Define Wireless Network Simulator: Network simulation is used to visualize the result of more than applications for sharing information from one person to another person without having any wire that is known as wireless technology. For example, traditionally we use LAN line (wired) connection for communicating with others but now we using mobile phones this is the best example for wireless which can be shown using any network simulator. This wireless technology saves our time and happily makes life. So, this is mandatory to know about this wireless technology.

“From this article, you can get an idea about wireless network simulator, the taxonomy of simulations, open-source software, and so on.”

           This is providing support for the developer to construct a new network and also simulate the new models. Here, it is necessary to consider the characteristics of both things that are a communication channel and a network node. It also provides a virtual environment for analyzing the performance for various scenarios.

Taxonomy of Simulation

           In recent times, there are more number networks is designed and the problem can be identified. Researchers are putting their effort for construct the best wireless network for the future generation. Simulators mainly concentrate on the possible situation and try to attain it as the final result for getting the better adaptability and also best realistic.

  • Simulation is a basic process that is followed by researchers to analyze the system’s performance. Easy implementation and easy to test of a large number of networks are the main reason for using the simulation process.
  • Here, there are three techniques used to analyze wired and wireless networks. The techniques are,
    • Physical measurement or Testbed measurements
    • Analytical measurements
    • Simulation by devices 

This is the taxonomy of simulation. Then we will discuss some wireless network simulators and their open-source software. Open-source software is also referred to as OSS and software which has a free license. Let’s see about OSS and simulators in a detailed manner.

Top 6 List of Wireless Network Simulator

Wireless Network Simulator and its OSS

           Open-source software means anybody can access the software and be able to modify and study the source code. It is also used in multiple applications through content management, office documentation, web designing, and communication. Here we will discuss some open-source simulators and their features advantages and limitations. The simulators are,


MAThematical LABoratory this is the abbreviation of MATLAB and it gives the software environment that is a very interactive platform for programs.

  • MATLAB is used to construct a test system and generate the waveform.
  • It provides many applications for educators, scientists, researchers, and engineers for technical computing.
  • It also supports the cross-platform operating system.
  • MATLAB is written by a C language structure that is object-oriented programming.
  • It has multiple numbers of comment line functions and also various tools for visualization, measuring, and analysis of the data such as modulation of signaling, digital filtering, and signal processing.


  • It is used to validate and verify the hardware and software implementation.
  • Using MATLAB Digital Signal Processing algorithms have been developed.
  • Also used to create the coding for ASIC, MCUs, Embedded DSPs.
  • Simulate and model the system.

Key Features of MATLAB

  • To improve the quality of the codes it gives some tools so it has the maximum number of performance
  • It also provides visualization and numerical computation of the data

Limitations of MATLAB

  • Extraordinary programming knowledge is mandatory
  • Slow processing speed

These are the basic functionalities of MATLAB. Then we will see about the other simulator that is NS2. This is mainly used for discrete event simulators for both wired and wireless communication. Let us see some other concepts in Network Simulator2.

Network Simulator Version 2 / NS2

  • It has some protocols for wired and wireless communication that as Routing Protocol, TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), and Multicast Protocol.
  • For sensor network simulation SensorSim is used which is developed by the basic from NS2.
  • It has a different model for wireless Network Simulation that is ad-hoc routing protocol like DSR and AODV, radio propagation model, mobility model, mobile IP, and IEEE 802.11 Media Access Control protocol.

Key features of NS2

  • Researchers can easily modify the source code.
  • The result of designing a simulation is closer to reality or good.
  • Designed based on distributed and parallel simulations.
  • It is a cost-free platform that has a large number of models.

Limitations of NS2

           For considering a Wireless sensor network system the scalability is too small because using more than a hundred nodes reduces the scalability of the performance.

           This is the introduction of NS2, features, and limitations of NS2. Then the next simulator we will discuss is QualNet. It is said to be a commercial ad hoc network simulator and mainly developed based on the protocol for GloMoSim by the Scalable Network Technology. Let us see some more points about Qualnet, its features, and simulations.


  • It is an environment for creating new protocols that are made by already existing protocols and designing a wireless and wired network this is used to analyze the performance of that networks.
  • This environment is written by ‘C’ based parsec language is used to develop a GloMoSim.
  • Adding new models and protocols is possible by the developer and extensibility, speed, qualnet are some key features of QUALNET.

Features of QualNet

  • Simulation is easy for both large and heterogeneous networks.
  • Simple to learn and implement.

Limitations of QualNet

  • To the availability of a large number of built-in functions, open-source codes are limited to use.

The above content represents the QualNet simulator. Then we will go through the simulator that is network simulator version 3. This simulator is used to simulate a discrete event network simulator. Let us see some basic concepts, key features, and limitations of the Network simulator version3.

Network Simulator version 3 (NS3)

 Here we have some discussion based on a comparison between NS2 and NS3. 

  • Update models
  • Documented core and modular
  • Attributed system
  • Python scripting with C++ language
  • Integration of virtualization and Testbed
  • Software integration

Key features of NS3

  • The credibility problem can be solved using this simulator.
  • It is also combined with characteristics of agriculture and GTNetS codes.
  • It also has better scalability.
  • It will work better when in the terms of memory usage.
  • It can perform a large-scale network simulation.


  • It cannot work with 802.11 models, IP addressing, multiple interface handling, and internet protocols.
  • It does not support the simulation model because is in a developing stage.

The above points are insisted on the basics of NS3, features, and limitations. Then we will go to see another topic that is OPNET. This is also useful for the discrete event simulator model. The structure of OPNET is developed by the C++ programming structure and it is invented by MIT in the year of 1986. This OPNET simulator is mainly used for commercial purposes. Let us see more details about OPNET.

Optimized Network Engineering Tools

  • It provides a Graphical User Interface to develop the models with their graphical structure.
  • OPNET consist of some modelers that are,
    • Application
    • Design
    • Devices
    • Study of protocol
    • Network. 

This modeler runs in both Linux and Windows XP platforms.

Features of Limitations

  • Less number of protocols is available
  • Because of Object-Oriented design, it have a scalability problem

These are the introduction and basics of OPNET simulator. Finally, under this topic, we will discuss the OMNeT++ simulator. This is providing support for the discrete-based event, extensible, modular, and object-oriented based network simulator. This is work under the license commercial and non – commercial purposes.

Objective Modular Network Testbed in C++ (OMNeT++)

  • It contains various modules with act as atomic behavior and it also runs Window operating system, UNIX OS, Mac OS.
  • This is a widely used simulator for queuing network simulation, Computer networks, and so on.

Features of OMNeT++

  • For wireless sensor networks, both localized and MAC protocols are used.
  • It is a well-defined protocol and a limited number of simulation protocols.
  • Construct based on C++ structure for distributed system and communication networks.

Limitations of OMNeT++

  • Less number of protocols is available.
  • Implementation of a few simulations is cannot be defined.

So far, we will discuss the entire theory of simulation about Wireless Network Simulator, Taxonomy of simulation, open-source software, and simulator. We hope this article is useful for gaining knowledge about wireless network simulators. We have several developing and developed projects based on this kind of topic. For further clarification kindly contact us.