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30 September 2011

AskMecha: How can I see how many wireless connections a router can handle? Hey folks. I know this is simple question but I can't seem to figure it out (yay for not knowing hardware). Is there an easy way to see if the router I have can handle 50 wireless connections? I know the usual is 25 but I don't know how to verify that or not. The router is a netgear wireless-N300, wnr2000. And bonus question: what mbps should such a router be connected to? says Speed - up to 300 Mbps. It doesn't specify # of connections. If you expect a router to handle up to 50 connections, you need a much better router. You may have to do a lot more configuring and management, and a low-cost home device can't do it.

This Cisco page, chosen pretty randomly, shows specs for Maximum VPN connections, which is not equal to Maximum Connections.

Uplink? There's No Such Thing as too much bandwidth. What will it be used for? Will anybody be hosting a server? For basic business needs, with 25 - 50 users, see what kind of Business Class service is available. Reliability is just as important as speed.

posted by theora55 30 September | 16:02
My husband, Mr. Network Guy, says:

There are a few different ways to look at this. It really depends on how many of those users will be on line at once and how much traffic they will use.

The fastest way to get your answer is by looking at your subnet. If you go to a command prompt (by clicking on Run and typing CMD and pressing enter) you should be able to type ipconfig (enter) and it will show you your IP address and Subnet. If your subnet shows, that means your router can give out 254 IP addresses to users. If they are all doing light surfing and not downloading a lot of files, the router should be able to handle quite a few at once.

The uplink refers to the actual speed that the internet provider is giving you. When the router handles 300 Mbps, that is usually WAY larger than the 1.5 Mbps to 15 or so Mbps you get from your average cable or DSL modem. This means that if you transfer a file between two users connected to the router, files should pass at up to 300 Mbps (due to the nature of wireless you'll probably only get half that speed but still 150 Mbps is a lot of bandwidth). Now think about passing that file between users across the internet, in that scenario the file will only transfer at the 1.5 to 15 Mbps speed. So the thing that makes the 300 Mbps number important is if you're going to be doing a lot of work that is just interoffice(home) rather than over the internet.

I have worked for Internet service providers and I've had customers with offices of 30 to 50 people all using a 1.5Mbps DSL connection. I would tend to think that it would take a while for you to wait for your turn to load a web page with that many users on at once but it can be done. I have known people who use things like Xbox live that uses up a lot of connection speed where it slows things down to just have a 2nd laptop going to Facebook.

I'd say give it a try and if then bandwidth is too slow, consider more bandwidth from the carrier or if the router fails and has problems dropping users, look into a CISCO 800 series router. They're made for smaller offices and can usually be had on ebay and such for under 300.00.

To get back to your original point, I think that there is a limit to the active wireless addresses on some routers. I think it varies. I have a Netgear and I don't remember seeing a setting for it though. I think it can accept all 254. I'll play around and see if I can get a better answer on that.
posted by Madamina 30 September | 19:49
I'm moving to Seattle in February. || Points.