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Does connecting a large number of devices to the router slow down the Internet?

The average person owns more than three devices connected to the Internet. This includes laptops, tablets, smartphones, and game consoles. It is not uncommon for families to have five or more devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network simultaneously.

But does connecting too many devices affect the speed of your Wi-Fi network?
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about how the number of connected devices affects your Wi-Fi network and whether or not it slows it down. So, let's get straight into it.

Does connecting too many devices slow down your Wi-Fi?

How do Wi-Fi routers work?

Wi-Fi routers are an important part of a wireless home network. They send and receive data within your local wireless network, allowing devices to communicate with each other. The router is the base station for wireless communication in your home.

Wi-Fi networks operate on frequencies, like radio waves. However, this frequency varies depending on the type of Wi-Fi network you are using.

2.4 GHz is the most common band for standard Wi-Fi connections. The router and the devices that receive the signal must be on the same frequency to send and receive data.

The traffic flowing through your network is broken up into data packets, each with a specific address, so that they can be sent to the correct device.

However, since two devices cannot be on the same frequency at the same time, the Wi-Fi signal can slow down when more devices are connected.

Does connecting too many devices slow down your Wi-Fi?

Yes, the number of connected devices slows down your Wi-Fi.

In this context, "slow down" means that your router cannot communicate with all the devices on the network at once. Since it has to share its frequency with every device, there can be a lot of traffic on the same frequency as other devices are also trying to send their data packets over it.

This slowdown has nothing to do with internet speed. You can get good internet speed from your internet service provider and slow wireless connection in your home.

This slowdown usually occurs when four or more devices are connected, although it is highly dependent on the router. The slowdown occurs because the router cannot connect to multiple devices simultaneously.

As the number of devices on the network increases, so does the slowdown.

The internet speed loss you experience depends on the number of devices connected to your network and the amount of data you are using. Mild slowdown is normal due to adding more devices. Furthermore, you may notice a decrease in speed or performance for each connected device after you slow it down the first time.

How many devices should be connected to my Wi-Fi network?

Our recommendation is not to connect more than five devices simultaneously, so your bandwidth is not affected too much by slowdowns due to too many devices connected to the Internet simultaneously. On the other hand, public Wi-Fi can connect up to 25 devices before it starts to slow (again, depending on the router).

Other factors that can affect your network speed

1. Wi-Fi signal strength

The Wi-Fi signal your router sends is key to how many devices can be connected. If it is weak, you may find your Wi-Fi slow after connecting some devices. It is worth testing the signal to see how strong it is and using a Wi-Fi extender if you find it slow when more devices are connected.

2. Your router type

Old routers have slow speeds and cannot support as many devices as newer routers. Upgrading to a new router with better specifications is another way you can speed up your Wi-Fi connection.

3. How many walls should the signal travel through

If your router is in one room and the devices you want to connect are in another, it will slow down your Wi-Fi signal if there are walls in your way. It is best to place the router in a central place where you can get a strong signal or move the devices you want to connect close to the router.

4. Use a Wi-Fi extender

If you are concerned about lags and slow speeds, a Wi-Fi extender can be used to boost your router's signal to a far-reaching area of your home.

While it's normal to need a lot of devices on your home network, slowdowns are inevitable if you have a lot of them. However, if limiting the number of connected devices is not a viable or desirable option, use the tips we shared above to improve the slow speeds of your WiFi device.