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Thread: wi-fi issues with too many devices?

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  1. #1

    Default wi-fi issues with too many devices?

    is it true if (for example) I have 6 laptops all next too each other that some of them may not be able to connect too the network due to interference from each other ...? also this wifi network is surrounded by many other wifi networks and has other devices connected...

    I work for a store and have to update windows laptops in prep for customers, its done via wifi and is a slow connection which i think is DSL also... Iam prepping offline updating programs to use BUT want to suggest to the manager that a switch and LAN cables be used instead...even whilst we wait for this 'supposed' fibre connection gets installed at some stage... right next to my work area there is a tower of switches and god knows what and what looks like coaxial switch on the wall - so could be 'cable' fed

    Iam just wondering if Iam right in thinking trying to update 6 laptops (constantly) next to each other over the same wifi is causing issues as yesterday 2 of the 6 would not connect to either the dedicated wifi network or the other used for store demo... just too much interference I think... in the room was wireless streaming of music too by one of the staff which would have been using the same 2.4Ghz band..

    any advice welcome... im looking to score points at work to get kept on as its just a xmas thing..

    cheers and thanks

  2. #2



    Here is some WiFi maths for you:

    Through put is around 40-60% of your data rate with wifi. So a single wifi client connected at say 150Mbps will actually get around 75Mbps of TCP/IP throughput. That 75Mbps is aggregate throughput so if you have 2 clients connected to an AP, they each get 37Mbps (ish) as the aggregate bandwidth is shared between the 2 of them. So if you take 75Mbps and divide it by 6......

    Assuming all clients are connected at 150Mbps they should get in good RF conditions around 10-12Mbps each from the Wifi connection. Now unless your store has a serious internet pipe, i'm willing to bet you are more likely to be limited by your DSL connection rather than you wifi.

    Laptops that are all connected to the same AP an on the same channel will all happily work with each other using layer 1 and layer 2 collision avoidance mechanisms to ensure that they all get a chance to send and receive data to and from the access point. They do not "interfere" with each other. More like co-operate. The more devices are connected and using the same channel, the smaller chunk each gets of the aggregate throughput pie outlined above.

  3. #3


    thanks for your reply, much appreciated..

    the other problem is that there are literally LOADS of wifi networks all overlapping and sitting on top of ours... the store has two wifi networks, the store is in a huge shopping mall and theres LOADS, i checked with inSSIDer and was something like 20 most on 1, 6 or 11 but quite a few in between OURS im sure was on 3..?

    i'll try and get a screenshot tonight for you from inSSIDer on the phone, also the router is in another room about 25ft away behind a block is a Netgear 150Mbps router with internal antenna's

    I think the internet connection is cable fed but to what speed I dont know

    thanks again
    Last edited by snadge; 11-15-2013 at 03:42 AM.

  4. #4


    If you can put up a list of your nearby networks we could suggest a channel to use. Sadly wifi channel spaces in the 2.4GHz space is limited and very well used in most places now. The best you can do is try to avoid your neighbours, but be sure to stick t channels 1, 6 and 11.

    If you want to eliminate this problem and it is a viable option then switch to using the 5GHz (802.11a) range. Your router and all client devices will need to be capable of using this frequency range of course.

  5. #5


    aww damn I forgot too get screeny...!!

    get one on monday, i will set reminder... using offline updates, the network was almost dead (and dead) and some points yesterday even on LAN

    its cable fed store by BT... so dunno what it is ...not DSL obviously.. some sort of business cable but speed aint great!!

    I will show you pictures of the massive server rack and cable splitter on the wall as well as the wifi congestion

    but like i say Iam just using offline updates for now..

    we could not use 5Ghz as not all new laptops have 5Ghz...infact MOST of them dont! so no other options

    thanks again

  6. #6


    If the server you are using for updates is on the local LAN, the internet connection speed is not relevant. That said, it appears that your internet service is provided by Sky. Speeds are in the tens of megabits per second depending upon the level of service purchased. If Sky services are similar to cable services in the US, speeds can be well over 100 mbps. My residential copper cable service is 90 mbps. I can easily double that on fibre.

    I suspect that the network speed issue is confined to the wireless portion of your network. The wireless band used does not have to be all the same. There are routers and AP's that are dual band and can handle both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz clients concurrently.
    Last edited by ua549; 11-16-2013 at 05:55 AM.
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