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Smart Grid (SG) is the current trend of the power grids in all the world, it will provide more robustness, efficiency, security, reliability, flexibility and quality of service than the current grids that have a lot of time without significant changes in their infrastructure. SG lets self-healing, modern bidirectional communications, more interaction of the users who can decide and know about their energy consume, remote monitoring of electrical variables, it facilitates the distributed energy generation, the use of renewable energy resources, modern control technologies and it will foster the development of new storage systems of energy and information, for these reasons it needs more risk assessment systems. This paper reviews the state of the art related with SG and it describes some developed standards, the wired and wireless communication systems used in the grid and the characteristics of different technologies in the Home Area Network (HAN), Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) like ZigBee, WiFi and Broadband over Power Line (BPL). Also, it describes the challenges and initiatives in SG in the world, the concept of advanced metering infrastructure, the impacts in the components in the power systems, some software models for SGs, the potential advantages and the barriers to implement a SG, and it makes a comparison with the traditional power grid.