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Wireless Sensor Network vs Ad hoc Network-difference between Wireless Sensor Network and Ad hoc Network

This page compares WSN i.e. Wireless Sensor Network vs Ad hoc Network and mentions difference between Wireless Sensor Network and Ad hoc Network. WSN is the short form of Wireless Sensor Network.

WSN-Wireless Sensor Network

Following are the features of WSN:
• WSN is a network which is made of large number of sensor nodes known as sensor motes. This nodes are self directed and low powered devices.
• These nodes collect, process and convey the data to users.
• The WSN nodes perform less computing and processing.
• The nodes are energy efficient.
• WSN need infrastructure and has large number of nodes in hundreds or thousands.
Refer Article on WSN basics➤ for more information.

Ad hoc Network

Unlike WSN, ad hoc network do not require any infrastructure and has less number of nodes. Following table mentions features of Ad hoc network and mentions difference between wireless sensor network(WSN) and Ad Hoc network types.


Feature Wireless Sensor Network Ad hoc Network
Number of sensor nodes or motes Large in quantity Medium in quantity
Deployment type Very much dense Scattered
Rate of failure More Very rare
Change in network topology frequency rare
Communication mode Broadcast point to point
Battery Not replaceable / Not rechargeable Replaceable
Identifiers (IDs) used in the network No unique IDs Unique IDs
Centric mode based on data based on address
Fusion/Aggregation Possible Not suitable
Computational capacities & memory requirement Limited Not limited
Data rate support provided Lower Higher
Redundancy High Low

WSN-Wireless Sensor Network and Ad Hoc Network related links

Article on WSN basics
Cellular network Vs Ad Hoc network

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