Ekahau Site Survey Review

Conduct a solid WiFi site survey and use this to troubleshoot or design a new system


What is our primary use case?

Anyone suffering WiFi issues should have a solid WiFi site survey conducted. Same if you are going to design a new system. 

How has it helped my organization?

It allows me to conduct more in-depth surveys and find the problems in a consistent manner. It also helps in preparing proposals for new networks. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the ability to read existing WiFi services and to produce a reliable report on coverage.

What needs improvement?

The coverage patterns / strengths built into the inventory of APs in Ekahau is overly optimistic or too generous. This is not the fault of Ekahau - it is the fault of the various vendors that produce the antenna patterns they use. We tested several models of Cisco and Ubiquiti devices in open areas and found that reality versus the Ekahau predictive values were different. In reality, they did not cover as far and as strong as Ekahau’s inventory would suggest. Again - not the fault of Ekahau. This is an issue with the data being supplied to them by the various vendors. 

This can lead to a bad design when using a predictive survey. Our testing was conducted on an open field with no major source of RF interference in the area. 

The product is still very valuable when used by someone with enough experience in the field to know when something doesn't seem right. Someone that can make adjustments to the design based on reality. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for over four years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not really encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is slow to respond. They respond but the 24-hour delay to hold an open dialog is painful. There are options to call during the day and they work well.

Technical Support:

Technical support is good.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We previously used AirMagnet and NetSpot. We switched due to cost and performance. AirMagnet actually crashed a laptop and caused a complete system rebuild. NetSpot is nothing more than a low-end reader and isn't very accurate. 

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was fairly simple.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it on my own.

What was our ROI?

The ROI was pretty quick. Since I do survey work as a revenue stream, I had to conduct three paid gigs to pay for itself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and licensing is high. Expect to pay $3000-4000 to just get the software in place... plus hardware needed. It adds up quickly. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we also evaluated AirMagnet.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good product but support needs to speed up responses. It takes 24-48 hours to get a simple response. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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