- The number of devices you connect to your network can affect its speed. Even with unlimited data plans, there’s still a limit as to the number of devices you can connect to your router and still enjoy a seamless connection.
- Most wireless routers available in the market today claim that they can support around 250 devices all at once including cellular phones, computers, cameras, smart appliances and other WiFi-enabled devices.
- In a home setting, a single wireless access point can accommodate several devices, but the amount of load it can handle is not limitless. Thus, it can cause some issues to the user.
One of the things internet users fail to recall is that the number of devices you connect to your network can affect its speed. Even with unlimited data plans, there’s still a limit as to the number of devices you can connect to your router and still enjoy a seamless connection. But how many exactly is too many?
To answer your question, we’ve created a quick guide on modern-day routers and shed some light on how you can use it at their full capacity.
How Many Devices Can a Router Handle?
Most wireless routers available in the market today claim that they can support around 250 devices all at once. These are not limited to cellular phones and computers. This may include cameras, smart appliances and other WiFi-enabled devices. However, is this really possible? Will a user experience any issue with this many devices connected to their router?
Ideally, a home router functions as a single wireless access point. To be able to accommodate more devices, say in an office setting, installing multiple access points is necessary to be able to expand their wireless network coverage. However, even with several access points available, each point has a limit to the number of connections and load that it can handle.
In a home setting, a single wireless access point can accommodate several devices, but the amount of load it can handle is not limitless. Thus, it can cause some issues to the user.
For example, a WiFi router that has a rating of 300Mbps can accommodate 100 devices. However, it can only offer 3 Mbps to each of these 100 devices. This obviously compromises the user experience.
Some routers are wise enough to allocate available bandwidth to the device that needs it. This is why a computer can get connected to your home WiFi without problems even if 10 other devices are connected simultaneously. However, a smartphone connected to the same WiFi router, alongside the computer may have a hard time loading images.
The Limits of WiFi Network Scaling
In a single home network, all devices connected to the router share a single internet connection. More devices connected can degrade your network’s performance. Even a couple of devices simultaneously downloading a video file or streaming a movie can quickly max out the capacity of a shared internet link.
To resolve this issue, you need to limit the number of devices connected to the internet. For a home internet connection, about 10 to 20 devices tops let you go online without latency and connectivity issues.
Another solution would be installing a second router or access point to the home network to distribute the load to a second device. Adding more access points allows more devices to be supported by a single internet network.
An increase in bandwidth can also help improve the network's potential in handling the demand. If you need more devices connected, upgrade to unlimited data plans or a higher speed tier.
Finding the Right Internet Plan for Heavy Users
Theoretically, the maximum speed of a band is divided into the number of devices connected to the network. For a router with a 2.4GHz band with a speed of 500Mbps, 10 devices connected can potentially reach a maximum speed of 50Mbps.
However, in reality, a router can never really reach the 500Mbps speed. Thus, the speed shared among 10 connected devices decreases too. To enjoy the maximum potential that your network offers, try limiting the number of devices connected or get an internet plan upgrade.
If you need help finding the right internet plan that can cater to all the devices you have at home, you’ve come to the right place. For years, Compare Broadband has been helping households and businesses find the best deals on internet plans that suit their every need. Call us on our hotline for a quick consultation — it’s free!