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Assuming that there is a access point(hotspot) covering a dozen of houses. Besides, these houses also have their own wireless network. So, if everyone in each house connect to the Internet at the same time, will problems happen? The performance of this network will be reduced or not?

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migrated from serverfault.com Sep 10 '10 at 2:43

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3 Answers 3

It's not completely clear from your question what your exact configuration. If there is a single Internet connection shared between all houses, then there may be bandwidth issues for the "outlying" houses. For example:

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In this example, the house with the router and direct Internet connection will enjoy the best response. The performance in each of the outlying houses will depend on the speed of their wireless links with the central house and how much bandwidth everyone else is using.

The second possible scenario that I get from the original question is where each house has its own Internet connect and its own wireless access point plus they communicate wirelessly between one another. This might look something like:

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In this scenario, each house will enjoy Internet bandwidth that is not impeded in any way by what the other houses are doing. In addition, however, the houses will be able to "share" resources between one another. One neighbor may have, for example, a central file storage server, or a streaming media server.

If I haven't fully answered your question, I'd be happy to elaborate.

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If the access point(hotspot) covering the dozen houses is the uplink to the Internet for those dozen houses then they will all be sharing the bandwidth provided by the hotspot, and thus if everyone is online at the same time it's likely that performance will be degraded. For example, if each house is gaming or downloading media streams at the same time then it's highly likely that performance will be degraded.

If the wireless networks at each house are all separate and connect to the Internet on their own then it depends on what kind of Internet connection they have. If they're using a shared segment connection like cable then it's possible they could be degraded a bit, but with the networks today you probably won't notice it.

If they're using a dedicated segment connection like DSL then there is not sharing of the bandwidth and they won't affect each others' performance.

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Overlapping WiFi signals can interfere with each other and degrade performance. Multiple channels are provided to minimize this effect. The best advice for setting up your own WiFi is to choose the channel most distant from your neighbor's channel(s). Since the default channel is 6 and most people never change that, the most likely overlap free channels are 1 and 11 (in the US.)

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