In this day in age, Wi-Fi is just something that every organisation, home, and public area requires. However, if you are just an end user of a Wi-Fi network in your workplace, school, University, or public place; a lot of planning, monitoring and improvements need to take place so you can browse the internet from almost any location within the covered areas.
If you are an IT Manager or System Administrator in charge of setting up, maintaining, or configuring a Wi-Fi network, you need to look at the Ekahau product range. I first covered Ekahau Heat Mapper on MakeUseOf.com, and found it incredibly useful. I also recently used it to measure the Wi-Fi signal strength of iiNet’s BoB1, BoB Lite and BoB2 products.
Now there is an easier way thanks to Ekahau Mobile Survey.
Ekahau allows you to monitor the strength of the Wi-Fi signal around you. You get information such as the signal strength, speed of the network, percentage of packet loss, delays, rogues and the actual network information such as the SSID, Access Point MAC address and the channel number.
While you walk around your organisation, Mobile Survey informs you of all the information about the networks you are in range of.
Ekahau’s other product Site Survey works well with Mobile Survey. Site Survey is somewhat similar to Heat Mapper, which allows you to plot signal strength measurements on a map. With Site Survey, you can save a map, export it to your phone, and use the Map feature of Mobile Survey to map out the signal strength, as you would do in Heat Mapper. This provides you with more information that is valuable and you don’t have to carry a laptop around when performing a survey – just your phone.
Whenever the signal reaches limits set by you, it adds a record in your log, so you can see where the Wi-Fi network needs to be improved.
Unfortunately, Ekahau Mobile Survey and Site Survey is not free software as with Heat Mapper, but is a very useful tool for organisations that have a lot of ground to cover with their Wi-Fi networks.
Ekahau provided me with a free copy of Mobile Survey and a 1 month license for Site Survey for review purposes.