A wireless site survey identifies and measures the radio frequency (RF) environment at a given location. This information is used to determine the best placement for wireless access points (WAPs) in order to provide good coverage and optimal performance for users. This blog post will discuss why your business needs a wireless site survey and the different types of surveys available.

Why you need a wireless site survey

For businesses, a wireless site survey is crucial in ensuring reliable wireless local-area network (WLAN) connectivity for employees and customers. It can prevent issues such as weak signal strength, interference from other devices, and security vulnerabilities. Without a proper site survey, WAPs may be placed haphazardly leading to subpar network performance and potentially lost productivity or revenue.

Predictive site survey

Predictive site surveys are a type of survey methodology used to map and predict WLAN or WAP coverage in an indoor or outdoor space. This survey is conducted using specialized software and hardware that create a 3D model of the space and usage patterns, predicting the number of access points (APs) and locations required for optimal coverage. The results of the predictive survey are then used to optimize WLAN or WAP placement, power levels, and other factors to ensure optimal coverage and performance.

An advantage predictive site surveys have over traditional surveys includes the ability to survey large or complex spaces remotely. You can even use predictive site surveys to simulate different deployment scenarios, generating more accurate predictions of coverage and performance. 

Predictive surveys are often less expensive and do not require an on-site walkthrough, but they sometimes require specialized knowledge and skills to interpret the results of the survey correctly. Consequently, predictive surveys are best suited for larger or more complex deployments where an on-site visit is not possible for the initial architecting of the network environment, but the results of the survey are only as accurate as the information required.

Passive site survey

A passive wireless site survey is a method of assessing the coverage and quality of a Wi-Fi network without making any changes to the network or broadcasting any signals. This can be done by specialized software to analyze the Wi-Fi signal strength and noise levels at various locations within the site. Passive surveys are often used to assess the feasibility of deploying a new Wi-Fi network or to troubleshoot an existing network.

There are several advantages to passive surveys. First, they are non-intrusive and can be conducted without disrupting the normal operation of the network. Second, passive surveys provide accurate information about actual conditions on the ground, rather than relying on theoretical models. Finally, passive surveys can be conducted relatively quickly and easily, without the need for specialized equipment or training.

There are also some disadvantages to passive surveys. For example, they can only be conducted when the Wi-Fi network is operational; if the network is down, it is not possible to collect data. Another limitation is that passive surveys only provide information about signal strength and noise levels; they cannot tell you anything about data throughput or other performance metrics. Finally, passive surveys only provide a snapshot in time, so they’re unable to provide information about how conditions may change over time (e.g., due to building construction or changes in terrain).

Active site survey

An active wireless site survey is a methodology used to collect data about a Wi-Fi network in order to optimize its performance. The active survey involves sending test packets of data over the network and measuring the signal strength, signal-to-noise ratio, and other factors. This information can then be used to identify areas of weak coverage and make improvements to the network. Additionally, active site surveys can determine whether it’s necessary to add or remove an AP.

Active surveys are generally more accurate than passive surveys, but they can also be more time-consuming and disruptive to users. However, they are often essential for large or complex networks. This type of network survey should be performed when investigating performance issues.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, a wireless site survey is an essential step in ensuring your business has a well-functioning WLAN. It can save time and money by preventing connectivity issues and optimizing WAP placement. Keep this in mind when planning for your WLAN needs and consider investing in a professional wireless site survey. 

Providing the most optimal WLAN for your business is one of ReluTech’s professional services. We offer all three methods of wireless site surveys and can provide you with an affordable quote based on your business needs. Reach out to us today!


Jason Figliolini is our Marketing Content Manager here at ReluTech. His top priorities are content creation for articles, blogs, and collateral to educate customers about cloud, hardware, and maintenance solutions. Outside of work, he enjoys reading books, attending concerts, and exploring Atlanta’s hidden gems.

Get in touch with Jason: jfigliolini@relutech.com