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Differences between Wireless Adhoc Network and Wireless Sensor Network

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 22 May, 2020
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1. Wireless Adhoc Network :
A wireless ad-hoc network is a wireless network deployed without any framework or infrastructure. This incorporates wireless mesh networks, mobile ad-hoc networks, and vehicular ad-hoc networks. It’s history could be traced back to the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and Packet Radio Networks (PRNET) which evolved into the Survival Adaptive Radio Networks (SARNET) program. Wireless ad-hoc networks, in particular mobile ad-hoc networks (MANET), are growing very fast as they make communication simpler and progressively accessible. In any case, their conventions or protocols will in general be hard to structure due to topology dependent behavior of wireless communication, and their distributed and adaptive operations to topology dynamism. They are allowed to move self-assertively at any time. So, the network topology of MANET may change randomly and rapidly at unpredictable times. This makes routing difficult because the topology is continually changing and nodes cannot be expected to have steady data storage.


  1. Data Mining
  2. Military battlefield
  3. Commercial Sector
  4. Personal area network or bluetooth

2. Wireless Sensor Network :
A wireless sensor network can be characterized as a system of devices, indicated as nodes which can detect the environment and impart the data accumulated from the monitored field (e.g., a zone or volume) through remote or wireless connections. It can be depicted as a system of nodes that agreeably sense and may control the environment enabling association between people or computers and the surrounding environment. The information is sent, possibly through different jumps, to a sink (indicated as a controller or monitor) that can utilize it locally or is associated with different systems (e.g., The Internet) through a portal. The nodes can be fixed or moving.


  1. Environmental Monitoring
  2. Health Care
  3. Positioning and Monitoring

Differences between Wireless Adhoc Network and Wireless Sensor Network :

Wireless Adhoc NetworkWireless Sensor Network

The medium used in wireless adhoc networks is radio waves.

The medium used in wireless sensor networks are radio waves, infrared, optical media.

Application independent network is used.

Application dependent network is used.

Hop-to-Hop routing takes place.

Query based (data centric routing) or location based routing takes place.

It is heterogeneous in type.

It is homogeneous in type.

The traffic pattern is point-to-point.

The traffic pattern is any-to-any, many-to-one, many-to-few, one-to-many.

Wireless router is used as an inter-connecting device.

Application level gateway is used as an inter-connecting device.

The data rate is high.

The data rate is low.

Supports common services.

Supports specific applications.

Traffic triggering depends on application needs.

Triggered by sensing events.

IP address is used for addressing.

Local unique MAC address or spatial IP is used for addressing.

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