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In this paper we describe a method to adequately compute energy spent in ad hoc networks. Many of the protocols investigations take into consideration only the energy consumed during transmission, which represents the lower contribution. To make more realistic the overall energy computation we consider the energy costs associated with all possible radio states: transmitting, receiving and idle. Furthermore, we introduce a power consumption model depending on the specific device. Finally, we consider a limited initial energy level so that some hosts can exhaust battery during network lifetime. We performed intensive simulations, by considering OLSR and DSR as routing protocols. Results show the strong difference in terms of final energy spent and percentage of died hosts if receiving and idle states energy consumptions are considered.