Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking 88 88 people found this article helpful Limitations of Ad Hoc Mode Wireless Networking Should you use infrastructure mode instead? by Bradley Mitchell Writer An MIT graduate who brings years of technical experience to articles on SEO, computers, and wireless networking. our editorial process LinkedIn Bradley Mitchell Updated on March 12, 2020 John Lamb / Getty Images Home Networking The Wireless Connection Routers & Firewalls Network Hubs ISP Broadband Ethernet Installing & Upgrading Wi-Fi & Wireless Tweet Share Email Wi-Fi wireless networks run in either of two alternative modes, called "infrastructure" and "ad hoc" mode. Ad hoc mode lets a Wi-Fi network function without a central wireless router or access point. While they are a viable alternative to infrastructure mode in a few situations, ad hoc networks suffer from several key limitations that require special consideration. Limitations of Ad Hoc Mode Wireless Networking Before attempting to use ad hoc mode wireless connections, consider the following limitations: Security: Wi-Fi devices in ad hoc mode offer minimal security against unwanted incoming connections. For example, ad hoc devices cannot disable SSID broadcast like infrastructure mode devices can. Attackers generally will have little difficulty connecting to your ad hoc device if they get within signal range.Signal strength monitoring: The normal operating system software indications seen when connected in infrastructure mode are unavailable in ad hoc mode. Without the ability to monitor the strength of signals, maintaining a stable connection can be difficult, especially when the ad hoc devices change their positions.Speed: Ad hoc mode often runs slower than infrastructure mode. Specifically, Wi-Fi networking standards like 802.11g require only that ad hoc mode communication supports 11 Mbps connection speeds: Wi-Fi devices supporting 54 Mbps or higher in infrastructure mode will drop back to a maximum of 11 Mbps when you run them as ad hoc.