The Ultimate Wireless Site Survey Checklist (2024)

What are the steps to conducting a wireless site survey for your business? Here’s our comprehensive guide.

If you’re installing or upgrading a Wi-Fi network in 2024, it’s essential to begin with a wireless site survey. A well-executed site survey ensures that your wireless network will perform with optimal coverage and performance. Wireless surveys identify the ideal number and location of access points as well as any sources of radio interference. This is our step-by-step guide to completing a successful wireless site survey in the Wi-Fi 6E era.

1. Identify Your Wireless Needs

Before performing the site survey itself, it’s important to consider your requirements for the wireless network. What speeds and bandwidth do you need? How many client devices will be accessing the network simultaneously? What levels of transmit power will they have? Decide if you will implement the latest standard like Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) for the fastest speeds. Also consider emerging network trends like IoT integration, location services, and byod policies. These factors impact planning.

Free Wireless Network Assessment

2. Obtain a Floor Plan

The next step is getting a diagram of the area your network will cover. Building blueprints are ideal, but you can use a fire escape diagram if none are available. On the floor plan, note the locations of walls, stairwells, elevators, and other elements that may block wireless signals. Many cloud-based tools now allow you to virtually map out placements.


3. Perform a Walkthrough

Floor plans are helpful, but they don’t tell the whole story. You’ll need to do a full walkthrough of the wireless coverage area, noting anything significant that isn’t present on the blueprints. Modular walls and metal equipment racks, for example, can sometimes weaken wireless signals.

4. Evaluate the Current Infrastructure

Look out for places where wireless access points can be mounted, such as ceilings and pillars, and note the locations of existing network closets and access points. Check if gigabit ethernet switches are available, as Wi-Fi 6E can leverage multi-gig connectivity.

5. Determine the Areas to be Covered

Where is it most important that users have high bandwidth? Offices, meeting rooms, and break rooms are typically key. Is good coverage also needed in hallways, bathrooms, stairwells, and elevators? Don’t forget utility rooms that may house wireless equipment. Indicate these areas on the floor plan.

6. Decide on Tentative Access Point Locations

Based on the above considerations, come up with initial ideas for access point locations. Be sure to check the coverage range of your access points. Build in overlap between neighboring access points to guarantee seamless roaming, dynamic load balancing and network resiliency.

7. Run a Wireless Site Survey

Here you have a few options, including specialized on-premise survey tools or cloud-based planning platforms. These allow you to virtually map out access point placements for optimal coverage. Place test access points and walk around gathering data on speed, signal strength, connection rates and more.

8. Refine Access Point Locations

Based on the survey data, finalize the optimal locations for reliable connectivity on the floor plan diagram. Experimenting at this stage is crucial for a high performance network.

9. Record Your Findings

Document the final Wi-Fi access point locations and wireless infrastructure plan. With your network designed, it's time to implement or upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E. Schedule a free consultation with us to start the upgrade process today!

As you can see, there are many steps that go into a successful wireless site survey. It’s a critically important task whose outcome affects the daily performance of your network, which is why we recommend leaving it to the professionals. Turn-key Technologies has extensive experience conducting wireless site surveys for a wide range of businesses. Contact us to get started on your wireless site survey today.

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By Tony Ridzyowski


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