Best way to configure wireless router and access point for maximum users

Posted on 2014-08-22
Last Modified: 2014-09-12
I have a client with 2 Netgear routers (WNDR3700) which are very good home quality routers (one configured as an access point only) being used in a business training classroom scenario (up to 75 users, low Internet needs, just general browsing in classes, basically no streaming)

Netgear says that because they are not in their business line, there could be issues with many users. Based on this, my client is planning to replace them with a business class access point next year.

For now, I have configured the two routers as follows:
1. One router, the other with DHCP off, each device's LAN port 1 connected together.
2. Both 2.4 and 5GHz bands are enabled, separate SSID for each. This gives 4 SSIDs for students to choose from. User are running either tablets or laptops (some classes are 100% iPad).  Maximum 75 students, typically 50.

A typical scenario that would be a strain on the system is when the students are directed to go to a particular web site, and (for example) click the same button all at the same time.

Do you think this two-device, dual band, 4-SSID solution would work fine?

Question by:DaveWWW
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    The routers should be able to handle basic HTTP requests without issue, now if several users start downloading large files you may experience some latency. In the grand scheme of things however, 75 users aren't all that big of a deal - I think you'd need to be more worried about the outside internet connection than the internal network.

    Simply because the Netgear routers weren't designed for the scenario, doesn't mean they can't handle it. I'd suggest doing some basic stress testing.

    Author Comment

    Thanks very much Brad.  There is basically no file downloading going on at all.  

    Can you recommend a stress test strategy before the students arrive? Or must I find a way to get 75 devices connected?
    LVL 14

    Assisted Solution

    by:Brad Groux
    You can utilize a network traffic emulator to simulate the traffic.

    Here is a free one I've used in the past, there may be better however -
    LVL 25

    Assisted Solution

    by:Fred Marshall
    As long as you set the frequency bands for 2.4GHz and 5GHz each differently then there won't be overlap and you'll get the best use of the available radio frequency bandwidth.

    I'd also encourage you to stick with what's working.  It would be interesting for whoever from "Netgear sez" to explain the actual technical difference between a commodity router and a "business line" router.  One imagines the possibility of additional features, a different looking box, but not much else.  So, what's the compelling need for this very simple application?

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks - it all seems to be working fine now.

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