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Author Topic: Router/network capacity  (Read 6028 times)

Stephen Swaffer

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Router/network capacity
« on: August 25, 2014, 01:43:44 am »

When I log into my router I can see a list of up to 25 devices.  Both wireless and wired are in this list-but I am guessing that this is the maximum number of devices that can be connected to this router.

If I add another "router" configured as a WAP, am I still limited to the same number-25-devices on the network?

Or is the only ultimate limit the number of wireless devices?
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Steve Swaffer

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 02:05:32 am »

When I log into my router I can see a list of up to 25 devices.  Both wireless and wired are in this list-but I am guessing that this is the maximum number of devices that can be connected to this router.

If I add another "router" configured as a WAP, am I still limited to the same number-25-devices on the network?

Or is the only ultimate limit the number of wireless devices?

What kind of router is it?  I can't see why there would be any limitation.  I assume what you are looking at is DHCP leases?

If this is for an audio system I would assume you have no connection to the Internet so you are not using the routing functionality at all.  The device is simply acting as a wireless bridge to the built in switch.

Since the devices are generically called "routers" at the consumer level it seems that is how most network devices are referred to however a consumer router is really a router, wireless bridge and switch all in one unit.   It may also have a stateful firewall.

Here is the real role of common network components.

Router - A device to connect IP hosts on separate networks.  A router is a Layer 3 device from an OSI perspective as it works on IP messages

Switch/Hub - Connects devices together and in the case of a switch intelligently directs traffic based on the devices MAC address.  A hub repeats all messages on every port. Switches and Hubs are one later down from routers and operate at Layer 2.  For the purpose of our discussion all layer 2 traffic is Ethernet frames.

Wireless Access Point - Is a bridge between the wired network and the 802.11 wireless Ethernet network.  An AP, like a switch is a layer 2 device

Firewall - A device that operates minimally at Layer 3 and inspects traffic as it ingresses and egresses the Network.  Traffic is either permitted or denied based on rules.  Most modern firewalls are statefull and aware of common application such as video, voice etc. and can intelligently block or help that traffic cross the firewall intact.




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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 09:02:21 am »

It is a Belkin AC1200.  I am asking because others have mentioned the limitations of "home routers."  The one I was working with is actually the main router that has an internet connection for the church.

I have several ideas on how to make things work from my other post.  We just finished a missions conference, and to get through that I setup a stand alone router-no WAP connection, 5ghz only (unfortunately only after it wiped out my Line 6 mics for a few minutes).  This would work-except that in the end it would be helpful to have network connectivity to allow media transfer to the media booth-though keeping the network isolated and using flash drives might be the best method other than last minute updates.

I could implement what I want easily, if the firewall could be configured like I want; however, the engineers assume that internet connectivity is very desirable and thus the default.  I can block individual devices from accessing the internet, but the default is unblocked.  If it would allow me to default devices to "blocked" and only unblock those I wish to allow access to it would eliminate most of the incentive for unauthorized users to connect.

In any case, my OP was asking because if I use this second "router" as an AP only, perhaps using the firewall if I still can, I want to make sure that the DHCP leases or other issues do not limit device access to this access point.

We are in a rural area-I am not aware of anyone in town that I would trust to do this,  and I hate to bring in someone from an hour away for what is ultimately a pretty simple setup.
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Steve Swaffer

Eric Eskam

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2015, 07:13:56 pm »

It is a Belkin AC1200.  I am asking because others have mentioned the limitations of "home routers."

Yes, "home routers" are typically pretty limited.  However there are alternative firmwares such as DDWRT or Tomato that provide a lot more functionality and often greater stability and security too.  It depends of if your make/model/hardware revision is supported or not. 

Quote
I have several ideas on how to make things work from my other post.

You might be able to get what you want to work with consumer gear, especially if it will run one of the above alternative firmware - but for flexibility in wifi, you really might want to consider Unifi from Ubiquity networks - it can't be beat.  I did an extensive writeup here.  Ubiquity has a built-in guest network feature that will do exactly what you want out of the box and work with your existing router. 

Otherwise, unless DD-WRT or Tomato offer the same thing, you are going to need a flexible router to provide a second network and either another switch for that network, or a switch that supports VLANs for the two networks.  Depends on what's easier for you to do. 

Quote
We are in a rural area-I am not aware of anyone in town that I would trust to do this,  and I hate to bring in someone from an hour away for what is ultimately a pretty simple setup.

It could be simple.  If your router can support two individual local area networks it could be done very easily.  Most consumer routers won't do that, as you have found out.   You can load something like pfSense on an old machine with three network cards (one for your WAN, LAN1 and LAN2/open wifi) and do exactly what you want.  If you don't have an old machine and a couple of network cards handy Unifi may be cheaper. 

Whatever you do, if you have open wifi lower the DHCP lease time or you will more than likely run out of DHCP addressees if you ever hold another event with lots of people again! 
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 01:35:27 am »

Belkin's website specifies a limit of 32 wireless WLAN devices (nodes) for this router.

It also specifies only 4 wired LAN devices, but I suspect that's hogwash based on having only 4 switch ports.

The number of wired devices is probably limited by the scope of your network, minus the number of wireless devices (nodes). Or maybe it's limited to a total of 32 simultaneous wired and wireless nodes. Maybe that "32 devices" actually includes the router, leaving only 31 nodes. Just as with audio gear, specs are published by the marketing department and don't necessarily reflect reality.

As others have suggested, your DHCP scope may only allow 25 devices. You should be able change settings to increase the scope.

If you added another wireless access point and connected it with a CATx cable to the router, wifi devices that connect to it would appear to the router as wired devices.

If it had no other limitations, a typical subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 would allow for 253 devices in addition to the router.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 07:35:00 pm »

To follow up.  Pastor made the decision that providing Wifi access is not a key function of the church-at least for us.  That said, we have established a closely held password to be used on church/staff devices only.  Any other volunteers/guests that need access for ministry purposes will be given access to the guest network the Belkin provides for-obviously that password can be easily changed as desired and the network itself disabled with a click or two of the mouse if necessary.

We have a separate 5 Ghz wifi network that has no internet access that also has a closely held password-that is used for service critical media functions only.

I think this should work very well-until Pastor decides to Skype a missionary in the middle of a keynote presentation he is controlling with his iPad-but at least we understand the issue and can make the necessary adjustments.

Thanks to all for your insight and help.   
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Steve Swaffer

Tim Padrick

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 10:33:52 am »

Dunno if this will do what you want, but here's how ours is done: http://www.padrick.net/LiveSound/IPaddys2.jpg
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 08:30:18 am »

So I am now using the same layout (structure wise) as Tim showed in the last post-there is an unmanaged switch between the public router and the AV router.

This question is a non-issue I guess but not knowing the answer is irritating me.  When trying to get internet to the media iMac to promote a website during a conference, I first tried connecting directly to the iMac.  Nothing.  With no other changes, connecting that network cable to the WAN connection on the AV router, then a cable from a LAN port to iMac, now I have internet access.  Why will it not work without the AV router?

I have no static IP addresses set, what else could it be?
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Rob Spence

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 07:02:07 pm »

So I am now using the same layout (structure wise) as Tim showed in the last post-there is an unmanaged switch between the public router and the AV router.

This question is a non-issue I guess but not knowing the answer is irritating me.  When trying to get internet to the media iMac to promote a website during a conference, I first tried connecting directly to the iMac.  Nothing.  With no other changes, connecting that network cable to the WAN connection on the AV router, then a cable from a LAN port to iMac, now I have internet access.  Why will it not work without the AV router?

I have no static IP addresses set, what else could it be?

If no static addresses, then where are the addresses coming from? I mean, specifically what devices are supplying addresses. If you have 2 routing domains on a single LAN, and each has a DHCP server, then it is a crapshoot as to which will supply an address. If everything is dynamic, how do you specify things for applications?

Also, do both routing domains know how to find the other.

When possible, I choose static addresses for anything I know is static - that is, doesn't plug on to multiple LANs.


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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 10:03:02 pm »

If no static addresses, then where are the addresses coming from? I mean, specifically what devices are supplying addresses. If you have 2 routing domains on a single LAN, and each has a DHCP server, then it is a crapshoot as to which will supply an address. If everything is dynamic, how do you specify things for applications?

Also, do both routing domains know how to find the other.

When possible, I choose static addresses for anything I know is static - that is, doesn't plug on to multiple LANs.


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Rob - I just went through the same shtick trying to explain layer 2 and layer 3 in the current wireless bridge thread.  I think I failed miserably.  I think it is a tough concept how two devices can be on different IP networks but plugged into the same switch. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Rob Spence

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2015, 12:19:00 am »

Rob - I just went through the same shtick trying to explain layer 2 and layer 3 in the current wireless bridge thread.  I think I failed miserably.  I think it is a tough concept how two devices can be on different IP networks but plugged into the same switch.

Yup, and here we go again.

Since simple computer lans connected to the Internet are so easy to do, people expect complex ones to be as easy.


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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 09:29:09 am »

I'm not trying to be thick headed (sometimes it does come naturally)-but if you will look at my post it is accurate to a fault.  The internet does not work when connected directly to the iMac-ie when there is only one router in the network and the iMac was intentionally disconnected from the wireless network (I think I actually powered down that second media router at the time)-ie the "simple' setup does not work.  With a second router in the chain-and I do understand that places the iMac on a separate network (at that time the only computer on that network) I do have internet access.

I rebooted the iMac when connected directly to the switch-it should have received an IP address from the main router via DHCP at that time, correct?

If it didn't work with both routers, I get it and go back and work through configurations.  It is actually working the way I want right now  (except the router does not give me the option of denying internet access to any "new" wireless devices it sees-but that is a router limitation and can be cured only by an upgrade-and I can probably live with it as is until funds are available).  The only reason for my question is understanding.

I had been using the wireless media router strictly for remote control of Keynote presentations via an iPad or iPhone.  Adding the wired network was strictly for showing internet content on the projector-in this case one of our websites- in the future Skype connections with missionaries, etc.  So there are really no devices that need to communicate across the networks-and technically no "domain" per se-just a bunch of PCs connected to a switch for Internet access. (If I understand the term domain properly   I do understand your frustration-I am still trying to get my pastor to wrap his head around being connected to a WiFi that is not connected to the internet.  He loves his tech devices that "just work"-but cares nothing for understanding the structure-but wants to get in and play with configurations himself.) 
« Last Edit: March 14, 2015, 09:38:02 am by Stephen Swaffer »
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Steve Swaffer

Rob Spence

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2015, 11:12:13 am »

Stephen, it really isn't easy for us to diagnose this without an accurate understanding of your network topology and settings.

A key to reliable networks is to design it ( for me that means drawing it out and making a list of all devices along with their planned addresses ), then build it to plan.

Frankly, I am lost as to how things are hooked in your network.


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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2015, 11:41:47 am »

Vote two on lost.  IMac is a host it needs an ip address..a subnet mask and a working gateway.  It should get those from dhcp.  Only one device per layer 2 network should be serving dhcp.   A router also must do NAT the process of translating your private IP to your Internet ip.  You can get away with double NAT but it is very problematic and causes performance issues.    A diagram with addresses would be great.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Router/network capacity
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2015, 11:41:47 am »


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