Wireless networking is now considered a must have in nearly all industries. It’s no surprise I get a lot of comments from clients who believe they are experiencing wireless trouble in some form or fashion. They aren’t sure if it’s related to wireless controller configuration, AP placement, coverage gaps, interference, or even client machine problems. Even though Wi-Fi is nearly as prevalent as indoor plumbing, it doesn’t mean it’s always deployed properly, is reliable enough, or fast enough to address our clients needs. When something is not quite right with WIFI performance, what do I do? I’ll tell you what I do! I suggest a wireless survey and wireless assessment. Surveys are the best tool a wireless engineer has available to assist them with visualizing an invisible medium like RF. Actively scanning the frequency ranges often used for Wi-Fi as the physical location is walked is the de-facto way to record concrete data on signal, strength, interference, and a whole range of other valuable information. It’s really the only way to understand exactly what’s happening between a laptop client and the access points that dot a location.
Take one look at me and you’ll quickly identify me as someone who loves pi (and pie). Specifically, the Raspberry Pi, they are a permanent accoutrement to my workspaces. With the Pi 4 now officially out what better time to dust off those old Pis and put them to work in your network tool kit. Chances are you already have all the components laying around.
Have you ever found yourself in a position where throughput between devices, either local or across a WAN, seemed lower than expected? You may start by checking the configuration and logs on the network devices along the path, hoping to identify something out of the ordinary or unusual. Often a smoking gun isn’t immediately identifiable which then requires a coordinated approach to troubleshooting and narrowing down the potential causes. This write-up aims to provide some of the practices and tools I’ve used in similar situations.
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