It’s a modern wonder, being connected to your data wherever you are in your workplace. No trailing wires to trip over or get in a tangle. Wireless networks have made great leaps in speed and connectivity in recent years. However, the tech from your broadband supplier is often not enough to get coverage in every nook and cranny. Or that awkward room around the corner. That’s where Wi-Fi Surveys can help.
Step forward the Wi-Fi site survey boffin. Think not of hi-viz-wearing, clipboard-clutching, pencil pushers. We’re talking about an IT professional with some rather smart software. They will gather data, generate heatmaps and propose solutions that deliver measurable results.
What are Wi-Fi Surveys?
Wi-Fi Surveys are a process of mapping out every square metre of a premises to discover how the wireless signal is impeded by electromagnetic interference, building layout, construction materials and even the furniture. Designated wavelengths of radio frequency (RF) radiation are broadcast and tested throughout your workplace or venue, and even outside if required, to create among other data a measure of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).
Wi-Fi’s invisibility makes it a great choice for all manner of busy environments but sometimes you need to reveal it in all its colours to be able to design a reliable wireless network.
Why is a Wi-Fi survey report effective?
The survey’s heatmap and data rates report will enable IT professionals to use best practice to plan, design and deliver a wireless LAN (local area network) with access points (AP) in optimum locations. This will take account of expected user density at certain locations. These wireless APs essentially act as signal boosters to improve coverage, but with added technology to help ensure there is adequate network capacity with a consistent quality of service (QoS).
Who can benefit from Wi-Fi surveys?
Large industrial or logistical units
Dynamic office environments
Demanding retail and leisure centres
Can Wi-Fi Surveys improve the speed of my Internet?
It’s important to make a distinction between Wi-Fi and an Internet connection as this is often conflated by some rather questionable marketing out there. In short, Wi-Fi is a data network within your workplace or venue, sometimes called a wireless LAN. An Internet connection, often called broadband, is an external service with a single point of access to, you guessed it, the Internet. Wi-Fi can work independently from your Internet connection, but almost all configurations connect both together because many services rely on the Internet, like email, telephony and of course the web.
Are Wi-Fi speeds guaranteed?
This really depends on your equipment and if the system is managed. The Wi-Fi box from your broadband provider comes with very few guarantees. A professionally managed wireless LAN from your IT supplier will come with a service level agreement (SLA), remote management, device failure swap-out and so on. Other speed concerns are considered such as giving priority to certain devices or data packets.
If you rely on tech without management or an SLA there are no guarantees on consistent Wi-Fi coverage and speed throughout the premises, or time to replace a failed device. A properly designed managed wireless network can guarantee fast and consistent connectivity throughout the workplace.
Equipment is upgraded, which enhances Wi-Fi security
It’s important not to understate other benefits that can follow a Wi-Fi Survey. If you act on the recommendations to close weak spots in your coverage, this will usually mean installing new wireless devices with the latest security features and technological advances.
Older hardware is regularly considered end-of-life (EOL) by the manufacturer within a few years. A managed wireless network goes further still in ensuring device firmware is kept up to date and that replacements are offered for EOL products in a timely manner.
How much do Wi-Fi Surveys cost?
That’s a good question and we’d love to answer that for you. We’ll need to know roughly the size of your premises, number of buildings and users. Please give our team a call today to start a conversation about improving Wi-Fi coverage and network management for your business.
CMC Technology Group is based in Milton Keynes, providing Wi-Fi Surveys in localities such as Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and with easy access to the M1 we’re able to service much of England and Greater London.