Wireless Ad Hoc Network Explained.Posted June 17, 2020, 7:43 a.m. by Emil S.
Typical wireless networks follow an organized infrastructure method where all devices connect to one access point, usually a Wi-Fi router, and communicate with the network through that router. That means all data traffic goes through the router before being distributed to the devices intended to receive it. It happens even when the data sent goes to only one particular device.
The phrase “ad hoc” can mean improvised. The original Latin translation is “for this situation,” which also seems apt. You can define a WANET or Wireless Ad Hoc Network in terms of its infrastructure, and how different it is when compared to traditional wireless networks.
In a WANET, there is no single router or universal access point and each node can communicate directly with each other within the network. Each node is a device that doesn’t rely on existing infrastructure and makes its connection with another device on the fly and as needed.
This dynamic system is also known as direct peer-to-peer communication, where the data sharing between devices is independent of any network infrastructure.
Pros and Cons of a Wireless Ad Hoc Network
Unlike traditional wireless networks, there’s no need to set up a support infrastructure and can get going quickly. With no router needed, maintaining a wireless ad hoc network can provide some savings as well.
Implementing an ad hoc network would be a breeze and needs no extra software and hardware. Since you can set it up spontaneously, a WANET would be terrific for communications during emergencies, particularly in very remote areas.
You can share files between devices, even if they’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network. For example, two laptops can exchange data by enabling a temporary ad hoc mode to establish a simple two-way Wi-Fi communication between them.
Probably the most significant factor that can dissuade people from adopting this type of network is weak security. Without routers, the network will be vulnerable while the devices are connected. The open nature of the connections could invite hacker intrusions.
Another downside is that interference from other sources could wreak havoc on connections and make the network unreliable. A similar dilemma could be experienced from its limited range of several hundred feet since the layout of the network always changes.
Different Kinds of Wireless Ad Hoc Networks
These are just some examples of the many different types of Wireless Ad Hoc Networks.
- Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET) is a self-forming wireless network of different mobile devices.
- Smart Phone Ad Hoc Network (SPAN) is exclusively a wireless network for smartphones connected via their built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies.
- Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) employs a wireless network of sensors that observe, record, and take readings of the conditions in the environment, and report them back to a base of operations.
- Disaster Rescue Ad Hoc Network provides reliable communications in the aftermath of a disaster and during relief operations.
- Vehicular Ad Hoc Network (VANET) involves artificial intelligence working with wireless networks helping control autonomous vehicles.