Wireless LAN site survey which is also called RF (Radio Frequency) site survey is a process of planning and designing the wireless LAN network so that wireless solutions can be provide to all of the users with best quality. Another explanation of WLAN site survey can be the understanding of RF behavior, discovery of its coverage areas, checking of it interferences and best area of its placement.
This survey determines the number of access points that will provide signal coverage. This survey also detect the presence of RF interference that is coming form other sources. This RF interference can degrade the performance of WLAN. Need and complexity of WLAN site survey always vary depending on the facility. For small area coverage single Wi-Fi access point can help us. But for large location where RF interferences occur in the network, there different channels are selected so that this problem can be eliminated.
For the purpose of building this survey one has to visit the site, identify the optimum installation locations, inspect the available facilities and use the site survey tools after interviewing the IT management and end users. In this survey the range is selected within which signals must be available to all the devices of LAN, because most Wi-Fi networks are not working as good as they are designed to do.
How to Conduct a Wireless LAN Site Survey:
Before conducting a wireless LAN site survey different points should be considered. Like Understand the wireless requirements, Obtain a facility diagram, Visually inspect the facility, Assess existing network infrastructure, Identify coverage areas, Determine preliminary access point locations, Verify access point locations and Document findings etc. if one consider all of the above described points then it will not remain as difficult to conduct this survey as it use to seem at the first glance.
Wireless LAN Site Survey Interview:
Conducting an interview before setting up the actual WLAN site survey is necessary. Because of the interview one can know that whether this survey is needed or not for any business. This interview educates the customers and also helps to determine their needs before installing the actual survey. This interview guides you to select proper tools that should be used in actual survey and tells that how productive this survey will be for any business. The most important thing that this interview will tell you what will be the capacity, coverage and mobility that WLAN should meet.
Wireless LAN Site Survey Tools:
Basically there are three tools which can be used by the professional in establishing the WLAN site survey. These tools include predictive products, analytical tools and other simple installation tools. It’s recommended that predictive products should be used by professional WLAN planners and installers. These professionals should have detailed knowledge about RF technology and wireless LAN. But analytical tools are very easy to use fir new users as well. This tool can provide with the map of real world map so that best results can be obtained. And if you are going for simple installation then site survey is not required as such, for that just a post installation survey would be required.
Some other equipment which are used in WLAN site survey are Wireless access point, Wireless client card, Laptop or PDAs, Variety of antennas and Site survey utility software etc.
An important point to be considered here is that to know the exact location of placement of access point is not so easy. Trial and error can help to locate the best point, and with that capacity and time boundaries can also change over time.