What is Ad-Hoc Mode in Wireless Networking?

A. On wireless computer networks, ad-hoc mode is a method for wireless devices to directly communicate with each other. Operating in ad-hoc mode allows all wireless devices within range of each other to discover and communicate in peer-to-peer fashion without involving central access points (including those built in to broadband wireless routers).

To set up an ad-hoc wireless network, each wireless adapter must be configured for ad-hoc mode versus the alternative infrastructure mode. In addition, all wireless adapters on the ad-hoc network must use the same SSID and the same channel number.

An ad-hoc network tends to feature a small group of devices all in very close proximity to each other.

Performance suffers as the number of devices grows, and a large ad-hoc network quickly becomes difficult to manage. Ad-hoc networks cannot bridge to wired LANs or to the Internet without installing a special-purpose gateway.

Ad hoc networks make sense when needing to build a small, all-wireless LAN quickly and spend the minimum amount of money on equipment. Ad hoc networks also work well as a temporary fallback mechanism if normally-available infrastructure mode gear (access points or routers) stop functioning.

More > Ad Hoc Wireless Home Network Diagram

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