A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is a self-configuring network of mobile routers (and associated hosts) connected by wireless links--the union of which form an arbitrary topology. The routers are free to move randomly and organize themselves arbitrarily; thus, the network's wireless topology may change rapidly and unpredictably.

Such a network may operate in a standalone fashion, or may be connected to the larger Internet.

A list of some ad-hoc network protocols can be found in the Ad hoc protocol list.

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