What's the benefit of performing a site survey before deploying a wireless network? Do I really need to do this?

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Site surveys allow you to analyze the technical requirements for a successful wireless network deployment. During this process, you can discover things like where to place wireless access points, the type of wireless antennas needed, wireless signal barriers that may be present, and power and network connectivity needs. You certainly don't have to perform a site survey, but if you want to deploy a large wireless network, the old adage "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail" will certainly apply. Small wireless networks (just a few access points and a few dozen clients) may not require a site survey. However, if you're deploying wireless network connectivity across a large campus, it's absolutely imperative to get the facts up front so you can properly plan and do it right the first time.

This was first published in October 2003

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