In 2020, following the new IEEE 802.11ax standard, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced Wi-Fi 6. This name was a bit of a misnomer, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States had not yet opened up the 6 GHz frequency band for commercial use, so Wi-Fi 6 devices were still limited to the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.
Several years ago, we wrote about budgeting for a wireless project. Specifically, we wrote about a common question we get from prospective clients related how to budget for the design, installation, and post installation phases of a wireless project? As a follow up to that post, We are going to answer the question we always get next, which is how much does a WiFi survey cost?
WiFi Optimization Best Practices
Wi-Fi is an ever-present force in all our lives and as time goes on, it only becomes more complex. Deploying and optimizing WiFi is no longer as simple is cranking up the signal power or randomly placing multiple access points in areas of the building.
Three Types of Wireless Site Surveys
There are several types of wireless site surveys. One type is a passive wireless survey, which is conducted by collecting RF signal data while walking around the area. These measurements are then used to generate coverage heatmaps for desired area. Active wireless surveys are conducted by creating wireless network connections to either the installed WiFi network or test/temporary WiFi network and take signal and sometimes other measurements like speed testing and application testing. Predictive wireless survey / modeling is computer based design process that takes into considering the floor plan, wall material, and another other information that may impact wireless signals and generates signal propagation results / coverage heatmaps. Regardless of the type of survey used, the goal is to collect accurate and relevant data that can help design a wireless network that meets the needs of users.
Is Wireless Site Survey Worth It For My Business? How Much Does it cost?
“Measure twice, cut once,” is a famous proverb. Obviously it is a great rule for a carpenter. Cut the wood improperly and the piece is ruined. It’s more cost effective and faster to double-check the requirements before taking action.
Do you have a wireless network that isn't performing well or plan to install a new WiFi network? You most likely need a wireless site survey. A wireless site survey helps to determine where to place WiFi access points to provide proper signal coverage and performance.
The outcome of a wireless site survey is usually a report that details the number of access points needed and the location they should be installed.
It’s important to recognize that a wireless device’s type of 802.11 technology and the number of spatial streams supported are the limiting factors in increasing the MCS index (and therefore the maximum data rate possible). Since this is a hardware limitation, it acts as the ceiling for what is possible.
Many articles have been written on how to properly calculate the quality of a WiFi connection. In this blog we will introduce one concept, the modulation and coding scheme (MCS) index, and show how it can be used to understand the quality of a WiFi connection for Windows and Mac OS computers. Modulation refers to the way data is formatted prior to transmission. The coding scheme refers to how the data is encoded while being transmitted.
For those of us who live in dorms, apartments, or other small spaces where WiFi is a necessity for working or studying, it can be frustrating to work with poor WiFi Internet speeds. WiFi can be difficult to get right at home. Setting up optimized WiFi has a steep learning curve and it’s easy to do something wrong without the proper tools or guidance on what knobs to turn. Or your neighbor two floors above you has set up their WiFi so badly that your own WiFi becomes unreliable. The problem can be especially frustrating when you are trying to download large files or have a video call but get an error message.