I am currently thinking about performing a wifi site survey and I wonder how a default setup should look like. Somebody suggested to use one access point and one client, then setting up the access point, walk around and do the measuring. Then move the access point and measure at some other location but don't go back to where you've performed measuring already.

I wonder whether that is a good approach because as far as I understand it, what you're trying to find out is the attenuation of the site. But the scenario above would only measure that for one direction, so it might be that a room has a concrete wall to the left and a glass wall to the other side. If I put the access point behind the concrete I might get shockingly bad results.

So my question is, don't I need more than one access point for every measurement, or if I only have one, don't I have to measure at some places twice?

Thank y'all for your help and have a great day! Alex

  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 12 '17 at 3:33

Wi-Fi surveying is as much art as science, but generally speaking, the goal is to determine the cell edges in order to place the APs.

One AP, that can be easily moved around is all you need. You can buy or build a portable setup that lets you reposition the AP and has a battery to power it.

A simplified plan:

  1. Set the AP in a candidate location and walk around until you determine the cell edge (where the signal strength drops to -67 dBm) at several places.
  2. Move the AP so that it is 80-90% of the cell diameter away from the first location and measure that, adjusting the location as necessary.
  3. Repeat until you cover the entire space.

The idea is to have the cells overlap by 10-20% so that clients can roam smoothly.

There are commercial products that help you do this and plot coverage maps onto floor plans. Some people like them, some don't.

Here is a more detailed explanation.

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