Identify the equipment, applications, and methodologies involved in performing manual site surveys

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.