In this paper, we propose the clock-sampling mutual network synchronization (CSMNS) as a non-hierarchical and mutual network synchronization algorithm for wireless ad hoc networks. CSMNS shows superior performance to the IEEE 802.11 timing synchronization function in terms of accuracy, scalability and robustness. An overall view of the differences between the two approaches is presented. CSMNS is compatible with the beacon messages used in the IEEE 802.11 standard, and it is PHY transparent. CSMNS-RMN (rotating master node) is proposed in order to further reduce beacon collisions and overhead. Stability, is a factor that must be considered in CSMNS. However, values of the proportional gain below 0.3 suggest a good stability performance. The use of larger Cmax values in more dense networks and/or the use of techniques that randomly prioritize the transmission of beacons can further reduce the overhead and risks of instability.