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Ekahau Site Survey OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Ekahau Site Survey is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Network Modeling tools. It is most often compared to AirMagnet Survey: Ekahau Site Survey vs AirMagnet Survey

What is Ekahau Site Survey?

Over 12 years in the making, ESSTM maintains its reputation as the easiest to use, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi design and maintenance tool for Wi-Fi professionals. With crystal clear heat maps and easy-to-use reports, ESS makes it simple to optimize Wi-Fi.

ESS allows you to plan and create Wi-Fi networks according to your performance and capacity requirements—taking into consideration the increasing amount of wireless clients and applications such as VoIP, HD video streaming and web browsing.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Network Modeling Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Ekahau Site Survey Customers

Presidio, Planet Earth, Ruckus

Ekahau Site Survey Video

Archived Ekahau Site Survey Reviews (more than two years old)

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Alex-Wilson
Owner at Collabsion, Inc.
Real User
Leaderboard
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.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I 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. You pay $1389 per year for support and you are had-pressed to get timely answers. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Alex-Wilson
Owner at Collabsion, Inc.
Real User
Leaderboard
Easily troubleshoots problems stemming from interference

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability to perform dual-band spectrum analysis while conducting the standard WiFi site survey is a tremendous time saver."
  • "I find the power button hard to access with just one hand."

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.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I 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.
Find out what your peers are saying about Ekahau, NetAlly, iBwave and others in Network Modeling. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.
ITCS user
Directeur Supports et Formation at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Spectrum analyzer integration allows reviewing measurements on the survey paths.

What is most valuable?

  • Planning.
  • "What-if" scenarios.
  • Spectrum analyzer integration allows reviewing measurements on the survey paths.
  • iPerf integration allows conducting a throughput continuous test along the survey path.

How has it helped my organization?

Planning design allows us to provide faster quotes to the customer. We take a safety margin but in the end, we are very close to the quote and we save time and travel.

The SpecAn and the throughput data: We include them in the survey report that we give to the customer. That's a great added-value compared to what we were doing before. Also, during the project closure meeting, we can show all the recorded survey data and it supports our recommendations to the customers.

What needs improvement?

I wish we could have an "offline" version of Ekahau in order to give the customer some kind of interactive report where he could find all the measured values.

What I mean is that today, we can only give the customer a PDF or paper report. So they can't see detailed values as when you move the mouse over an AP. I expect to give the customer a kind of read-only file where he could explore the site survey.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have not encountered any deployment issues. Deployment is smooth and easy, in less than 10 minutes of time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did encounter stability issues with a previous version. The customer support team took my case with a very high priority and a few days later, a patch was released. Our current version is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues, compared to my first years of use; I've added the SpecAn feature, the GPS.

New APs are added regularly for the predictive feature.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

N/A: Initial purchase and yearly renewal are made through a reseller.

Technical Support:

Technical support is 10/10. They're fast to answer and solve your issue.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used AirMagnet some years ago. We changed because of the slowness of the software.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is straightforward. The only option is for the GPS feature. When starting ESS for the first time, you need an internet connection to validate the licence.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it.

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

Choose the PRO + Spectrum version. The Basic version doesn't have the planning features.

What other advice do I have?

It's a great product; regular updates make it dynamic and bring us new possibilities.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Christy Miller, CEO At Bcl, BI Csi Rcdd
Consultant at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Consultant
Top 20Leaderboard
Importing DWG files that identify the types of walls, doors, glass, and other structural materials is valuable.

What is most valuable?

Importing DWG files that identify the types of walls, doors, glass, and other structural materials is valuable. The other useful tool is the ability to enter the exact model number of an access point to get accurate planning information.

How has it helped my organization?

We can do a predictive survey in half the time it used to take, now that we can import CAD files and identify wall types.

What needs improvement?

  • Being able to import BIM files

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have not encountered any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is excellent; always there to answer questions or assist with an issue; very open to feedback on how to improve the product.

Technical Support:

Technical support is excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straight forward.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it.

What was our ROI?

ROI was less than a year.

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

This product is priced aggressively compared to other products; well worth the investment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we also evaluated AirMagnet.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
DXF/DWG floor plans can be imported.

What is most valuable?

  • Importing DXF/DWG floor plans
  • Autoplanner
  • Customizable report templates

How has it helped my organization?

Importing more than 200 floor plans of 50 buildings has been easily accomplished because layers could be deselected before importing.

The Autoplanner feature gave us the opportunity to sketch a channel grid as well as the raw placements of access points.

It provides easy reporting using our own report templates.

What needs improvement?

  • Batch reporting for large projects with many project files

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it since 2008.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent; quick feedback and appropriate solutions.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is done very easily.

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

If in doubt, buy the Professional Edition to have all features activated (e.g., 3D planning). Have NIC-300 USB stick (multiple NICs recommended for several measurements in parallel) as well. Otherwise, you will not have the opportunity to measure SNR.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we also evaluated AirMagnet and NetPlanner.

What other advice do I have?

From my experience, Ekauhau has always been very interested in improving their software by listening to users' demands and requirements. From my point of view, they successfully ease the complex process of designing wireless LAN on a professional level.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Claudio Rosa
System Engineer at a mining and metals company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We used it to create a plan to support the company headquarters building with a high-density environment.

What is most valuable?

When you have a new site to plan, with ESS you can easily create a good plan to begin to understand the solution and the challenges. This way, you can create a Bill of Materials to buy what will work for your business requirements.

How has it helped my organization?

With ESS, we were able to understand what will be necessary to create a plan to support the company headquarters building with more than 2000 people in a high-density environment.

What needs improvement?

Today, ESS doesn't support mixed outdoor-indoor environments. We have port and railroad environments that can't be created and exported to the WiFi management solution because ESS can´t support it.

In the ESS, we don't have an easy way to select access points and then select an external antenna for it. This is a very common situation when you are testing what could be the best solution for an environment.

Anther important point is that Ekahau Mobile doesn't have GPS support. We can't do outdoor site surveys as easily as we can in the ESS.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with Ekahau since I was a Nortel Network Pre-sales Engineer, that is, more than 10 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I have not encountered any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For some operations, such as report generation, it requires a lot memory (more than 16GB RAM).

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service provides fast answers.

Technical Support:

Sometimes, it takes technical support time to understand a new feature request.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously we worked on a project with AirMagnet Survey. This tool was provided by the company that was supporting us on the project.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was easy but only with the training course it was possible to get all of the tool's potential.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation was done by an in-house team.

What was our ROI?

The ROI was quick because we can save money doing it ourselves and we could develop internal knowledge.

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

This is a professional solution that can be very useful for planning and troubleshooting, but it is not cheap. It can make sense when you are a WiFi Engineering Company or you have médium-large WiFi environments.

For small environments, I recommend Ekahau Mobile.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we did not evaluate other options.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Ingeniero de sistemas at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
When planning a WiFi network, it estimates the number of APs you need.

What is most valuable?

Planning a WiFi network: You can estimate the number of APs you need without error. It works fine! It is perfect for knowing the problems of a WiFi network. You can see the radio state.

How has it helped my organization?

With this tool, you can plan the WiFi network without error.

What needs improvement?

This tool needs too many of the resources (RAM) of your PC.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have not encountered any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How

What is most valuable?

  • Planning a WiFi network: You can estimate the number of APs you need without error. It works fine!
  • It is perfect for knowing the problems of a WiFi network. You can see the radio state.

How has it helped my organization?

With this tool, you can plan the WiFi network without error.

What needs improvement?

This tool needs too many of the resources (RAM) of your PC.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have not encountered any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The customer service answers quickly and correctly. If you have a problem, they solve it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

The use of this tool is very easy. In addition, you have many tutorials on the Ekahau website.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Sr. Wireless Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
It is possible to import Autocad layers.

What is most valuable?

Import Autocad layers into Ekahau

How has it helped my organization?

The speed, accuracy, and reliability has improved the way my organization functions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have not encountered any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Customer service is good. Technical Support: Technical support is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have replaced all…

What is most valuable?

  • Import Autocad layers into Ekahau

How has it helped my organization?

The speed, accuracy, and reliability has improved the way my organization functions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have not encountered any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is good.

Technical Support:

Technical support is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have replaced all AirMagnet kit with Ekahau.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is great.

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

Switch to Ekahau.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing, we also evaluated MetaGeek.

What other advice do I have?

MetaGeek also has exceptional products.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
WLAN & Route/Switch Network Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Recent upgrades allows opacity view on the heat maps, allowing the floor plan to have better visibility.

What is most valuable?

Recent upgrades allows opacity view on the heat maps, allowing the floor plan to have better visibility. What I like is that Ekahau regularly takes the advice of real users and categorizes these point and adds them in product version releases. In other words, Ekahau really listens to their customers!

What needs improvement?

One area would be to allow several files to be opened and the ability to close only one of the files.

At present, if you have several files open, you must close the entire program to close the one file. A workaround is to open a new instance of ESS, but would be nice if you do not need to do this.

When a user has two surveys done at different times (Survey1 and Survey2), and at a later time, wants to open both of them at the same time, ESS allows a user to do that. However, the software does not allow you to close one of the surveys unless you completely close out ESS.

This is not a big issue, as I mention the workaround is to open up each survey in a new instance of ESS. IOW, to ESS and open it, then select open Survey1. Then open another instance of ESS and select Survey2.

It is more of a convenience feature. For example, if you have two MS Word docs open, you can to File/Close and close one of the docs. In ESS, you cannot do that yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

3+ years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment does take about 20-30 seconds, as it is a large program, so that's acceptable.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From small to large surveys, Ekahau seems to function well. I have heard that very large surveys (e.g. 20-floor building) can cause issues, but I have not personally experienced that.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

9 out of 10. They listen and respond to you, sometimes in a couple of hours. Excellent customer service.

Technical Support:

9 out of 10. Customer service seems to link straight to technical support and issue resolution is fast and sometimes in less than a day.

How was the initial setup?

Yes, easy setup with the wizard.

What about the implementation team?

I have done both. Vendor team sent registration code, copy and paste and setup was fast.

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

Site survey software is not inexpensive. But it is vital for the WLAN professional. Call Ekahau and get a trial version and if pricing is an issue, ask them what they can do.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have used trial versions of all leading site survey software. All have a bit of a learning curve. (AirMagnet, Tamosoft, iBwave).

What other advice do I have?

Just a customer service story: I needed an AP listed for a predictive model that was not listed in ESS. I sent a request to have this one added to ESS and within three hours, the response came back with the file I needed to copy and paste into ESS to use this AP model! Three hours! Unbelievably responsive and outstanding customer service. Ekahau listens and responds to their customers!

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