Maximum number nodes on a Accesspoint

Has any one worked out what the maximum number of nodes that can connect to an access point.

Is it mainly a limitation of the access point? I plan to use an OpenWRT type router.

I want to be collecting data from many different nodes in relatively close proximity (50m x 50 m) and wondering what the maximum number would be.

The data rate is quite low, About 12 data bytes every couple of seconds.

Also I don’t have a 100 to 200 nodes to test this out!

Any information would be great.

@pdp8e The number of nodes connecting to an access point is, I believe, a constraint of the particular access point. I’m not that familiar with OpenWRT routers, but @Dave is - @Dave, any idea what it can handle?

Personally I wouldn’t bet on getting >30 stable associations on a non-encrypted network. Even with low-bandwidth nodes. Seems like some devices can have up to 50, but that’s about it.

I’d go for multiple cheaper access points instead of an expensive one that promises many connections.
In a 50m by 50m and 100 clients I’d start out with 4 ap’s. Range won’t be a problem. Maybe friends or family have some unused devices laying around?

Thanks for that.

Any experience with actually getting so many devices on a access point?

No I never tried getting >15 devices on a single access point. In our company I did a small setup with 4 access points and about 25 wireless clients, but this was basically because I did not get a wide range on each access point.

Of course you have really low bandwidth requirements so maybe you can get some more clients on a single AP, but not 100 I guess :slight_smile:

Too bad there doesn’t seem to be a way to simulate it without buying all the hardware.

Really interesting tests though… Would love to see some actual numbers on this.

it’s all about the controller portion of the access point.
me, i’m running an enterprise grade network at home based on Aruba Networks, which can handle up to 500+ associations per access point. when I try adding more than 14 devices to my “professional” Cisco Linksys WRVS4400N it simply craps out.

it takes a lot of effort from the controller side (mostly integrated into the AP) to keep track of the connections and te associations. it’s not about the data rate, it’s mostly about the associations and the effort the AP needs to put into maintaining the connection (encryption and such).

so there are two things to your question;
1)how many modules are we actually talking about, 10, 20, 50 100s?
if it’s 10 or 20, i would not be too concerned about performance with a single AP… it should work.
if you’re using more than 20, i’d plan on using one AP per 15 cores and just stick with the cheap AP’s. you could also invest in an enterprise grade network, but that would only save you in amount of AP’s to deploy, but it’s 10 or 20t imes as expensive as just buying cheap AP’s.

also, if you ahve that many cores, wouldn’t it be cheaper and easily to wire arduino’s with ehternet shields?