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Conducting Wireless Site Surveys with the Ekahau Sidekick 2

Ekahau Sidekick 2 with iPhone

Demand and performance expectations for WiFi are pretty simple: it has to work, it has to be fast, and it has to be reliable. 

Sometimes that’s easier said than done. You may not realize how much is going on behind the curtain to ensure smooth, uniform WiFi connectivity across an office location or warehouse space. 

At CORE, we conduct a thorough wireless site survey for your location. We need to do this so we know how many Access Points to install and where they need to go. Sometimes there are concrete walls, radio interference, heck there’s all kinds of surprises we’ve encountered. We have to know what we’re dealing with before we recommend a solution. 

To do this, we have invested in the proper training and skills for our wireless technicians, as well as the right tools. 

One tool that we’re proud to say we use consistently is the Ekahau Sidekick 2

What is the Ekahau Sidekick 2?

The Ekahau Sidekick 2 is a hardware device that is used to perform site surveys for wireless networking installations. It is a portable device that can be carried around a facility to measure the coverage and performance of a wireless network. 

The Sidekick 2 is equipped with a high-gain antenna and a range of other features that allow it to accurately measure the strength and quality of the wireless signal at various locations throughout a facility.

One of the key features of the Ekahau SideKick 2 is its ability to display real-time information about the wireless network, including signal strength, signal-to-noise ratio, and data rates. This feature can be used to identify areas of poor coverage or interference, and to determine the best location for access points or other wireless devices.

The device also has the ability to conduct site surveys, which are used to plan and design wireless networks. Site surveys involve walking around a building or area while the device scans for wireless signals and records information about them. This data can be used to identify the optimal location for access points, as well as to predict how the network will perform under different conditions.

In addition, the Ekahau Sidekick 2 can also be used to detect and locate wireless devices and access points, which can be useful for troubleshooting connectivity issues or identifying rogue devices on the network.

Can’t You Add An Adapter to Improve Signal Strength?

Sometimes people try to troubleshoot a WiFi coverage issue by adding adapters and dongles. However, people don’t realize that adding dongles or WiFi adapters adds layers of variance that can impede the performance of your network. Basically, if you’re not well-informed about the characteristics of your network, you may be causing more problems. 

It’s important to use a professional tool like the Sidekick 2 to ensure you get an accurate reading of performance and uniformity across the entire space. 

How Does the Ekahau Sidekick 2 Work?

To use the device, wireless technicians typically connect it to a laptop or tablet and use the accompanying software to control and display the data. The software allows wireless technicians to view the data in various forms, such as real-time graphs and heat maps, and to analyze the data to identify and solve problems with the wireless network.

Customarily, CORE will conduct a Pre-Deployment Survey as well as a Post-Deployment Survey of your space to ensure we have accounted for all the possible variables. 

The Ekahau Sidekick 2 assists with a Pre-Deployment Survey because it allows wireless technicians to assess the network from a mobile device (AP on a stick). In other words, the wireless technician can gather real-time information about network performance as they move about the physical space. 

The Ekahau Sidekick 2 can also assist with Post-Deployment Surveys by allowing wireless technicians to validate the models they create in the Pre-Deployment Survey phase. With its visualization functionality, technicians are able to conduct a thorough assessment of their models and validate their proposed solutions. 

For those who wish to learn more about the technicalities of the device, check out this great post on the Ekahau websiteIs your office space or warehouse in need of a proper Wireless Site Survey? CORE is ready to help you.

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