With so many devices around us, it is only logical to think how can we get those devices to connect with each other. Connecting such devices through a router or access point or cellular network is the most common way. However, there are also use cases where infrastructure such as router or cellular network is not available and still the devices need to communicate with each other. In such cases, an ad-hoc network comes to rescue – Wireless Ad-hoc Network or WANET.

What is WANET?

An ad-hoc network that connects several devices wirelessly is called as Wireless Ad-hoc network. Sometimes it is also referred as MANET – Mobile Ad-hoc Network. This network is continuously self-configuring and infrastructure-less. In this network, the devices may move from their location and hence can change their links with other devices in the network dynamically (and hence “self-configuring”)


WANET - representative image
WANET – representative image Designed by Freepik

Mesh network is a special case of WANET where the resulting topology is mesh topology. You can read more about Mesh network here.

Why do we need WANET?

There are certain cases where WANET is useful. Consider a military conflict. The infrastructure gets destroyed. But military devices need to communicate with each other irrespective of the state of the infrastructure. E.g. devices fitted on battle tanks can communicate with each and remain in the decided war formation to make the attack effective.

You can also consider a case of a natural disaster which destroys the cellular network. Rescue operation becomes easier with WANET in place.

There are several types of WANET:

  • VANET – Vehicular Ad-hoc Network – vehicles forming a network, communicating with each other. This can be used to form Platooning where steering and speed information is exchanged between all the vehicles in the network.
  • UAV Adhoc Network – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles can form the network and maintain the required synchronization.
  • Read more types here

Related Links

Related Keywords

BAN, Mesh Network, ZigBee, Internet Of Things

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