Wi-Fi has become a commodity that is rarely at the forefront of our minds, so organizations don’t often think about when it might be time for a wireless survey until something goes wrong. Whether it’s because it isn’t available at all, or it’s too slow to keep up with our instantaneous demands, poorly optimized Wi-Fi is more than just an inconvenience.
Enterprise Wi-Fi enables connectivity, drives production, and helps you stay competitive within your market. And over time, its poor performance can actually affect your bottom line.
Here’s how you know it’s time for a Wi-Fi survey.
When You’re Rolling Out a New Facility
It should go without saying that you’ll need a wireless survey as you roll out a new facility or location.
For new facility surveys, Wi-Fi expert will evaluate your new physical space to determine the optimized locations for access points (APs) to provide ample coverage for your user areas. The surveyor will also plan how to run cables in the most cost-effective manner that suits the architecture of your structure and meets all of your network needs.
When Your Existing Facility Experiences Continuous Lag
As devices continue to get smarter and faster, we use them around the clock to perform more diversified functions in our professional and personal lives. This means you have an increasing demand on your wireless bandwidth.
When your Wi-Fi proves that it isn’t what it used to be, it’s time for a site survey. When you’re looking to upgrade your outdated or unoptimized equipment for greater bandwidth, you need a Wi-Fi expert to evaluate your current circuit utilization percentage. This expert should also analyze your site to advise where new or additional APs should be located for optimal signal performance.
This health check survey might also be a necessary step for more industrial (and architecturally challenging) locations like warehouses.
While it might not be necessary to replace all your old APs, the survey will help you identify dead zones that are hindering your connectivity. From there, you can improve zones to bolster signal strength across your facility. Additionally, this health check will help you determine which old devices need to be upgraded so you can stay ahead of the shifting tech landscape.
This survey will also identify how you can optimize your current location and APs.
Post-Installation Wi-Fi Validation Coverage Survey
So, you’ve just built a million square foot warehouse, installed your wireless infrastructure, and you’re ready to go live!
Before your big launch, you’ll need to ensure that your new wireless system is truly ready to meet all your needs and expectations. It is possible that the first new facility survey might no longer provide the right coverage if details have changed from initial blueprints and early walkthroughs to the final building stage. A coverage survey will determine if everything is where it should be (APs, cables, antennas, etc) and if everything is operating as it should be. If this post-installation survey finds gaps, you’ll have recommendations on how to configure and place APs to close those gaps in coverage.
Wi-Fi site survey software solutions such as AirMagnet or Ekahau provide a simple, time-efficient (and cost-effective) predictive methodology of mapping your WLAN.
It’s as easy as uploading your building’s floor plans into the software to pre-calculate the optimal placement and configuration of APs around physical interferences in your structure and materials. This will speed up the actual installation and placement process once you get there.
Remote surveys are often done in congruence with an on-site survey, as there are some key elements the software can’t take into account. For instance, an AP can’t hang on plastic or glass windows (a small detail that an on-site survey would notice and quickly remedy), and you might not know which building materials could affect your signals.
Why Would You Need a Survey?
A new structure is definitely a good reason to conduct a wireless assessment, but even a well-established facility needs regular tune-ups.
If you’ve got Wi-Fi woes, it’s time for a wireless survey. Keep in mind that a wireless complication isn’t always a provider issue; it’s often a “you” issue. Simply put, surveys help you diagnose and better address your latency, throughput, and connectivity pain points.
At CentricsIT, we have the technical expertise, global reach, and best-in-class tools to survey your current or future infrastructure and support your needs—from surveys to cabling, and more. Ready for a definitive Wi-Fi solution? Contact CentricsIT to optimize your existing wireless infrastructure and put an end to downtime and inefficiencies.