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Tri-Band Router reached the maximum number of connected devices, now what?

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wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Don't forget that your WIFI speed will only be as fast as the slowest device on the WIFI.
For exp: a device with 802.11a 54Mbs, 802.11b 11Mbs, 802.11g 54Mbs, 802.11n 600Mbs and 802.11ac 1Gbs or better.
So if you have an old smart phone with 802.11b then no matter if you have 802.11ac, ax or xx, your speed will be slow as molasses. :)

You are saying that if I have an all wifi G \ N network, but there is one wireless B 11mbps device, all devices will run @ 11mbps max??? I've never heard that one before.

this is only partially true... it depends on the hardware, i have devices that run on AC, N and G and they all run at their full speeds. I think that was more of a thing on older hardware, and isn't so much in newer hardware.

example, my daughter's pc is always connected it's a wireless N device which gets a maximum of like 56mbs (real speed not rated speed) and my cell phone connected to the same access point gets 200mbs + while both devices are connected.
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
It's because it is a home consumer device, 99.9999% of homes aren't even going to have 32 devices connected to the wifi.

True*, but the hardware is perfectly capable of handling much more than that. Arbitrary artificial limits on Wi-Fi connections are like ISPs that charge extra for the privilege of actually getting the Mbps you pay for rather than a few GBpm.

Find a WRT32X on eBay, put OpenWRT on it, and enjoy software that isn't intentionally crippled.

*At least in the past. Today, a family home might have a smart washer, smart dryer, smart dishwasher, smart fridge, smart TV, smart window A/C, a dozen Wi-Fi smart lightbulbs, several phones and tablets, maybe a couple laptops, an Amazon Echo or Google Home or Apple whatever-the-heck-they're-called or three... Lots of things sitting on idle connections in a new home with new appliances.
 

wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
True*, but the hardware is perfectly capable of handling much more than that. Arbitrary artificial limits on Wi-Fi connections are like ISPs that charge extra for the privilege of actually getting the Mbps you pay for rather than a few GBpm.

Find a WRT32X on eBay, put OpenWRT on it, and enjoy software that isn't intentionally crippled.

*At least in the past. Today, a family home might have a smart washer, smart dryer, smart dishwasher, smart fridge, smart TV, smart window A/C, a dozen Wi-Fi smart lightbulbs, several phones and tablets, maybe a couple laptops, an Amazon Echo or Google Home or Apple whatever-the-heck-they're-called or three... Lots of things sitting on idle connections in a new home with new appliances.

EarthDog made another thread in relation to this one to see how much even the average tech enthusiast has let alone the average household, so far I dont believe anyone has even hit 30 devices yet.

https://www.overclockers.com/forums...ny-WiFi-devices-are-connected-to-your-network

This is the first time i've ever read about anyone actually hitting the limit myself, and i've been in the IT field for 10 years lol
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Maybe it's a generational thing?

You know how you know you're officially old? Your say things like "back in my day" we had less than 32 Wi-Fi devices... :D






I just installed 8 [eight] new Wi-Fi power sockets yesterday.

Now with my phone I press one button and the music goes bow-chick-a-bow-wow and it's all like BAM! :cool:


bowchickabowwow.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I installed some more WiFi power outlets to set timers for Room Air Fresheners on.
This allowed me to reach the limit on the Extender device which is now used as an Access Point.

How I concluded I reached the limit:
I could not add additional WiFi devices nor log into the admin portal.
I could not log into the admin portal even through an Ethernet cable (!) It seems to be connecting through to the main router instead of the Access Point when connected directly to the Access Point. Cannot log in because I am not on the Access Point's connection.


By physically disconnecting one WiFi device, I was able to log in, presumably because one last spot was freed up?


This enabled me to see all connected devices.

The access point now lists eighteen (18) WiFi Devices attached.
It also lists 19 Wired Devices. But they are devices running on the main router - not the Access Point.

Since 18 is way less than 32, it appears it is not counting only WiFi devices before reaching the limit?
I wonder if using it as an EXTENDER and not an ACCESS POINT - if that would give it more room, for more than 18 WiFi devices?

This is a complex question, I understand that most people do not handle this many WiFi devices but it sure would be nice to gain understanding on how this works.



Additional Info: Logging into the main router, the number of attached devices listed is 67.
This includes one Access Point and one mini Extender. And it includes devices currently not connected on the Network. I wonder why NETGEAR lists things that are not attached as well?
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
On the important topic of device number limitations:

One of the most popular inexpensive Extenders in the world is this one:
https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/range-extender/tl-wa855re/

They don't tell you that it has a hard limit on the number of devices that can be connected to it:
It's 8.

They're also selling this model up:
https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/range-extender/re220/
It has a hard limit of 20 - but they want you to find that out the hard way - some stores disclose it - but not the manufacturer.

No store I saw discloses the hard limit of 8 on the most popular model... I hit the limit of 8 and found threads of people talking about the hard limits manufacturer imposes.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
You really need either a Mesh system or equipment like Ubiquiti dude...
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Can you post how both offer advantages.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
If you have time, post more details on how Mesh helps. I think you posted earlier that Ubiquiti is more reliable, as in, it doesn't need to be reset.

What I've done to solve my problem can easily be changed to go with your advice instead.
Because I had this 8 device mini extender, for which I paid eleven dollars for:
https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/range-extender/tl-wa855re/

And I simply got this for $24 last night because it has a 20 device limit instead of an 8 device limit and a better antenna:
https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/range-extender/re220/

My point was that manufacturers do not tell you that one has an 8 device limit and the other has a 20 device limit, anywhere (!) they-do-not-mention-this... :mad:


But your point is about an overall different approach to my simply using an Access point and a mini extender.

The Ubiquiti is probably a great idea.
I have a specific situation where the vast majority of devices simply need one single pulse to turn them on and off, and do so sometimes only once a week, not more. So it stands to reason that someone streaming high def signals continuously would absolutely be interested in Ubiquiti.

I'd like to hear more on the Mesh alternative however. What does it do different?
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
A mesh allows for better handoff between the access points preventing devices from [hopefully] holding onto access points for too long even when their signal is low or dropping off entirely and finding a new higher power access points. It generally allows devices to be better balanced between them. The interface/controller for the devices is more powerful, I'm sure you can do some youtube/review/googling to see what I am referring to as others with FAR more knowledge than I have put more time and effort into explaining this than I can in a one-off reply on this forum.

The devices that we spoke of (and I in the very first reply to this thread, mind you) allow for far more concurrent connections (depending on the model of course) than general low-end consumer hardware. Ubiquiti [and the like] offer a prosumer approach where they give enough options and choices that are generally found on much more expensive datacenter hardware at at least closer to realistic prices. For example, a high end consumer wireless router can run you upwards of $300. Two access points and a router from Ubiquiti will run about the same but offer much more power and customization.

If you don't want to get into the weeds with it (knowing your personality over the last 15 years I don't think you are afraid of doing so) it's at least worth you doing your due dilligence on the option.
 

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Considering what you spent on the 30 - 40+ IOT \ smart devices, some prosumer gear seems more than appropriate. But i'm with ya on "why?", I'd want to know why also.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I have been adding WiFi power sockets steadily and now for the first time, I am encountering the need to reboot the main router, ATMINSIDE mentioned the need for this earlier in the thread, but I never noticed the need for this until now.

Eventually I will go with a more professional solution, but everything pretty much worked until now. I mean going pro is an expensive proposition, I was going to wait a little before seeing new advances in router tech in 2021/22.

Question: What if I programmed a WiFi plug to regularly reboot the Router at 4am every how long? Once a month? Once every couple of weeks?
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Question: What if I programmed a WiFi plug to regularly reboot the Router at 4am every how long? Once a month? Once every couple of weeks?

Nobody but your router can tell you this. It will depend on how frequently issues occur.
 

wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
My routers / access points have always had an option somewhere to reboot once a week or once a day at any given time.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I hope with that many WiFi IoT devices that you have them on a separate VLAN...it's not good to mix IoT devices with your main networking equipment.

Me personally, I went with Z-Wave for my home automation. It operates in the 900 MHz ISM band (so it doesn't clog your WiFi) and is an intrinsic mesh system (i.e. it meshes with itself and you don't have to do anything to make it mesh).

My personal opinion on Netgear is very low...always had problems with their stuff. Overinflated marketing promises and underpowered hardware.

I made the switch to Ubiquiti UniFi a while back, and love it! I run:
- Cable Modem ---> UniFi Dream Machine Pro (router)
- UDM Pro 10 Gbps link ---> UniFi 10 Gbps core switch
--- I run 2 NAS devices and a PC off the 10 Gbps core switch, with 10 Gbps link to UDM Pro (the UDM Pro is also my Video Camera NVR)
- UniFi 10 Gbps core switch --> 10 Gbps link to 24 port 1 Gbps PoE switch that supplies wired ethernet to the whole house
- 3 UniFi WiFi 6 Access points (powered off the 24 port PoE switch)

The nice thing about going all UniFi is that you manage your network through their controller (which also runs in the UDM Pro in my case). When you add or make changes to your network configuration (VLANS, WiFi SSIDs, etc), you make the change in one location and all of the networking hardware reconfigures itself...versus having to go to multiple device webpages.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Yes I am heading on your direction JrClocker.

When you look at the types of devices that you have, in comparison to me, massive amounts of data are being transmitted (in comparison to me). Does the volume of data influence your thinking on this topic, when you compare it to mine:
One single computer with a maximum 700 kbps download speed with light usage.

Does the fact that most of the rest are single pulse ON/OFF devices change anything when approaching example A, you vs. example B, my setup.


In other words, does it matter what is actually in use vs. sheer number of devices?
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
A long winded rant...but you asked for it - hehe! :D

For my personal situation when setting up my network, it was more about reliability than anything else. My house is 3,500 sqft on 1 floor. The internet connection (and hence the traditional router/WiFi device) is on the SE side of the house. About midway through the house, WiFi connection would be spotty. WiFi was terrible on the NW side of the house.

This was a number of years ago, with pretty low data usage (as the network was not reliable enough to be used).

My first attempt to improve this was using MoCA (see the link in my signature). This worked great for me, and I took an old router/WiFi device, put it in access point mode, and was able to provide internet throughout the house. However, as the two router/WiFi devices were not "connected" to each other, I had different SSIDs for each side of this house.

This worked out better...and the network started to be used more heavily. And now we were at different limitations that the commercial items could do for me. This was very similar to what you were facing...I stared out my smart house with WiFi devices, because that is what I understood. As I learned more about the security pitfalls of having WiFi IoT devices, having to add "security patches" when I really don't know much about the company making the device, and learning that a DoS attack was conducted through hacks into these types of WiFi devices...I wasn't comfortable keeping them on the same network that I use to do my online banking at home.

However, my family was "addicted" to the improved reliability of the network in the house.

I poked around looking at Mesh WiFi type systems...even asking this group their thoughts on an Orbi device. ATM convinced me to look into Ubiquity UniFi products...and the rest is history.

My UniFi network has grown since then...with the 10 Gbps backbone being the latest in the past 1.5 years or so.

I used to backup my PC to a hard drive that was in the PC and think I was safe.

Now, my PC, Wife's PC, stepson's PC, etc. backup to a RAID array in one of my NAS devices...and this RAID array NAS backups to a second RAID array NAS device. While this is still not 100%, it's a much better situation than relying on a single hard drive to backup all my stuff.

Now - back to the WiFi IoT stuff. Do some Google-Fu and look at the security issues with these (past and potential)...especially keeping them on the same network that you access your financial information on (assuming you use online accounts for banking, investments, etc.)

At a MINIMUM you need to put these devices on a separate VLAN...so that their internet facing capabilities do not directly connect to your main network. I am not sure if your current hardware can do this...but I am 100% sure that the UniFi hardware can. It's easy to manage, and has been 100% rock solid stable for me. I am not sure what the dorks who complain on the internet are doing, but I follow the UniFi guides and the stuff just works...and is stable as hell.

And now my family is even more addicted to the speed and reliability.

My Wife (a school teacher) had to teach classes virtually at the start of COVID. My stepson had to take classes virtually during the same time. My youngest daughter was living with me while she was just starting her first real job...she had to work from home. The UniFi network swallowed all of these bandwidth and usage without any issues...not even a minor one.

I never planned for this scenario...I just built out my network like a good Overlockers.com person would...adding stuff that I had no real use-case for...but then life happened and I had a use case.

A long winded rant...but you asked for it - hehe! :D

Also - check out the Smart Home link in my signature. Z-Wave and ZigBee are far superior to anything that you can get with a WiFi device...and much more secure. I have found a new home with Hubitat...it's been a great experience for me. My basic smart house strategy is:

- Locks (including garage doors) are Z-Wave...for reliability and security
- Switches, outlets, etc. are Z-Wave for reliability
- Sensors (motion sensors, leak sensors, etc) are ZigBee for their speed of response
- Pretty color changing bulbs, lights, etc. are ZigBee (Philips Hue is ZigBee) for the same reason

I have 1 WiFi outlet that I have kept. I use that to automate the on/off of my exterior Christmas Lights...it doesn't seem to mind our mild Florida winters...and they are cheap enough that I can throw it away if it breaks and get a new one.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
That's a great post JrC. And leads me to have a project this weekend to finally make that separate VLAN. We dont have many IOT devices (just a few) but why risk it.