Updated July 28, 2023
Introduction to Mobile Ad Hoc Network
The term “Ad Hoc” (temporary or when needed) in the phrase Ad-Hoc network itself tells us the meaning of Ad-hoc network. It means a network that is temporary or setup immediately when needed for random temporary access. So an Ad Hoc network is a group of “locally-available” devices that can connect and talk to each other directly whenever needed without the need of any router or server. This network breaks when the connected devices go out of the network i.e. disconnect from the network, so the network breaks with the closing of the Ad-Hoc connection. Mobile Ad Hoc Network or MANET can be explained as a transportable network that can be created and implemented as & when required based on the requirement set on the scenario, and hence the name has ‘ad hoc’ in it. It is extensively chosen due to its significant characteristics like the auto-configuring ability, ability to function as a cordless or wireless network, self-diagnosing capability when an issue arises in connectivity, etc.
These networks use device-to-device communication instead of using the hardware used in traditional networks. These networks skip or avoid the hardware of a traditional network. These are local area networks (LANs) that allow devices in a range of each other to connect wirelessly, instead of using a fixed server or router to act as a central hub for connected devices.
What is a Network?
A network, in terms of electronics, is a group of devices or nodes like a PC, a cellphone, a tablet, etc. Which are connected to each other in such a way so that they are able to share resources and data with each other for communication in order to benefit the end-user i.e. us
What are Mobile Ad Hoc Networks?
We just need to add the term “mobile” with them which will lead us to MANET i.e. Mobile Ad-hoc Networks. Thus, MANETs can be defined as the Ad Hoc networks which use mobile devices i.e. movable wireless devices (laptops, smartphones, iPads, etc.) as their nodes of connection and communication.
An example of MANET is a VANET (Vehicular Ad-hoc Network) in which communication devices are installed inside vehicles to share data of traffic among the cars. Also, wireless sensor networks are an example of MANETs.
Below are some of the features.
- No hardware or fixed infrastructure, the mobile devices involved talk and transfer data directly to each other autonomously.
- Auto configured.
- Also known as Wireless Ad-hoc Network (WANET), on the fly networks or spontaneous networks.
- Each device itself acts as a router and transfers data packets to another device/node.
Working of MANETs
The working of MANETs are as follows.
- Work as an individual exclusively or in a group as a part of a huge network like the internet.
- No access point or hardware.
- Direct & autonomous communication between mobile devices.
- The devices search each other themselves and start communicating.
- If a node is far away, then the nodes between the source and destination nodes act as routers and transfer data one by one to make it reach the destination node.
- The devices can join or leave the network anytime i.e. dynamic node addition or removal happens.
- The devices have their own backups of energy like they have batteries for power.
Application of Mobile Ad-hoc Networks
MANETs are used in various fields like:
- Gaming Services: For collaborative gaming in local area networks in schools, competitions, etc.
- Military Services: For immediately sending information to all remote troops or battalions, for meetings, etc.
- Commercial Use: Local Conferences, Events, Seminars.
- Industrial sector.
- Emergency services like earthquakes, disaster relief, fire fighting, natural disasters which need services without infrastructure.
- Education Sector: In classrooms, labs of schools, colleges, etc. for sharing lectures, etc.
- Bluetooth communication.
Characteristics of Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks
Following are the characteristics explained below.
- No Centralized Control: The working is completely dependent on the behavior and support of the participating devices.
- Random Change of Devices: Devices keep on coming and leaving the network at a huge pace and voluntarily.
- Frequent changes in network topology i.e. the arrangement of devices in the network
- Limited battery power
- Limite human interference
- Less Security: These networks have bigger threats than on wired networks.
- The devices involved in these networks being so smaller nowadays can easily be a victim of theft.
- They can be attacked easily.
- Each device acts as a router as well as ahead of the network, so each device plays twofold or double roles.
- Limited Bandwidth: These networks have very little capacity and range of data transmission.
- Low resources such as memory power, battery power, backups, etc.
- Performance is high with low expenses and scalability advantages.
MANETs have so much dynamism into them which makes them a necessary technology for the rapid changes happening in the world of communication. With the increase of mobile devices such as laptops, cellphones, ipads & pdas, etc., such networks like MANETs are of huge significance and cannot be avoided completely.
This has been a guide to Mobile Ad Hoc Network. Here we discuss the main features, working, application, and characteristics of Mobile Ad Hoc Network. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –