I run a small coffee shop where we provide free wifi.

The home routers I have supplying my shop's terminals, employees, and customers with internet access seem to be getting overloaded during peak hours... as there could be as many as 50 people in the shop trying to connect, and sometimes you just cannot connect.

So... if your typical apple or d-link router can't service 50 people... what are the airports using? (Where I have seen thousands of people simultaneously using their laptops)


  • As Brtnd's answer notes, multiple APs may get used. One trick is to LOWER the range of your AP. That way, the AP doesn't interfere as much with other APs. Compensate for the lower range offered by each AP. Do that by having more APs. With more APs, each individual AP is less likely to be overloaded. – TOOGAM Jun 14 '16 at 8:06
  • 1
    You are asking an off-topic question (hardware shopping). Please read On-Topic, How do I ask a good question? and What types of questions should I avoid asking?. – DavidPostill Jun 14 '16 at 17:49
  • I used to work with commercial wifi networks, so to give you a lead: We mostly used Moxa. Question is still offtopic, tho. – Jarmund Jul 2 '16 at 21:30

Companies like Aerohive, Fortinet, Cisco have product offerings that will cater to large volumes of users. These also offer extra features like roaming.
Depending on the amount of users that are expected to use the service simultaneously they will add more AP's.

For a small coffeeshop you really shouldn't bother too much about these features.
Except if you want to hand out personalised wifi-tokens that only last x hours, or regulation forces you to be able to identify every user individually.

  • 1
    Ubiquiti has some relatively cheap APs – I'd probably start from there. – user1686 Jun 14 '16 at 7:55
  • I agree with @grawity Ubiquiti is a realitively cheap AP. Cisco is a Pretty good with business standards. A little disccusion of some decent AP standards to go with are Here – NetworkKingPin Jun 14 '16 at 8:03
  • 1
    Yipes, @grawity... you took your comment of multiple thoughts, copied, it, and pasted it into an edit of Brtrnd's answer, prominently causing your thoughts to be the new intro paragraph... really feels like hijacking Brtrnd's answer. I was thinking of recommending it be a comment, but since most of that paragraph already is a separate comment, a trailing hyperlink would seem more appropriate. (IMHO.) – TOOGAM Jun 14 '16 at 8:03
  • @TOOGAM I was looking for my answer and didn't find it. Though grawity's answer is relevant too :) But really it shouldn't be asked here: superuser.com/help/dont-ask and superuser.com/help/on-topic – Brtrnd Jun 14 '16 at 8:07
  • Hmm, true enough. This violates the last two bullet points of that second hyperlink. – TOOGAM Jun 14 '16 at 8:12

Yep. As @Brtrnd said, multiple APs load balancing is what you need. Usual home routers don't do that well, if at all. There are some that are designed for such solutions. Ubiquity would be the best suggestion. They're pricey, but the easiest and extremely reliable and super high quality.

Advice: whatever you buy, use them as APs (wired), not as signal extenders. Extenders are cool but not reliable enough.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.