Recently, many researchers have become interested in MANET (Mobile Ad-hoc NETworks) to create a self-configurable network without an existing communication infrastructure. This type of networks could be widely deployed in our society for inter-vehicle communication, rescue operations or entertaining applications. One of the most important points in a MANET is to decide the best routing protocol to handle its applications. The performances of a routing protocol are strongly connected with the environmental characteristics making its choice a challenging task. In this research, the results of a detailed performance evaluation on several MANET routing protocols working under realistic environments are presented. The routing protocols, mobility models and other aspects are explained and discussed in order to accurately use them to represent real-life conditions.