As we live in digital age, there is need to carry various kinds of portable devices in everyday life to accomplish personal and official needs. The application of each device will be different. It is required to establish adhoc networks so that the communication will take place without any interruption. By going for ad hoc networking, communication can be established at any time and from anywhere. An ad hoc network can be formed without any central administration. The nodes present in the network will serve as routers or hosts. Packets are forwarded on behalf of nodes and user applications will be run in this process.
The earliest ad hoc networks were explored in 1968. At that time, work on ALOHA network was initiated. It was intended to connect educational institutions in Hawaii. Later on, fixed network packet switching (DARPA) was developed in 1973 on PR (packet radio) net. Through PRnet, it has become possible to manage operations centrally as well as on distributed basis. Multi-hoping techniques were used to increase the network capacity.
Mobile ad hoc networks
Ad hoc packet radio networks were considered mainly for military applications. The network configuration will be done in a decentralized manner. In the earlier days, the capacity of mobile computers was very less. In recent years, the capacity of mobile computing devices has increased drastically. If there is no fixed infrastructure, ad hoc networks can be established very easily. There will be very quick deployment and extended coverage with mobile ad hoc networks.
By using an ad hoc network, the information can be shared among participants in a conference very easily. Devices will be able to communicate with the home network very easily. It is possible to create autonomous home networks which are inter connected so that there will be great benefit for users. It is required to go for ad hoc networks for commercial applications as well. Sensors can be setup at various locations which are interconnected and the information will be shared to main network device.
PDA and cellphone
By using short-range ad hoc network connections, inter-communication can be established between cellphone and PDA. The need for cabling can be avoided. It is possible to create a wireless hotspot so that the wireless connection can be shared with compatible devices. Through mobile IP, the mobility is permitted.
Traditionally, ISP connection will be provided to the router. A local area network can be created by using a router and the connection can be shared with other devices by using your laptop. The laptop works like a hotspot and various PDAs and smartphones can be connected through Wi-Fi sharing options. WLAN can be used to share the signal from the mobile phone to other phones and PDAs. Thus, there are unlimited possibilities to share wireless signal and it is possible to transfer data among portable devices in a very efficient way.
Ad hoc network benefits
Ad hoc network connection offers different kind of benefits and these are different from wireless and wire line benefits. There will be some all the nodes will be mobile in this context. The network function will run in a distributed fashion. The nodes will disappear sometimes and they will appear again. The connectivity and traffic delivery will be similar to traditional networks.
In case of Personal Area Network (PAN) ad hoc network, there will be notebook computers, personal digital assistants and cellular phones. There will be distributed operation so that the operational efficiency is very much enhanced. The nodes will be mobile in case of dynamic network topology. Connectivity should be established to applications and services so that the operations will be undisturbed. In this process, routing protocols are influenced.
The user in the ad hoc network should have access to internet even though there is continuous movement. Mobility management functions are done to overcome the issue. If there are multiple ad hoc networks, there will be possibility to find fluctuating link capacity. By offering link layer protection, the link quality can be enhanced in a very efficient way. As most of the portable devices are battery driven devices, the communication related functions should be optimized so that there will be least power consumption.
While establishing ad hoc networks, security should be the prime most criteria. You should go through the same kind of authentication, confidentiality and integrity as happens for any other public communication network. Cryptographic keys should be used to get access to the network so that the security will be very much enhanced. The routing issue should be addressed. The packet of data might change its course because of the shifting of the one or more mobile devices. The change in physical obstacles will also have an impact on routing process. Mobile IP will be given for mobile devices so that they will work with ad hoc networks in a seamless way.