Written by David Ballard, director at Performance Networks, a leading specialist WiFi consultancy 

‘What’s the WiFi password?’ 

Let’s be honest, it’s likely a question you, as a business owner, have faced at one point or another if you have an on-site premise, whether that be the public WiFi you have installed for customers or something more protected and hidden for when clients are visiting, or even when you have a new starter getting set-up with you for the first. 

However, once they’re on, what experience are they going to have?  

Because let me tell you, you’re being judged.  

WiFi has become a utility, an imperative. As part of the modern working world, the vast majority of us rely on it. It’s like water; people cannot operate within a business environment without WiFi.  

Over the years, our expectations for wireless have also increased. The frustration we endure when a WiFi connection isn’t good enough doesn’t just now reflect on what you can’t do, it reflects badly on the entire organisation.  

Data backs that up as well. 70% of consumers believe a free, quality, WiFi offering should be available to them wherever they are, while research has shown the link between a good business WiFi offering with customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

And the best way to be able to ensure you’re delivering the best service possible with your WiFi offering, whether you operate in healthcare, retail, education, or have a tiny office building or a large complex, is to undertake a WiFi survey. 

If you’re looking to enhance the visitor experience, then you’re in the right place. 


Let’s start with the obvious, what is a WiFi site survey?  

A flawless wireless network plays a critical role in the smooth operation of all modern organisations.  

In simple terms, a WiFi site survey is a thorough analysis of a location to determine the optimal installation and configuration of WiFi Access Points (APs). The primary purpose is to ensure reliable and consistent WiFi usage in all necessary areas. 

There are typically three types of WiFi surveys:

  1. Predictive – doing exactly what it says on the tin, these use software to map out a virtual model of a site. It’s an initial estimation and isn’t as precise as the other types

  2. Active – these measure the real-world signal strength and data throughput of a WiFi network
  3. Passive – these listen to all WiFi traffic to assess the overall radio frequency environment and detect interference  


There are a series of key components to a typical site survey, which include spectrum analysis, signal strength measurement, and interference detection. Each plays a unique role in providing a complete picture of the wireless landscape, helping to create the best possible network. 


What are the main benefits of WiFi surveys? 

There are many benefits of conducting a WiFi site survey. With optimal network performance at its core, a WiFi survey can drastically improve coverage and user experience. By identifying areas of potential interference, the survey ensures a more streamlined connection, enhancing security in the process. 

In terms of cost savings, a survey can lead to significant optimisation by efficiently planning network installations, minimising the risk of costly future alterations. It’s an invaluable tool for network planning and expansion, troubleshooting and diagnosing network issues and meeting compliance and regulatory requirements. 


Choosing the right WiFi site survey company for your business 

This really does require careful consideration. 

Firstly, you should ensure that the company has substantial experience in conducting WiFi surveys, specialising in the type of venue you’re looking to survey – be it a stadium, conference centre, office block, warehouse, or manufacturing plant. 

Look for a company that has the necessary tools and resources for successful project completion. 

They should have specialists equipped with up-to-date software and hardware tools, who can produce a comprehensive, accessible survey that both technical and non-technical people can understand and act upon. 

Remember, a good WiFi survey goes beyond just providing a heatmap of coverage. Modern challenges often stem from over-coverage or configuration issues, rather than lack of coverage. 

Therefore, it’s important to have a detailed conversation with prospective companies about their experience and approach. 

Don’t hesitate to initiate a video call to discuss their expertise. Trust your instincts, but do see if they ask about your additional infrastructure, such as switches, firewalls, and internet connectivity. 

This information is part of due diligence, as bottlenecks can occasionally arise in these areas too. 

Finally, be prepared to provide accurate floor plans, a prerequisite for most survey software, enhancing the clarity and relevance of the reports you receive. 


Final thoughts 

A WiFi survey is an important tool for businesses to ensure they are providing a reliable service to customers and employees.  

They can help identify weak spots within a wireless network, identify potential security risks, and help ensure that devices are able to connect and data is able to be shared correctly.  

By utilising a WiFi survey, businesses can build loyalty among their customers by ensuring fewer customer complaints, offering improved performanc, and delivering a better overall experience.  

Additionally, a properly configured WiFi network can result in enhanced customer service and improved data capacity. They benchmark performance and highlight what you need to do in order to offer the best service possible. 

So, the next time someone asks you ‘what is the WiFi password’ when they’re on-site, you can pass the details on in the knowledge that they’re going to have a seamless, secure, and quality experience with you. 


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