One thing you need to do ( to improve your WiFi coverage )

If you ever wondered where to place your wi-fi router, to have good coverage but also increase your speed. then this article is for you

There are dozens of great mesh solutions in the market , that will help you overcome bad connectivity issues and signal loss, but hey, even if you have a single wi-fi router that serves your house, you can learn where to place it so that it will serve your home clients in an optimal way

You can use one access point, but 2 are preferred for roaming purposes. both should have the same SSID ( wi-fi network Name )

The very first thing that needs to be done is a site survey

Site survey for dummies

The term site survey refers to the art of placing AP in different locations around your office, home so that no dead spot will be witnessed

So let’s learn how to perform a manual site survey, no special hardware needed, only your Mac and wi-fi router. a good site survey will promise you that signals that spread in the air will have the best chance to hit your home appliances, with minimum loss

Let’s start

The first step is to determine a threshold that will be enough for all your needs is -65dBm

-65d dBm is a quite balanced signal quality measurement, which will be suitable for most apps, either web browsing and video streaming ( assuming that you have the bandwidth for it, signal quality, determines only the quality of the signal, yet if you are limited with bandwidth as in the case where your other members in the family consume lots of data, then you have another problem )

The manual process is as follows:

place your AP at the edge of your office \ home space. Then you walk away with your Mac and a wifi analyzer app ( just pick one of the wifi analyzer apps available for your Mac, I used Netspot, but you can also use your smartphone and a wifi analyzer app )

The passive way and the active way

In the passive scan, you are just listening to the signal, it’s intensity.

That is quite OK for a survey, but professionals usually prefer to make an active site survey where they interactively moving data as they listen to the signal

Keep moving and get to the place where your wi-fi analyzer app says -65dBm

A side note, the signal measure also known as RSSI (received signal strength indicator ) is a measure that you see in your smartphone and on your laptop whenever you connect to a wifi network, It’s the received power, the signal amplitude as our wireless card circuitry senses it.

Your wireless router broadcast signals at a power level, usually 20dBm, which is 100mw, if you walk one meter from it, the signal will decrease following physical phenomena such as free space path loss and the inverse square law ( but that is for another article )

Once you found the -65dBm signal measure, you have now found your wireless router placement, signals are bi-directional, so now you know that you can place your wireless router, at the -65 dBm location and just for a final check, go back to the beginning of the office with your phone and check to see that you are on -65dBm

The next thing to do, is actually walking around with your wi-fi app, and click around every few meters, and guess what, you’re actually sampling the signal, to see the perimeter where -65dBm is still valid.

where it reaches -70dBm, you know that this is the end of your AP signal

Then we do that again, and now from the opposite side of the office

If you plan to have a second access point, you do the same, with your second access point, but don’t forget to have an overlap between the 2 areas, how much overlap

It is good to have a 10 dB minimum overlap

that means that when you walk in the area of access point 1 when you reach a -55dBm, you will start to hear access point 2 at -65dBm

Your Mac, will soon, seek to roam to the second AP, but that is another video

Now remember, this is just a coverage model, you should also take into concern Density

If you get to the other side of the room and there are 60 people there, you may need to place several AP’s there to handle the number of people, remember, More people, More air time, More air time, Less throughput for each