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How many concurrent wireless clients will a D-Link WBR-1310 support? What about a comparably priced Linksys router?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First and the highest limit is the range of addresses the subnet has. Most home routers are limited to a class C address which gives 254 addresses, one of which is used by the router itself, which gives 253 clients. However you are far more likely to run into limits based on either the amount of bandwidth available or the devices NAT table. The bandwidth limit could be your broadband connection, or the wireless bandwidth if lots of your clients are wireless. Remember the 54mbs quoted for 802.11g is half duplex and shared by ALL clients on that access point. You have 10 clients all using it at the same time and you are down to a MAX THEORETICAL bandwidth of 5mbs half duplex. Probably closer to 3 in real life, and that isn't taking into account the impact of all those collisions is going to be having.
The NAT table in the router doesn't care about how many clients you have connected, it does care about how many open connections you have. 1 torrent running will normally fill or nearly fill a domestic routers NAT table. If you look on Small Net Builder they have router charts, one of the things they test is how connections the thing can handle, I suggest you take a look.

So, the short answer is that the router will flawlessly handle 250 devices, so long as none of them is doing anything. The busier the clients get, the less it can handle.

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Unless the manufacturer states or limits the device otherwise, the connections are basically restricted to two things. Ports and IPs. If you're going wireless, then I'd day it is restricted to how many IPs are available in your IP range such as in DHCP (192.168.1.1-192.168.1.254 etc). If you're going physical, then it is limited to your Switch ports.

Some routers have settings to restrict them to less or more connections though.

Dlink WBR 1310 Manual

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note physical ports aren't a limiter since you can uplink another switch to add more ports. –  quack quixote Dec 7 '09 at 19:33
    
That is why I said: "If you're going physical, then it is limited to your Switch ports." Thus, depending on how many switches you're going to use. Either way, you're still limited to 254 IPs, unless you subnet. –  AdminAlive Dec 7 '09 at 20:32

Your limited by the amount of memory and processor power. I would estimate 25-50 clients at maximum. You are limited to a single subnet (254 users), but I would suggest that the processor demand would cause performance to be unacceptable in that situation.

An 8 or 16 power router, should be able to support at least 8 or 16 connections, plus some for wireless...

Quack is right, the physical ports are not a limit, but overall it's a good guideline...

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