A comprehensive wifi site survey will change the communication game of your business! Communication is a vital part of a business to ensure that your daily operations regarding external and internal matters run smoothly. With a wireless site survey, you maximize the efficiency and performance of your facility. While it enhances the whole experience of a wireless network for a business to achieve that, a proper site survey is required. If best site survey practices are not followed, the whole system has flaws, hindering functionality over time.
Site survey has proper protocols to follow to get the correct information about the site. Every site has its requirements and signals obstructions, which must be figured out before installation. Following site survey practices, you get clarity about the site and features that aid installation. When carried out as per protocol, the site gets a clean installation that complements its features and has run flawlessly over the years. However, to carry out a rigorous wireless survey, you must be conscious and considerate of any site survey challenges you may face. Here are common site survey challenges and ways you can overcome them.
Wifi Site Survey Challenges & Solutions
A wifi site survey assists in examining the site for effective design and installation of the network. The different factors it analyses are wireless coverage, data rates, roaming capability, network capacity, and quality of service. According to the site’s requirements, various devices are used to measure and note them down. Similarly, site survey practices are followed to cover all of the areas. Therefore, it is necessary to get the site survey performed by professionals having hands-on experience on different sites. Otherwise, the network installation can have miscalculations resulting in performance issues. Here are some common site survey challenges that your site may contain and solutions for overcoming them.
Coverage Vs. Capacity Requirements
Coverage and capacity significantly impact the network when installed without considering area requirements. Some areas may require access while others may need high capacity for data transfers before installation activities in each area are gauged to tailor the network design and need as per requirement. Since coverage and capacity have become an intrinsic part of high-performance connectivity hence simultaneously offering them as per area, need is integral. If both are not managed well, it leads to slow speeds, drop-offs, and black spots. Therefore, understanding and catering to the interplay between capacity and coverage is necessary for a smooth-running and optimizing network functioning.
Solution: To find out whether coverage or capacity poses a problem in an area, a site survey by certified Wifi engineers is essential. You can upgrade your network to improve coverage or capacity without increasing access points or get a site survey again.
Cabling & Installation Issues
Cabling and equipment placement enhances your network performance and gives your facility an uncluttered and maintained look. Although it impacts negatively on those aspects if it is not carefully examined and managed. The installation process becomes much more efficient when cabling and equipment are set up quickly. This depends upon a thorough site survey that covers the kind of services that will be needed (voice, data, video, etc.), the equipment placement, what materials the building is made of (wood, concrete, etc.), and the availability of electrical connections. It forms the basis of the network installation as floor plans and other documentation are consulted before the best cabling options are devised.
Solution: Determine the cabling requirements according to the type of system. If working on an existing system, figure out the current infrastructure and connect it to the new equipment, facilitating the connection. When working on a new system, examine the site and determine all the best equipment and cabling placement from the floor plan and on-site data collected, then start the installation process.
There are many network hindrances that you may face in the form of outside interference on the site. These include misconfigured APs in nearby spaces and devices that use RF signals. These interferences impact the signals received from the APs. If your site has a lot of outside interferences, it results in a bad end-user experience, decreased performance, and satisfaction with the network. Therefore this interference needs to be managed before installing a network.
Solution: To overcome this problem, you need to figure out the areas of these RF signals and their strength. Then according to it, the placement of APs needs to be done. You can also use shielding and filtering methods  to reduce the RF signal strength affecting your system. Moreover, use high-quality equipment (APs, antennas, rest clients) with higher transmitting strength.
User Flow Misconfiguration
This happens when APs are centrally positioned without considering the user flow. Mapping out the user flow is essential as it guides the site’s AP placement . A user flow maps out a user’s entry point, footfall, and usage density on the site. This helps in putting the APs where they will be used the most. If the user flow is not carefully designed in a site survey, it results in poor signals and performance.
Solution: Before designing the AP installation, map out the correct user flow. This means noting down the critical areas for wireless signal. Once the critical areas and user flow are identified according to the findings, place the APs strategically to cater to the user needs.
Misplaced AP locations can become a security threat  to your business. Configuring APs strategically impacts network security and prevents unwelcome parties from accessing it. For businesses, a wifi network needs to implement control over devices and software that access internal resources. Security threads present themselves if network installation is done without proper AP location placement. This needs to be done in the site survey to build a foundation for secure authorized devices.
Solution: Carefully place the APs where external devices cannot easily access the network. Ensure the APs are configured to use the latest security protocols and firmware updates. Additionally, conduct regular wireless site surveys to check and confirm vulnerabilities.
1. What issues can a wifi site survey help you resolve?
A wifi site survey mainly helps you place APs strategically so that the network performance can be improved. It guides on where to place the APs to avoid interference and avoid overlap coverage for other APs in the area.
2. What are the categories of a site survey?
Four different types of site surveys can be performed according to the area’s requirements. These are predictive, remediation, validation, or design surveys.
3. Why do I need a site survey?
A wireless site survey inspects the area where the network will be installed. By getting a site survey, you ensure that your network is successfully installed for high performance and security. For this, the site survey considers the location, access points, the best orientation for the site, and the location of obstacles.
4. What are the drawbacks of a wireless network that the site survey helps resolve?
The issues of a wireless network entail interference, latency, bandwidth, and range limitations. Wireless signals are affected by physical obstructions around the area, electromagnetic noise, or other wireless devices. A site survey identifies all of these before the network installation is done.