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I'm trying to understand where my limitations might be in terms of users on an internet connection.

Say I hook up a Airport Extreme (which supports up to 50 users) on a basic home DSL connection. Would I in fact be able to connect 50 users or would I run into issues because the connection itself couldn't handle it?

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Party at Susan's house! – KCotreau Jun 7 '11 at 11:53
No seriously, is this a theoretical question, or do you have something in mind? What are you actually trying to do? – KCotreau Jun 7 '11 at 11:54

The 50 user would be able to connect. However if lets say 5 are surfing and a few other want to download some files it would be very slow for all. If they all would try to use the connection at the same time you would have a very slow or even unavailable network connection from the users point of view. 50 users would be to many for a simple dsl. But the network itself would theoretically be able to handle all 50 users.

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Although the Airport Extreme may really support up to 50 users, you should analyze the bandwidth limitations of the ISP, the router and the modem. The hardware specs should help you there, although they are normally somewhat lower in reality.

You should also sum up the user demands. For example, if several users will be watching youtube at HD quality, you would certainly need a very fast Internet line and top-of-the-line equipment.

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