The term wireless networking refers to technology that enables two or more computers to communicate using standard network protocols, but without network cabling. This can be broadly be classified into the following categories:
Infrastructure-based Networks: Infrastructure-based networks have an infrastructure node (IN) in the centre and several nodes around it. The IN keeps track of all the nodes in its cell. The routing (only in the case of multi-hop networks) is centralized and is hence efficient and quick. On the downside, if there are too many nodes, the network will be flooded with control packets (again in the case of multi-hop networks). A very big disadvantage of single-hop wireless networks is the transmission range.
Infrastructure-less Networks: Infrastructure-less networks have distributed routing, i.e., each node has some limited information about the network topology. Therefore, route discovery is slow and introduces a lot of network overhead.
Hybrid Networks: Hybrid wireless networks combine the properties of both Infrastructure-based and Infrastructure-less networks.