Wi-Fi Site Survey Tools, The right tool for the job

“If Your Only Tool Is a Hammer Then Every Problem Looks Like a Nail” is an old saying that, unfortunately, still is current today. Wi-Fi networks are complex, but on the other hand, resilient. What makes managing and troubleshooting very challenging, some Wi-Fi vendors have lots of useful tools build-in in their management platform, which is excellent! The only disadvantage with these tools built in the management platform is that they see the Wi-Fi environment from the WLAN infrastructure’s perspective.

Wi-Fi technology works upstream and downstream, and in some cases, you need to analyze data from the wireless client’s point of view, then you will need specific Wi-Fi tools to do the job, data needs to be gathered close to the wireless client. In this document, we will present you with some excellent professional tools for MAC and Windows platforms.

Non-Wi-Fi interference analyses tools

If non-Wi-Fi interference is present at your premises, it might interrupt or eat away your performance on your WLAN. The management platform tools might detect the interference and even locate the interference in a specific area. You will most likely need a specific mobile device/tool to identify and find the source of the interference; a third party spectrum analyzer is the tool you will need in this type of scenario.

Skyline Networks recommends these tools for professional Wi-Fi spectrum Analyses.

  • Ekahau SideKick build-in Spectrum Analyzer (Mac & Windows)
  • Metageek Chanalyzer (Windows)

WLAN RF Design

WLAN RF Design at the end of the day finally boils down to how many access points and antennas do I need and where do I need to install them; a good WLAN RF Design will put in the correct amount of access points and antennas, not too much, not too less!

Now there are some free RF. Design tools out there, but I won’t rely on the data they are spitting out. If you want a professional WLAN RF Design, you need a professional tool combined with Wi-Fi knowledge and field experience!

Skyline Networks recommends these tools for professional WLAN RF Design.

  • Ekahau ESS + SideKick (MAC & Windows)
  • iBWAVE Wi-Fi (Windows)
  • Airmagnet Survey Pro (Windows)

Wi-Fi Scanners

Wi-Fi scanners are inexpensive tools that allow you to locate visible Wi-Fi networks and their corresponding information quite easily. The scan result obtains the network name (SSID), signal strength (RSSI) and quality, MAC address (BSSID), channel, maximum and achievable data rate, security, and much more. A fast way to discover what your network is capable of and do some basic troubleshooting.

Skyline Networks recommends these Wi-Fi scanner tools!

  • WinFi Pro(Windows)
  • Wi-Fi Explorer Pro (Mac)
  • Acrylic Wi-Fi (Windows)
  • Metageek inSSIDer (Windows, soon on MAC)

Frame Capture Analyses Tools

Ready to go deep dive in Wi-Fi troubleshooting or analyses, then you will need a Frame Capture Analyses tool, “A Frame Capture Never Lies,” which is what’s being said and is so true. With this tool, we capture data frames out of the air, analyze the data afterward, or even live during the capture. The goal is to analyze the sequences of data on layer 2 for a specific process. Just be aware of what process you want to analyze and prepare a structured plan of attack before you start; otherwise, you will be overwhelmed with data.

Skyline Networks recommends these Frame Capture Analyses tools:

  • Omnipeek Network Protocol Analyzer (Windows)
  • Wireshark (Windows & Mac)
  • Metageek Eye P.A. (Windows)

Skyline Networks and Wi-Fi Site Survey Tools

In need of some advice, Skyline Networks is your perfect partner for validating and optimizing your WLAN infrastructure. We are happy to help you choose the correct Wi-Fi tools and how to use them efficiently; we can assist you in training, RF Design, verification, optimization, and in-depth Wi-Fi troubleshooting.

Contact us today to discover the possibilities.


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