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I'm wondering how I can calculate the theoretical limit of WIFI networks under these conditions. Does anyone know how I can calculate these?

  1. n computers - one computer is multicasting
  2. n computers - one computer sending packets to all the others
  3. n computers - all computers multicasting to each other
  4. n computers - all computers sending individual packets to each other

Essentially, I want to find the limits when the number of computers are changing and how fast packets are being sent.

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The speed is a function of serialization delay and frequency width. For 802.11n there are a lot of different types of Layer 1 signaling/timing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n-2009#Data_rates

You need to figure out which one you are using and what the configured Guard Interval is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guard_interval

Doing this will allow you to calculate the amount of time required to switch receivers/modes and allow you to calculate the usable bandwidth. This study is focused on timing for 802.11 devices and covers the details of signaling on the physical layer if you have questions about that:

http://bridgingthelayers.org/docs/murray_An_Analysis_of_Handoff_in_Multiband.pdf

Also be aware that some wireless gear has configurations to limit multicast traffic and you may need to set it higher in order to get maximum throughput.

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