Wireless Survey

What Does Wireless Survey Mean?

A wireless survey involves developing planning resources for a wireless network. For a particular property survey, this involves looking at architectural plans and the physical structures involved, while evaluating the potential for things like coverage, capacity and overall quality of service.


A wireless survey is also known as a wireless site survey or an RF site survey.

Techopedia Explains Wireless Survey

Part of a wireless survey involves setting the scope of the project, where some professionals might refer to something like an “effective range boundary.” Engineers also look at any intrusion or signal problems in different parts of the defined area. Different types of testing involve different methodologies to test for the potential for signal strength and reception.

Some professionals break down wireless surveys into three categories: passive, active and predictive. A passive survey tends to rely on the local network traffic to look at how signals are moving and where the access points are. An active survey can involve more actual logging of data transmission rates and time frames, as well as looking at packet transmission success rates. The third category, predictive survey, is based on a simulation or model of the environment and is more theoretical in terms of looking at blueprints and other resources.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.