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My router is broadcasting multiple virtual wireless networks (4 total) and I have seen a lot about multiple networks being on one channel causing clogging of that channel.

Since I'm broadcasting virtual wireless networks from a single device, will they cause network clogging or interference for other physical APs using the same channel?

Will it cause clogging for devices connected to my AP?

A small part of my thinking here is that (other than my actual uses for the 4 networks) having these 4 virtual wireless networks broadcasting will discourage others from using the channel i'm in, thus hopefully reducing the chance of interference from a newly setup AP (assuming it's owner is smart enough to change the channel).

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

About the only traffic an idle AP is sure to send is beacons. Modern 802.11 beacons average about 256 bytes in length in my experience, and are typically sent 10 times a second. If this is a 2.4GHz AP set to use the slow old 1Mbps signaling rate for beacons, that would mean it's using 2.6% of the channel bandwidth. This is kind of a worst case calculation.

So worst case, an idle AP uses only about 2.6% of the channel bandwidth. So 4 idle APs is only 11% of the channel bandwidth, in a fairly bad case. Definitely not "clogged".

We tell you to avoid using channels that have lots of other APs because we assume those other APs are not idle, but each have a household's worth of wireless traffic running over them.

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thank you very much for the information, that's very helpful - one last bit of information i'd like to know: since im broadcasting virtual wireless networks (vwlan1 - vwlan 3) that all technically come from the same physical AP, would this affect my primary wireless network (wlan0) in the way you described above? – Eric Nemchik Jun 8 '13 at 17:01
If it's on the same channel it would. – jpaugh Jun 8 '13 at 18:24

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