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MVP Expert

Signal strength measurements

Hi guys,

 

I am newbie in the site surveys world and when I want to make signal strength measurements I always have the same problem. Some days ago I took an IAP to have an AP on a stick, and started to make signal strength measurements all around to check the wall attenuation. The problem is the signal strength constantly changes, -70, -63, -67, -80 dBm... I use InSSIDer and NetSpot and both have this problem. Furthermore, the signal strength values are different between these two applications, so which one to trust? And when I tried to take the measurements from my phone, it was even worse since I use Wifi Analyzer and the signal strength value changes even more. For those with hands-on experience on this topic? How do you take signal strength measurements? Any tip?

 

Regards,

Julián

Guru Elite

Re: Signal strength measurements

Please take time to read about how to accurately do a site survey here:

 

https://www.wlanpros.com/resources/seven-rules-accurate-site-surveys/

 

Signal Strength varies because RF is reflected from objects and is not measured directly from the access point.  Professional Site Survey software mitigates this issue.  Inssider is not Professional site survey software.  Please read the article above, because it will answer many of your questions.


*Answers and views expressed by me on this forum are my own and not necessarily the position of Aruba Networks or Hewlett Packard Enterprise.*
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Contributor II

Re: Signal strength measurements

Hi Julian,

As someone already stated, what you are seeing isn't a problem, it is just the way Wi-Fi works!

Survey tools will average out the readings for you.

MVP
MVP

Re: Signal strength measurements

I can advise you to buy the CWNA official studyguide 5th edition for just 65$. Its well worth to really understand wifi.
Kind Regards Marcel Koedijk
HPE ASE Flexnetwork | ACMP | ACCP - Was this post usefull, Kudos are welcome.
Contributor I

RE: Signal strength measurements

The signal strength measurement depends on the type of laptop. To be precise, it can be measured differently depending on the performance of the LAN card on the laptop.
It would be easier to understand the difference between the tool and the other laptop or smart phone of the same tool than comparing the signal measuring tool.
Since the installed drive of the lan card governs the operation of the LAN card, it can affect the signal strength, the scan time, and so on.
MVP Expert

Re: Signal strength measurements

Hi guys,

Thanks for your replies and links. But in the case of phones where I can't install a professional site survey software, how can I accurately measure signal strength? I have a customer where most clients are phones so I have to see the point of view of them of what signal strength they receive.

Regards,
Julián
Guru Elite

Re: Signal strength measurements

Professional Site Survey software like Ekahau and Airmagnet Survey pro allow you to adjust the sensitivity to match a phone.


*Answers and views expressed by me on this forum are my own and not necessarily the position of Aruba Networks or Hewlett Packard Enterprise.*
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Contributor I

Re: Signal strength measurements

If you have a Wi-Fi phone or a PDA, you should use a separate method provided by the manufacturer. You have to look for it.
Professional tools rarely provide much for them.
MVP Expert

Re: Signal strength measurements

Hi,

A separate method provided by the manufacturer? What do you mean? Phones' manufacturers don't provide a method to make signal strength measurements. Otherwise, can you give an example?

Regards,
Julián
Contributor I

Re: Signal strength measurements

The manufacturer does not offer it, but you can check it out.
For example, when Android enters service mode, you can see a menu that displays information about the device.
The same goes for the iPhone. Other PDAs,
Developers and engineers can see this.
 

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