A wireless ad hoc network (WANET) or MANET (Mobile ad hoc network) is a decentralised type of wireless network. The network is ad hoc because it does not rely on a pre-existing infrastructure, such as routers in wired networks or access points in managed (infrastructure) wireless networks. Instead, each node participates in routing by forwarding data for other nodes, so the determination of which nodes forward data is made dynamically on the basis of network connectivity and the routing algorithm in use.
In the Windows operating system, ad-hoc is a communication mode (setting) that allows computers to directly communicate with each other without a router.
Wireless mobile ad hoc networks are self-configuring, dynamic networks in which nodes are free to move. Wireless networks lack the complexities of infrastructure setup and administration, enabling devices to create and join networks “on the fly” – anywhere, anytime.