Ad-Hoc Networking

Ad-hoc networks are a (theoretically) quick-and-easy solution for peer-to-peer wireless communication. However, range is limited and operating system support is unreliable when compared to structured wireless networks.

Unfortunately, due to security concerns, undergraduate University networks prohibit direct machine-to-machine communication, which is essential for real-time control. We do have permission to use the full capabilities of ad-hoc networking within the HCI lab, just be sure to exactly follow these instructions to minimize disruption.

Contents

Quick Start
Windows
Mac OS X
Linux



Quick Start


You'll need to create the network and assign the server machine a static IP address for convenience. Depending on your operating system, client machines may also need a static IP--DHCP (automatic address assignment) is not available on an ad-hoc network.

Note: You must use Channel 1! It is the least congested in our region of CSB; other channels may disrupt network traffic.



Windows


Windows grudgingly supports ad-hoc networking, though you must manually configure your IP address or Windows will continually search for the nonexistant DHCP server.

Server
  1. Open the Network and Sharing Center in Control Panel.
  2. Select Setup a new connection or network and choose the wireless ad hoc option.
  3. Enter a name for your network. For simplicity, do not require encryption.
  4. Open the Network Connections window. (Easy method: Start -> Run -> ncpa.cpl)
  5. View the properties for your active wireless adapter.
  6. Open the properties window for the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) list item.
  7. Tick the Use the following IP radio button and enter the following information:
IPv4 Address: 1.1.1.1
  • Subnet Mask: 225.225.225.0
  • Default Gateway: (blank)
  1. Return to your wireless adapter properties, and click Configure to launch the hardware utility that came with your networking card. Change the ad-hoc channel to channel 1. Windows alone does not allow you to configure the channel, but on most systems, the setting can be toggled here. (You may have to poke around--try the advanced tab if you have one.)
Client
  1. Connect to the network you just created.
  2. Follow steps 4-7 above to set a static IP--but be sure to choose a different IP.



Mac OS X


Congratulations, you picked the right OS! Ad-hoc networking between Macs is almost seamless.
Server
  1. Click the AirPort status icon in the menu bar, and choose "Create Network."
  2. Enter a name of your choosing, and select Channel 1.
  3. For simplicity, do not password-protect your network.
  4. Open Network Preferences, and open the Advanced Settings dialog for the AirPort.
  5. Under the TCP/IP tab, choose to configure IPv4 manually. Enter the following settings:
IPv4 Address: 1.1.1.1
  • Subnet Mask: 225.225.225.0
  • Router: (blank)
  1. Click OK, then Apply your changes.
Client
  1. Click the AirPort status icon in the menu bar, and choose the network you just created. (It may take a second or two to show up.)
  2. Set a custom static IP if you wish, as per the server directions. Mac OS X will automatically assign you a static IP, though not necessarily a memorable one.



Linux


Both GNOME (2 and 3) and KDE have support for ad-hoc networking, but we unfortunately don't have detailed instructions. Likely similar to Mac OS X.