How to Gather Evidence for a WiFi Review
The evidence gathered will be dependent on the type of review and the requirements for the specific review. There are certain general things which are required and these are detailed below.This is the second in a series to look at how to review a WiFi Installation. See the first part on this series, How to Review a WiFi Installation
Logging Data That Can Cause Inconsistencies.
Examination of Existing Design
The existing design document can be reviewed to determine if best practice has been used and it meets the required specification (for example what type of HA has been used, what code selected, how have the various VLANs been configured and so on).
Examination of Existing Surveys
Surveys are open to being incorrectly undertaken. We’ve seen a whole host of things not to do. Incorrectly configured survey files can show that you have a sea of green, giving the impression of full coverage – yet clients drop out. Reviewing how surveys have been undertaken and how they have produced incorrect results can be illuminating
Site visit to Gather Data
Gathering data onsite can take a number of forms. In the first instance, talking to users to hear their experiences can help to build a good picture on what’s happening. Site surveys, spectrum analysis surveys and just walking around to see the building fabric provide useful information for a review
Post Install Surveys
A post install survey will provide data on how the network is performing, as well as data on interference, channel overlap and so on. Beware doing a survey
Controller Configuration Review
Reviewing the configuration of the controller is a fundamental part of the review – how the controller is setup, including best practice is fundamental to the network working correctly.
Debugs and Sniffs
Debugging on the controller is a fundamental tool in working out any issues on a WiFi network. This can extend to the client, where the client is capable of this too. We also use wired and wireless sniffs to complement the data gathering and these help inform us with the full picture.
Checking Orientation on External WAPs
Conclusion: How to Gather Evidence for a WiFi Review
The evidence gathered will depend on the type of review we are undertaking – whether it be to discharge a tender, or help fix up a non-working WiFi network.
We can dig deep with debugs and sniffs, or just confirm if a survey was fit for purpose (and often they are not – there are many ways to incorrectly undertake a survey and waste your money on an ineffective result).
In the end, the outcome is hard knowledge, derived from following a well trodden process of fault finding. This is used to fix the network and get you back to a working state – which is what the network was designed for in the first place.