Ekahau Site Survey Review

Easily troubleshoots problems stemming from interference


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is to conduct wifi site surveys. It works in any environment.

How has it helped my organization?

We use this solution to improve wifi network performance or design proper networks. It is possible to eliminate issues such as co-channel interference or adjacent-channel interference. It can also locate devices that are causing interference.

What is most valuable?

The ability to perform dual-band spectrum analysis while conducting the standard wifi site survey is a tremendous time saver. The built-in battery allows us to survey longer without stopping for power.

What needs improvement?

I find the power button hard to access with just one hand. It really needs one hand to hold the device while the other pushes the button. It would also be improved if other mounting options besides the strap were available. Also, the strap should be easy release. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. Works as designed. 

How are customer service and technical support?

In terms of technical support, it is hit or miss. They tend to rely on offshore support for the first level and the response time is painfully slow, considering I pay $1389 per year for it. Most of it is by email, which takes up to 24 hours to get a response (usually asking for more info). After this, another 24 hours before they respond again asking for something else. It can take three or four days to answer simple questions.

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

Prior to acquiring Sidekick, we conducted our surveys with a laptop, three external NIC cards, and two spectrum analysis antennas. It was just as effective as using the Sidekick with an iPad or laptop, but it was bulky and required power constantly in order to maintain the batteries.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is relatively easy if you have already used Ekahau in the past. If not, the learning curve is steep. The documentation is not very strong.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented this solution using our in-house team.

What was our ROI?

As a wireless professional, I need to conduct at least seven or eight small-scale surveys, or two to three large-scale surveys, in order to recover the costs.

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

This solution is not cheap. If you only need an occasional site survey, you are better off contracting a wireless engineering professional that has one.

The cost for the device and software runs in excess of $6500 plus $1389 per year in maintenance fees. Add to it the cost of an iPad and you are getting close to $10,000, and you still don't know how to use it!

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We found that there is no other option like it on the market.

What other advice do I have?

This is a professional tool. You have to know how to use it. 

Used in conjunction with the Ekahau Pro software and a professional wireless engineer, this tool will make conducting a wireless site survey a breeze.

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