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Wireless Networks Thread, Wireless Coverage in Technical; Probably a silly question but my boss wants to know - if we do go for wireless, how do we ...
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    witch's Avatar
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    Wireless Coverage

    Probably a silly question but my boss wants to know - if we do go for wireless, how do we check the coverage across the school? There are lots of possible locations for the APs so is there a program or something that would show what the signal was like at each point?
    Obviously you can walk around with a wireless laptop but I think he is looking for something a little more technical.

    *due to budgetary constraints he might be looking at scattering a few netgears or whatever about
    Last edited by witch; 1st July 2010 at 10:10 AM.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    If you are paying for an install they should do a site survey and produce a coverage map for you.

    Or if you are picking a particular vendors equipment they may well do it for you.

    Ben

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Additionally the solution you choose may come with it's own RF mapping tool.

    Ben

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    robk's Avatar
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    You could have a look at InSSIDer from metageeks Lets you measure signal strenth from a given ap, and shows interference.

    Thats What Net-Ctrl recommend using to test ruckus deployment anyway.

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    I dont know if this exactly fits what you need, as you will need to take at least one AP round with you and place it in likely spots, but the netstumbler software is great for testing wireless signals and how strong/weak they will be.

    Only trouble is it does mean installing on a laptop and walking round with it!

    (NetStumbler.com)

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    Start with one AP installed, get yourself a laptop and walk about withit until the signal becomes low, situate another AP and so on.

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Obviously you can walk around with a wireless laptop but I think he is looking for something a little more technical.
    A wireless laptop with Netstumbler running? (Or a smartphone with WiFiFoFum - the radar view and pinging looks/sounds impressive).

    Roopert got there first!
    Last edited by LeMarchand; 1st July 2010 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Beaten to it

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    A wireless laptop with Netstumbler running? (Or a smartphone with WiFiFoFum - the radar view and pinging looks/sounds impressive).
    It's the laptops that will be connecting and a bog standard wireless net card will give you what you want.

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    witch's Avatar
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    I think he isnt thinking about buying a 'solution' as such - just a few bits and pieces.
    I could walk about with a laptop, if indeed I had one of my own, but he just wondered if there was something that would show in graphic form how the signal is, so that the APs are placed as accurately as possible.
    What would netstumbler tell me?

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    plexer's Avatar
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  11. Thanks to plexer from:

    JJonas (1st July 2010)

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    CadlaM's Avatar
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    I use WiFiFofum on an iPod. Works a treat and you could make a note of RSSI and channels in different areas.

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    Our test is to stream a video from a server to the laptop. Walk slowly away from the AP until it stops / stutters. Mark that spot on your map. Walk back towards the AP until it doesn't stutter. Mark that spot.

    Takes a while, but you should be able to plot the usable range of each AP N/S/E/W.

    Signal strength from the AP is misleading, because the AP usually has a much better antenna than the laptop. It can talk to you easily, but you may have problems sending data back.

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    I would have a look at netstumbler as well, though i like the idea of seeing a live data stream and its effect in a wireless situation.

    Netstumbler has a sort of traffic light system for signal strength and its quite easy to see when an AP is strong/weak. Its quite simple to use just install and let it scan away.
    Last edited by Roopert; 1st July 2010 at 11:28 AM.

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    If you want to be really flash buy a usb spectrum analyser on Ebay £89.00 turns your laptop into a spectrum analyser ... its got all sorts of pretty pictures !! It will also show any transmissions in the 2.4 gig band such as microwave ovens etc that could cause wifi problems with your portables ........... Ive used netstumbler in the past and its pretty good at telling the signal strength but I dont think it works with Windows 7 ..

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Wi-Spy

    Ben

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