Mobile Ad Hoc Network

What Does Mobile Ad Hoc Network Mean?

A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is generally defined as a network that has many free or autonomous nodes, often composed of mobile devices or other mobile pieces, that can arrange themselves in various ways and operate without strict top-down network administration. There are many different types of setups that could be called MANETs and the potential for this sort of network is still being studied.


Techopedia Explains Mobile Ad Hoc Network

Experts point out that the MANET, now a topic of commercial research, was originally used in military projects, including in tactical networks and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) projects. Some use 4G networks and other wireless systems as examples of a potential topology for a MANET, while others refer to a vehicular ad-hoc network (VANET), where the free network nodes are installed in cars and other vehicles.

Those assessing the potential for MANET face various challenges, including signal protection and the reliability of mobile or otherwise dynamic nodes. There’s also the issue of limited processing power, and even of providing an adequate power supply for the large number of devices typically included within a MANET. Still, the flexibility of a MANET makes this an interesting alternative to traditional networks structures.


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Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…