Almost everyone in their household has a Wi-Fi router.
However, as the number of wireless devices grows, difficulties such as sluggish internet speeds are becoming more common.
Too many devices can crash your router, resulting in a malfunctioning home network. Numerous systems claim to accommodate up to 250 devices simultaneously. However, it would be best if you did not have this many connected units since it results in a poor signal.
This article will cover in-depth what your router’s limits are.
Additionally, I will discuss which activities use the most amount of bandwidth.
Is There a Limit to Devices on a Router?
The maximum number of linked devices on most current routers is around 250. However, this is under ideal circumstances. For the modern home, the router’s performance reflects the amount of bandwidth used at one time. When a router approaches its capacity, it sends a weaker signal.
Specific gadgets and online activities may use more bandwidth than others on your home network.
The activities listed below use the most bandwidth on your router:
- Playing games. Multiplayer games transmit information at a fast rate, using more of your router’s network.
- Live streaming. Whether you’re streaming music or Netflix, media consumes a lot of bandwidth and can cause your connection to slow down.
- E-mail. Messages with heavy attachments use more bandwidth than text documents.
- Updates. These files originate from a server and process data at a higher rate.
You may also wonder: Do smart bulbs use a lot of data?
How To Handle Too Many Devices
Consider increasing the Wi-Fi capacity if you are constantly dealing with overloaded networks.
You should also contact your internet service provider and request extra bandwidth-the greater the bandwidth, the larger the data throughput.
However, suppose you are not yet ready to change your network plan. In that case, there are alternative methods to improve your signal when you believe you have too many connected devices.
Here’s how to handle too many devices on your router:
- Move the router to a better location.
- Get rid of unwanted devices.
- Use frequency bands effectively.
- Add more Wi-Fi access points.
- Consider getting Wi-Fi 6.
Let’s take a closer look at these below.
Further reading: How Many Devices Can Connect to 5GHz WiFi? 3 Network Facts
1. Move the Router to a Better Location
Your router’s signal might be obstructed by barriers or in an inconvenient location. Moving your router around using the signal strength as a guide is one technique for finding the best site.
CNET recommends placing your router in the most central spot possible in your home. However, this is true only if the center point is an open place with minimal blockages.
Additionally, do not place the router in a cabinet because this weakens its signal.
2. Get Rid of Unwanted Devices
You can check the settings of your router to see if any unusual devices are accessing your Wi-Fi. All that is required is logging into your router to view the most recent information on which devices are connected.
First, you’ll need the IP address of your router. This number is in the user manual that comes with your unit.
However, if you have lost the brochure, go to routeripaddress.com and search for your model to obtain its address.
Ensure that the bandwidth is only utilized by the persons you trust to connect.
3. Use Frequency Bands Efficiently
If your router is dual-band or tri-band, it has additional channel resources to use.
A router with more radio frequencies is also more capable of responding to connection requests. It can classify and assign devices to separate frequencies, preventing overburden on a single network.
If you have many router frequencies available, try splitting your devices evenly among them. And, while you’re at it, keep in mind which gadgets use the most bandwidth.
It would help if you did not connect all of your streaming gadgets and game consoles to the same network. Consider balancing them with devices that don’t use much of your network, such as laptops and cellphones.
4. Add More Wi-Fi Access Points
Adding more access points or a mesh network helps to reduce network load. For these devices, Wi-Fi interference is minor.
However, keep in mind the available bandwidth of these devices to prevent overloading them as well.
These modules are often incapable of supporting even half the number of devices that your router can.
As a result, an extender is not a viable choice for a house that engages in heavy gaming or downloading.
It is better to buy a second router in such a scenario to provide a more consistent signal.
5. Consider Getting Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi 6 improves your connection to the internet by incorporating more technologies.
This technology works at a rate of 9.6 Gbps. This is a significant increase above Wi-Fi 5’s 3.5 Gbps.
Plus, when a large number of devices are connected, Wi-Fi 6 optimizes network performance.
It reduces latency by about 75%. This implies quicker game downloads, improved upload speeds, and more stable media multitasking for broadcasters.
Today’s average household has much more Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets than it did five years ago.
On average, residences have ten wireless devices, while some have as many as fifty. The increase in household electronics harms your network.
Wi-Fi 6 fixes this issue in the following ways:
- Performing check-ins
- Allowing routers to communicate with a higher number of devices at the same time
- Sending data to several devices via a single broadcast
A crucial aspect to note when changing your router is that the speed of your internet service provider limits your local network. A Wi-Fi 6 router cannot surpass this limit.
Check out: Do Router Antennas Make a Difference? The Surprising Truth
How To Identify an Overloaded Router
When your router is overloaded, you might face login issues as well as other problems. You may also start getting frequent notifications on your connection, and the connected devices will get randomly disconnected.
Here are three of the most common ways to identify an overloaded router:
- Slow connection.
- Reconnecting continuously.
- Check the indicating lights.
1. Slow Connection
As previously stated, a sluggish connection results from an excessive number of devices on your router’s network.
You can verify your network’s speed by utilizing one of the free programs listed below:
To get the most accurate measurement, I suggest checking the connection speed numerous times and on several devices.
On that topic, clean your browser’s cache before evaluating your internet speed. And you should repeat this procedure before each consecutive exam.
Most internet speed tests operate by downloading files and then calculating your internet speed based on the time it takes those files to complete their cycle.
If you run the test several times in a row, the cache may distort the results since the files already exist on your computer.
2. Reconnecting Continuously
If your router is functioning correctly, you will not need to reconnect your device to the home network during the day.
If your connection continues to drop, you may have a router issue.
You may resolve this problem by doing a factory reset on your device. Navigate to your router’s setup page and look for the option to reset.
If this does not address your problem, you will need to replace your router.
3. Check the Indicating Lights
If your router’s lights don’t function, that means your router could have a problem.
You should also know that your router will soon fail if the lights do not flash. This sign also shows that it cannot handle the attached devices.
If the lamps are faint, it is also an indicator that you must change the unit.
Other Reasons Your Router May Crash
Besides overload, here are a few possible explanations:
- Firmware bugs
- IP address conflicts (restarting the router resets these IP assignments).
If your router is under significant pressure due to several users, apps, or devices, it’s time to downsize.
- End inactive programs
- Switch off all unnecessary devices
- Use an Ethernet connection for immovable devices
Suppose you’re looking for more ways to manage your multiple devices on a single network. In that case, Liron Segev has a video that can help: