Manual site surveys
- Most vendors recommend that both passive and active manual site surveys be conducted.
- The information from both manual surveys can then be compared, contrasted, and/or merged into one final coverage analysis report.
- During a passive manual survey, the radio collects RF measurements, including:
- Received signal strength (dBm)
- Noise level (dBm)
- Signal-to-Noise ratio (dB)
- Although the client adapter is not associated to the access point during the survey,
information is received from radio signals that exist at layer 1 and layer 2.
- During an active manual survey, the radio is associated to the access point and has layer 2 connectivity, allowing for low-level frame transmissions.
- If layer 3 connectivity is also established, low-level data traffic such as Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) pings are sent in 802.11 data frame transmissions.
- Layer 1 RF measurements can also be recorded during the active survey.
- Upper-layer information such as packet loss and layer 2 retransmission percentages cannot be measured because the client card is associated to a single access point.