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9 Tips on Placing Wi-Fi Sensors for Better Monitoring

Placing Wi-Fi sensors well will help you get the best wireless network monitoring that ensures better performance. These tips help you get started.

Key takeaways:

  • Wi-Fi sensors in 7SIGNAL’s Sapphire Eye® monitor and test a wireless network to resolve issues faster and increase real-time visibility.
  • Nine tips for better Wi-Fi sensor placement:
    1. Start with mission-critical areas
    2. Prioritize high-density spaces
    3. Think about where people complain about the Wi-Fi
    4. Install in hard-to-reach locations
    5. Plan for at least one sensor per floor
    6. Count your access points
    7. Find a central location for mounting
    8. Avoid metallic surfaces
    9. Utilize site survey results

The Wi-Fi sensors in 7SIGNAL’s digital experience monitoring platform help an organization understand what’s going on with the WLAN 24/7. You can view data in real-time, respond to issues faster, and solve many problems before anyone notices poor performance. 

Our Sapphire Eye sensors provide this visibility, but they need to be put in suitable locations. Here is a guide to optimizing Wi-Fi sensor placement:

What do Wi-Fi sensors do?

Wi-Fi sensors are pieces of hardware that continually monitor WLAN performance—both the fundamental architecture and from the clients' perspectives. They identify numerous issues, whether they are related to interference, coverage, congestion, or configuration. These sensors deliver data back to a dashboard, where insights are gathered about the state of the network.

Wi-Fi sensors:

  • Increase visibility into the WLAN
  • Speed up the resolution process
  • Deliver continuous monitoring and testing
  • Integrate with other platforms

9 tips on placing Wi-Fi sensors

1. Start with mission-critical areas

Think of the places where you really need 24/7 monitoring of the WLAN. For example, hospitals depend on consistent, high-performing connections to gather data from critical equipment, so spaces with these devices should always be covered adequately.

2. Prioritize high-density spaces

Wi-Fi issues can happen fast when there is high user and traffic density. Any area of the organization that sees heavy usage should be monitored to combat congestion and ensure issues are resolved quickly since so many people will depend on a connection simultaneously.

3. Think about where people complain about the Wi-Fi

There are bound to be areas of a structure that have consistent trouble with Wi-Fi. These locations need to be actively monitored, especially if you have yet to uncover the root cause of the issue. 

4. Install in hard-to-reach locations

Sometimes, it’s a challenge to manually cover every nook and cranny to see what's going on with the Wi-Fi. Awkward locations or those that require ladders to get to will be harder to reach regularly. Install Wi-Fi sensors in these areas so you can keep an eye on things remotely, and consider using more permanent, rather than mobile, sensors.

5. Plan for at least one sensor per floor

If you’re dealing with a multi-floor building, it's best to have a minimum of one sensor on every level. 

6. Count your access points

The more access points you have, the more sensors you’ll need. Spaces with a high density of APs, such as stadiums, airports, and conference centers, typically require one sensor for every three to eight access points. Lower density areas like retail stores or cafes will need one sensor for every one to four APs.

7. Choose a central location for mounting

As with an access point, you should place sensors in a centralized location to maximize coverage. You can mount more permanent sensors, like the Sapphire Eye 2200, on the ceiling or the top of furniture when you find a central area that will have great reach. Portable sensors, like the Sapphire Eye 250, are best placed lower, such as under tables or on the wall.

8. Avoid metallic surfaces

It’s best to steer clear of metal when installing Wi-Fi sensors since it can interfere with signals. 7SIGNAL recommends a minimum distance of six feet from metallic surfaces.

9. Utilize site survey results as a baseline

Conduct or consult a site survey, and use those outcomes to determine where you place sensors. You'll be able to locate central areas with the best reach, select the baseline number of access points, and identify metal structures that should be avoided.

Work with 7SIGNAL for more placement assistance

7SIGNAL’s tools monitor the edge of the network, so you know what the wireless experience is like from the end-user's perspective. Our Sapphire Eye helps organizations continuously monitor the WLAN to maintain and improve performance.

The 7SIGNAL team is ready to help you place your Sapphire Eye sensors successfully. We’ll help you ensure optimal placement by evaluating specific factors, like the fact that the Sapphire Eye 2200 can cover a radius of 65 feet in an office but 150 feet in a more open space.

Contact us today for help with sensor deployment or to learn more about our platform. 

7SIGNAL® is the leader in wireless experience monitoring, providing insight into wireless networks and control over Wi-Fi performance so businesses and organizations can thrive. Our cloud-based wireless network monitoring platform continually tests and measures Wi-Fi performance at the edges of the network, enabling fast solutions to digital experience issues and stronger connections for mission-critical users, devices, and applications. Learn more at www.7signal.com.