Wi-Fi testing for network performance

By: Oren Strahl
Product Line Manager

Writen By: Or Strahl
Product Line Manager

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For many, testing Wi-Fi performance in a real-world environment can help identify critical IT issues, but troubleshooting in the deployment stage isn’t easy. The exponential growth and the diversity of IoT devices and applications can make it difficult to isolate problems, and detecting glitches already in a live, deployed network is a costly and complicated endeavor. Advanced technics as MiMo, Beamforming, Noise detection and Co-existence with other wireless technologies demand even more accurate, and a rich set of testing on this field.

So what to do? Test It!

Simulate, emulate, create real-world scenarios in your lab – and Test it,
test it and again – Test it!
There is no magic here if you would like to go out into the field with a working solution and to give your customers a good user experience, you should not leave anything for luck – you should check it.

What Should You Test ?

Multi-client WLAN Network Testing Scenarios:

Clearly – Do you want to know how your service will be given in a crowded environment? Simulate it in your lab. Only this way you will be able to know if the Server implementation is correct, the AP scheduler is working fine and that user experience is not degraded.

Benchmark

Benchmark or baseline testing for traffic throughput, TCP goodput, forwarding rate, and latency performance. On top of those – do not neglect Application layer testing…Always think from user experience point of view.

AP Interwork Testing

With various mixes of different IEEE 802.11 mode clients.
Making your testing “real” means also configure older Wi-Fi versions in the test, because this is what you will encounter on the field, for sure.

Simulate The Channel

You know everything is working on the lab, great. One second – do you want to know what will happen tomorrow when your solution will be deployed in the field, a real-noisy environment? Do not forget to simulate channel conditions and fading as well.

Monitor and Maintain

So you are live, your solution is out there, service is up and running – you did it, is this ALL?
In the field we see that customers are still complaining, services crash and sometimes fingers are pointed back at you.
Monitor the live network out there, RF wised (for environmental changes) and network wised (at the core of the network) is crucial for an excellent service with high availability and performance.

 

To summarize,

I would just emphasize that thought we might think that Wi-Fi, as a legacy technology, is “Working just fine” and underestimate the testing of its deployments, always remember that new versions of it (802.11n/ac/ad/ax) are on the way, lots of other technologies co-exist with it on the field (Bluetooth, LTE, 5G), and at the end – customer demand more and more for quality to their services.

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