WiFi Fault Finding & ConsultancyRead More
We’ll diagnose any issues with your existing network traffic and network capabilities.
We’ll ensure that your vital services, software and apps run without any issues, designing your network from the ground up with this in mind.
We’ll inspect and test your existing infrastructure to ensure it’s fit for purpose, and scalable for your business needs.
We’ll analyse your existing coverage, to ensure you can get connected wherever, and whenever you need to.
The health check or fault-finding WiFi survey is conducted on sites where a wireless network has already been installed (whether by us, or by anyone else).
This survey type is usually used where a specific issue has already been identified, such as slow video calls or voice-over WiFi (VoWiFi), deadspots or throughput issues. Our engineers will visit your site to fault-find and check your wireless network is functioning as intended.
We recommend this survey type is carried out on a regular basis to prevent any long-term issue with your wireless signal or network.
Though the predictive model WiFi survey can give a reliable estimate of your site’s requirements, the pre-deployment WiFi survey is based onsite, in order for us to gather a comprehensive understanding of your site’s requirements.
One of our engineers will visit your site to conduct a AP (Access Point) on-a-stick survey. The AP takes measurements to determine the wireless coverage area, signal strengths, and any sources of interference.
This survey is carried out virtually, and relies on high-quality building plans, which enable us to assess your requirements.
Working with CAD drawings of your building, we’ll use software to build up a 3D model, setting the floor and wall materials to provide an accurate virtual picture of your site.
This survey type provides a quick and cost-effective estimate of your site requirements, and causes minimal disruption to your business. However, it can’t account for onsite issues such as cabling paths, or local interference sources.
“ Performance Networks resolved a complex ongoing WiFi issue in one visit; they are fast to respond and highly professional. We have since engaged them for further WiFi consultancy and thoroughly recommend their services.”
Will they be handheld barcode scanners, VoWiFi handsets, laptops or tablets? We’ll need to know the make and model of the devices that will use the wireless networks – to determine frequency ranges – and which standards (802.11a, b, g, n, ac) are supported. If you don’t know this information, we can help you identify what devices you use.
The number of devices used on your network will determine the WiFi design. During the WiFi site survey we’ll need an estimate of how many devices could be present for any given area. Capacity planning helps us determine the model of Access Points (APs) required.
During the wireless site survey we’ll need to know if the WiFi network is being used for video, VoWiFi, e-mail, web browsing, cloud storage, or RTLS (location tracking). Certain traffic requires QoS (Quality of Service) to work well.
RTLS (Real Time Location Systems) generally require three Access Points (APs) to be visible at less than -75dBm. Cisco VOIP requires two APs to be seen at -75dBm or better, and an SNR of 25dB or better, which means that more APs are required. We’ll also need to figure out during a WiFi site survey if the required APs are being “seen”.
Different manufacturers such as Cisco, Aruba or Ruckus produce different Access Points, which offer different characteristics. These include antenna patterns (depending on the gain), weight, mounting, and polarization. Older models usually provide less throughput and interference mitigation. We will also need to know what switches and firewalls are in use.
For a fault-finding or health check WiFi survey, we’ll need to know what symptoms or issues are being seen onsite. Are there issues with VOIP, video or a certain application? Is it throughout the premises or one area in particular? Or are issues seen at a certain time of day?
For this stage, we’ll need high-quality digital building plans. Our survey software uses these to show how the WiFi signal travels through the building. We’ll need plans that are to scale, and ideally define distance.
CAD drawings are preferred (but not essential), as our software uses the layers to set the different floor and wall materials, and gives the attenuation properties of each. We also support the use of PDF, BMP, JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF and SVG files. If you don’t have building plans - don’t worry. When CAD files can’t be supplied, we’ll define these properties manually.
An onsite pre-deployment survey can be done in conjunction with a predictive survey, or purely as a standalone. If used in conjunction with the predictive wireless site survey, then this can serve as verification of the network design.
Once onsite, our engineer will set up the wireless survey kit in accordance with your building type, regardless of your environment or how many floors your business is spread across.
The location of your comms cabinet and the equipment therein (such as switches, firewalls and the Internet router) will be documented, and we’ll confirm the type of cabling if possible (CAT5/5e/6/6a). We’ll also - if possible - document the physical location of your wireless Access Points in use. During this walk of the building, our engineer will also be checking out any potential problem areas or safety issues.
How we carry out a site survey: the detail
Our engineer will walk the building using the spectrum analysis tool, recording data as they go. This stage will show any possible sources of interference from WiFi or non-WiFi devices.
To setup the main WiFi site survey, our engineer will place the Access Points in the correct location using a tripod - this could be vertically mounted near a wall, or horizontally next to the ceiling, which benefits from the way that most antennas are aligned in modern indoor Access Points.
Using the Ekahau software they will walk the area taking readings. When they get to the edge of the coverage area for that AP, they will then “freeze” the software and move the AP to the next location.
This is repeated until the entire building or location has been completed. The coverage area size will be determined by the type of WiFi network that is required, which will have been ascertained during step 1. One NIC
(Network Interface Card) will be used to perform a passive wireless survey, where the laptop and software just “listens” to the signals. Another NIC will perform an active WiFi survey, where data is sent to test connectivity (PING) and optionally throughput (using Iperf). Extra NICs can be added to speed up the passive survey. The extra NICs then listen to different parts of the spectrum, so sharing the load. Once complete, the engineer will then summarise the initial findings with the onsite contact.
Our survey kit includes:
Once the survey is complete, our engineer will compile the findings into a comprehensive report. This will include the recommended locations of Access Points (along with photos and notes for clarity), channel settings, power levels, throughput, heatmaps showing each APs coverage area, and any interference issues that may need investigation.
In the case of a fault-finding wireless site survey the report will also include recommendations about what is required to improve the network.
Our engineers will be more than happy to go through the report with you.
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