[Dshield] Wireless network planning

Bo Mendenhall Bo.Mendenhall at hsc.utah.edu
Tue Dec 20 18:13:05 GMT 2005

Many wireless solutions come with a poor man's version of this (Aruba
Networks, Cisco's Airespace, and Trapeze that I know of) - generally
very few bells and whistles and not overly accurate.  Effectively
determining the # of APs you use is based largely on the applications
you will be piping across your WLAN.  If you plan to do a voice
deployment your density of APs would generally be greater than if your
needs are to provide causal access to the internet and e-mail.

The best tool (most accurate) I have seen to date is from Wireless
Valley (http://www.wirelessvalley.com) albeit quite pricey.  Other tools
such as AirMagnet's Surveyor
(http://www.airmagnet.com/products/surveyor.htm) or Ekahau's Site Survey
tool (http://www.ekahau.com) are good, but not as comprehensive as
Wireless Valley in my opinion.  Doing a site survey is important, but
remember it's a snapshot in time - and the RF may look very different a
month later (neighbors adding APs, microwaves, 2.4GHz phones etc.)  The
wireless vendor products mentioned above (Aruba, Cisco & Trapeze) - and
others I'm sure - offer RF tuning components to their products to help
minimize the effects of a changing RF landscape.

>>> Rik.Kershaw-Moore at avonandsomerset.police.uk 12/20/2005 1:13:38 AM
Sadly I've not come across such a piece of software, sofar.  We still
do a
back of the fag packet calc and then go off and do an RF survey.

>I'm wondering if there is a tool somewhere that would help in
the number of 
>AP's I might need for an area of X square feet and of Y construction. 

You have probably already found this link - 

And the O'Reilly Book "Building Wireless Community Networks" offers
very useful advice indeed:


Sorry to be of little help,


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