, and identifies optimum installation locations for access points. This is done by using a power bank that measures signal strength.

What does this do for us? By completing a site survey, we can not only put in the optimal set-up in terms of access point locations, but we are also able to cut the installation time in more than half. This cuts installation costs significantly and removes almost all chances of ‘stuff going wrong.’ Additionally, you will know what you are getting, before you get it. We determine data rates, network capacity, roaming capability, and quality of service.

Do I get anything for the future? An engineered predictive heat map will then be provided to the customer which displays signal strength of a Wi-Fi network. This visual map of the venue/workplace gives the network administrator invaluable knowledge about how to adjust the access points for better coverage. We identify the band, SSID and or radio channel, and can even highlight where network users are located. This is best done by utilizing floor plans, and if you don’t have access, no worries we can produce it for you, but keep in mind this will add time to the survey itself.

Is that it? That pretty much wraps it up, as a ‘cabling guy’ is then sent on-site, and does all the cabling. This usually occurs in one day, but depending on the site itself and how many buildings are involved, this process can occur over a couple of days. Next thing you know, your event’s done and there were no problems with your Wi-Fi!

After a site survey, we are able to cut installation time in half. Once the technician make it out to the site and comes up with an installation plan, instead of wasting time during the next visit, he already has all the notes, and everything will go without a hitch. We cannot stress the importance of a site survey enough.

Do I need a site survey? Even for smaller events, a site survey can fix issues that you didn’t know existed, especially when the floor plans aren’t too clear. Additionally, estimates with a site survey tend to be far more accurate. We strongly recommended to go with a site survey prior to installation, as it gives us and our customer more confidence and a better end result.