The average home in the United Kingdom and the United States contains about 10 smart devices, according to data from Statista.
However, this figure is expected to skyrocket as more and more appliances from smart speakers and security cameras to washers and even kettles incorporate Wi-Fi.
There’s a good chance you’ve wondered how many devices can connect to your broadband router at once and what would happen if you exceeded the router’s capacity.
To put it briefly, this is something that varies from router to router.
Most Routers Can Support 250 or So Devices
A home router may, in theory, support up to 254 clients simultaneously. The reason for this is that it can only give out IP addresses between 192.168.1.0 and 192.168.1.255.
Even though your home router might assign a different address, the concept is the same. However, not all possible IPv4 addresses in the range of 0-255 are currently available.
As a first step, the router needs an IP address, and it’s usually configured to assign from a smaller pool, saving some for devices with fixed IP needs which means it gets the same address every time the router or device is restarted, essentially.
What’s the Real-World Number of Devices You Can Connect To The Same Router?
That’s the principle, anyway; in practice, most routers have a far lower limit. Again, verify with the manufacturer to be sure, but it might be anything from 10 very rare to 150.
Because all nodes in a mesh network share the same IP address range, the theoretical limit on the number of connected devices remains the same.
While a single router may be able to handle 32 devices, three router nodes in a mesh system can each handle 32 devices, for a grand total of nearly 100.
It’s improbable that even the most tech-heavy smart houses will have that many devices for quite some time.
There are also home routers that can support more than a hundred gadgets requiring an online connection.
Amazon’s Eero claims to accommodate 128 devices per node, whereas Linksys’s Wi-Fi 6 Velop can handle 50.
It’s crucial to realize that the compatibility of your Wi-Fi router and devices is also influenced by the type of Wi-Fi they support.
Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 are the latest generations of Wi-Fi, and they’re built to support more devices online at once.
Your router and all of your connected gadgets should ideally be able to communicate using the latest Wi-Fi standard, but in practice, you’ll likely have a mishmash of models.
So, your router has to work hard to accommodate everyone who needs to use the internet at the same time.
Many routers have a feature that lets you give certain devices priority on the network.
Prioritizing activities where interruptions or delays will cause you the most frustration include video streaming and online gaming.
However, it is not absolutely crucial that a file or web page downloads quickly.
How Many Wired Devices Can I Connect To A Router?
Most routers support three types of networks: wired Ethernet, wireless 2.4GHz and 5GHz, and combined.
Do not assume that your router only supports four wired devices since there are only four ports; each of them may have its own limitations.
Each port can be used to connect an Ethernet hub, which can add up to four more ports.
When you run out of ports for your wired devices, this is a simple and inexpensive solution.
In theory, there are sufficient IP addresses for 250 wired devices to be connected to a single router.