What is Wireless Ad-hoc Network (WANET)?

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A wireless ad hoc network (WANET) is a decentralized type of wireless network. The network is ad hoc because it does not rely on a pre existing infrastructure, such as routers in wired networks or access points in managed (infrastructure) wireless networks.

An ad-hoc network is a local area network (LAN) that is built spontaneously as devices connect. Instead of relying on a base station to coordinate the flow of messages to each node in the network, the individual network nodes forward packets to and from each other. In the Windows operating system, ad-hoc is a communication mode (setting) that allows computers to directly communicate with each other without a router.

"Ad Hoc" is actually a Latin phrase that means "for this purpose." It is often used to describe solutions that are developed on-the-fly for a specific purpose. In computer networking, an ad hoc network refers to a network connection established for a single session and does not require a router or a wireless base station.

For example, if you need to transfer a file to your friend's laptop, you might create an ad hoc network between your computer and his laptop to transfer the file. This may be done using an Ethernet crossover cable, or the computers' wireless cards to communicate with each other. If you need to share files with more than one computer, you could set up a mutli-hop ad hoc network, which can transfer data over multiple nodes.

Basically, an ad hoc network is a temporary network connection created for a specific purpose (such as transferring data from one computer to another). If the network is set up for a longer period of time, it is just a plain old local area network (LAN).

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