UniFi - Performing a Wireless Site Survey


Overview


This article explains how to gather accurate information on wireless signals within a building for deployment planning.

NOTES & REQUIREMENTS:
Devices used in this article:
  • Laptop / SmartPhone
  • UniFi Access Point (UAP)
  • PoE injector with an ethernet cable
  • Wireless Survey Application (WiFiman)

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Steps: How to Run a Wireless Site Survey
  3. Related Articles

Introduction


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This article provides the steps on how to perform a wireless site survey in order to determine where in the building the signal is lowest and highest in order to move the UAPs around or add another one to the network if necessary. This method is also helpful when designing wireless uplink networks.

Before following this article, please install a wireless site survey app. These are some wireless site survey apps, but feel free to use your preferred app:

  • Ubiquiti's WiFiman (iOS and Android)
  • Acrylic (Windows)
  • Ekahau
  • Homedale
  • Wireless Diagnostics (macOS)
  • NetSpot (Windows and macOS)
  • WiFi Analyzer (Android) 

Steps: How to Run a Wireless Site Survey


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  1. If performing a wireless site survey on an already adopted and functioning UAP, please proceed to step 3. Set up the network as usual following the devices' Quick Start Guides, found in the Downloads page. The UniFi - Getting Started article provides helpful links to articles for new users. 
  2. Power up the UniFi Access Point (UAP) using a PoE injector and adopt it via the UniFi Network Controller as described in the Quick Start Guide and User Guide found in the Downloads page.
  3. Once adopted, turn off the wireless uplink connectivity monitor by navigating in the UniFi Network Controller to Settings>Site>Uncheck Connectivity Monitor and Wireless Uplink
  4. Create a test SSID under Settings>Wireless Networks>Create New Wireless Network. Give it an easily identifiable name and set it up as you would any additional wireless network. 
  5. Turn the access point power to 'high' by navigating to the Devices section of the Controller, and clicking on the UAP in question to reveal the Properties Panel.
  6. In the Properties Panel, go to Config (gear icon) > Radios to expand this subsection and change the Transmit Power to high on both radios (2G and 5G). Leave Channel and Channel Width the same.
  7. Press Queue Changes and then Apply.
  8. After the UAP finishes provisioning, connect the laptop or smartphone to the test SSID and open the wireless site survey app to read the signal.
  9. Walk around the building and document in which areas the signal is particularly high or low. 
    User Tip: Signal strength is usually read in reverse: the higher the number, the lower signal. Please read your chosen apps support documentation to verify how to read the results.
  10. Disconnect the UAP and move it to another location to avoid interference and get the best readings. If there are still areas that consistently have low signal even after relocating the UAP, then you should consider adding another UAP to your deployment. Use the Access Point Comparison chart to determine which device will best suit your needs.

Related Articles


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UniFi - Getting Started

UniFi - Access Point Comparison Charts 


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