A Site Survey is an in-depth examination and analysis of a WLAN site.
Purpose of a Site Survey
- Achieve the best possible performance from the WLAN
- Certify that the installation will operate as promised
- Determine the best location for APs
- Develop networks optimized for a variety of applications
- Ensure that the coverage will fulfill the organization’s requirements
- Locate any unauthorized APs on the network
- Map any nearby wireless networks to determine existing radio interference
- Reduce radio interference as much as possible
- Make the wireless network secure
When to Perform a Site Survey
- Prior to installing a new WLAN
- Physical changes to a building.
- Changes to an existing wireless network.
- Changes in network needs
- Significant changes in personnel
Categories of Site Surveys
- Predeployment Site Surveys
- Postdeployment Site Surveys
- Periodic Site Surveys – health check survey
- Troubleshooting Site Surveys
Types of Site Surveys
Manual Site Survey – walking through the site with a laptop or other.
- Passive Manual Site Survey – wireless client device is only listening to packets as they are sent and received
- Active manual Site Survey – involves both receiving as well as sending packets to determine the status of the WLAN. it is more informative than the passive survey.
Predictive Site Survey – virtual survey of the area that uses modeling techniques to design the wireless network.
- CWNA Guide to Wireless LANs – 3rd Edition (Chapter 8) by Mark Ciampa, Ph.D.