When installing a wireless network for your home or business many factors need to be considered to ensure the wireless signal is strong enough to cover all the required areas of the site, weak signals caused by distance or by interference from other equipment can cause drop outs resulting in loss of data.

A wireless site survey involves uploading a floor plan of the site in question and calibrating it to a set scale, there are three types of site surveys all used in different situations

Passive Survey – During a passive survey the surveyor uses a portable device to measure the strength of the existing network and maps the current access point locations into an application with an accurate floor plan of the environment – the wireless adapter is not connected to any WLAN’s during the survey.

Active Survey – An active survey is generally performed post-deployment of a WiFi network – the surveyor connects a portable device to the newly installed network and measures throughput, packet loss and retransmissions. This data is collected and analysed to confirm the network is operating to the specifications observed during the pre installation survey.

Predictive Survey – A predictive survey is generally used to plan a wireless network before a building is constructed – a model of the environment is created using simulation tools this way provisions can be put in place for cabling, access points etc.. This is especially important in large solid structures as it can be difficult and expensive to install the necessary equipment if provisions were not put in place during construction.