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Home Networking

Discussion in 'Networking' started by LearningStill, Dec 22, 2018.

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  1. LearningStill

    LearningStill Thread Starter

    Dec 22, 2018
    I have the Comcast xFinity supplied dual band router and have multiple devices connected via the home network (10 Alexa devices, multiple smart outlets, 3 computers, 2 iPhones, security systems, printers, locks, etc.). Even before adding so many devices I’ve had issues with computers, phones, etc not connecting, sometimes not connecting even after unplugging and resetting the router. Comcast replaced the router, but no improvement was noted. Router signal strength measures as strong at all locations. I added an Actiontec router connected via the Comcast cable, but it doesn’t seem to have helped.
    My questions:
    - Is there a maximum number of devices that can connect to this setup?
    - I need the Comcast router to connect to my landline phone, but could another router be connected and woul it improve my connectivity?
    - Is there some other reason(s) why I have so much trouble getting devices to connect and stay connected?
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    First Name:
    How many of those devices are using dynamic addressing? If a lot of them that may be causing excessive traffic, especially as many will be on the same time frame (the router trying to refresh many leases at the same time). This potential traffic would, of course, be more problematic with Wi-Fi than with ethernet connected devices. Also, what is the lease time? Some routers default to a very short time (say, an hour). I'd probably go with one or two days.

    I have no idea the amount of traffic generated by your devices, but in general you can expect trouble starting with about five or six devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network (assuming a typical home router).

    If you are within range of any neighbor's Wi-Fi have you checked for wireless interference?
  3. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

    Mar 30, 2008
    If all the devices you've listed are wireless, then yes, there could be problems with just the basic act of connecting to the network. There is a practical limit of the number of wireless devices connected to any given wireless access point. For business grade wireless access points, the limit is around 40 or so clients on a single access point if they are only doing simple web surfing. That limit plummets to about 15 or so if there is heavy streaming with these wireless clients. For SOHO networking equipment, these limits would be smaller.

    With respect to signal strength, you have to look at this in both directions. You may be getting a strong signal from your wireless router at any given location. But you don't know what signal strength you're getting from the wireless client as seen by the wireless router. Wireless clients are notorious for having weak signal output due to space for the antenna and power consumption considerations. This is why multiple access point systems are used in business environments and increasingly in homes. Placing access points at various locations of a home allows better wireless performance as you're placing an AP closer to wireless devices. You're also spreading the load of wireless communications across multiple network devices. With wireless, it is a half duplex type communication. Only one device can talk on the wireless network at any given time. All others have to wait until that device finishes. Why is this important? Because the further away a device is, the more likely the connection speed is going to significantly diminish. Because this one wireless client is transmitting slowly, it is going to hold up the entire wireless network until it finishes.
  4. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

    Mar 26, 2002
    First Name:
    - I need the Comcast router to connect to my landline phone, but could another router be connected and woul it improve my connectivity?
    Yes, there are modems that are strictly for phone and one port to connect to a router, as appose to having a wifi telephony modem, but since you stated you had issues prior to the alexa devices, it sounds like a different issue than multiple wireless devices connected.

    Can you confirm exactly what you mean by connection issues? It sounds like you can connect to the wireless, but not access the internet.
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