In today’s rapidly evolving world, the significance of wireless technology cannot be overstated. With the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and various mobile devices, businesses in the Greater Toronto Area are recognizing the critical importance of establishing a robust wireless network infrastructure. Technological advancements in wireless communication, coupled with the ever-increasing demand for data, have prompted businesses to reassess their Wi-Fi networks. Conducting a wireless site survey is one effective strategy to ensure that your Toronto-based business maintains a top-tier wireless network.
The installation of a wireless network is a systematic process that commences with a comprehensive understanding of the site’s infrastructure and culminates in the generation of a detailed post-installation report. A wireless site survey is a crucial component of this process, capable of delivering significant time and cost savings in the long run. Operating without a proper assessment can result in an inefficient or inadequate wireless network, which can hinder business operations.
What Is a Wireless Site Survey?
Before delving into the intricacies of conducting a wireless site survey, it is essential to clarify its definition. A wireless site survey is essentially an investigation aimed at determining the most optimal location for a wireless network within a designated area. This investigation encompasses considerations of building materials, physical obstructions, and environmental factors that may introduce interference. The primary objectives of a wireless site survey are to pinpoint the ideal access point locations, identify potential sources of interference, and create a heat map illustrating signal coverage.
There are three fundamental types of wireless site surveys:
1. **Passive Survey:** This survey involves the analysis and evaluation of an existing wireless network. It is most suitable for small businesses or those with straightforward network setups.
2. **Active Survey:** Active surveys are conducted to test and collect data for a new or planned wireless network. This survey type is ideal for businesses looking to expand their existing network or resolve issues with their current setup.
3. **Predictive Survey:** Predictive surveys are focused on generating a heat map of signal coverage for a proposed wireless network. They are well-suited for businesses in the planning stages of installing a new wireless network.
Expectations of a Wireless Site Survey
The expectations associated with a wireless site survey vary based on its type. A pre-deployment site survey typically concentrates on assessing the suitability of a potential deployment location, understanding the client’s requirements, and producing a detailed report to facilitate planning and design.
In contrast, a post-deployment site survey occurs after the wireless network has been established and aims to verify its alignment with the client’s requirements while identifying areas where coverage or capacity may be inadequate. Crucial factors to consider during a wireless site survey include radio frequency (RF) interference, environmental conditions (e.g., weather, topography, building materials), network architecture (e.g., access points, controllers, switching), and client devices (e.g., laptops, smartphones, tablets).
A comprehensive wireless site survey should encompass all of these considerations to generate accurate results. Each survey report should provide in-depth data on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI), channel usage, and neighbouring access points (APs) to offer a comprehensive overview of the current state of the wireless network and highlight areas for enhancement.
Following the survey, the collected data should be thoroughly analyzed to pinpoint areas where coverage or capacity may be lacking. Adjustments to access point placement or configuration may be necessary to enhance coverage or additional access points may need to be deployed to meet capacity requirements. Subsequently, the network should be resurveyed to validate the effectiveness of these changes.
Information typically collected during a site survey includes:
– A list of detected access points, including MAC addresses, signal strength, and channel information.
– A list of detected client devices, including MAC addresses and signal strength.
– Details about the building’s physical layout, including floor plans marked with access points and client device locations.
– Information about the network architecture, including a list of all access points and their configurations.
Conducting a Wireless Site Survey in Seven Steps
1. **Define Survey Goals and Requirements:** Begin by clearly defining the goals and requirements of the wireless site survey. This initial step is pivotal in determining the survey’s type and critical factors to be addressed.
2. **Obtain Floor Plans and Site Maps:** Acquire floor plans and site maps of the surveyed area to identify potential obstacles and areas of interest.
3. **Conduct a Walk-through of the Building:** Familiarize yourself with the building’s layout and identify potential obstacles during a walk-through of the premises.
4. **Assess Network Infrastructure Connectivity:** Evaluate the existing network infrastructure to gauge the potential for interference and identify areas with insufficient coverage.
5. **Identify Potential Access Points:** Identify potential access point locations, such as windows and doors, to ensure optimal coverage.
6. **Design and Install the Wireless Network:** Design and install the wireless network, carefully selecting equipment and configuring it to meet your business’s specific requirements.
7. **Test and Evaluate the Wireless Network:** After installation, thoroughly test and evaluate the wireless network’s performance, diagnosing any issues and ensuring proper configuration and adequate coverage.
How Innovative Digital Group Can Assist with a Wireless Site Survey
A wireless site survey is a fundamental step in optimizing your wireless network, and Innovative Digital Group is here to support your efforts. We can eliminate the guesswork from your wireless site survey, providing you with the assurance that your business operates on a well-designed and efficiently implemented wireless network.
Our team of experts at Innovative Digital Group offers the following services:
– Documenting the coverage and performance of your current wireless network.
– Designing and installing a new wireless network.
– Optimizing your existing wireless network for improved performance.
– Conducting thorough testing and evaluation of your wireless network.
With the data collected from a wireless site survey, we can provide you with valuable insights to make informed decisions that enhance your business operations in Toronto.
Call Innovative Digital Group at (416) 350-8032 for a Wireless Site Survey for businesses in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.