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How many devices per Access Point

I have a business environment where I will have around 100 ipads and 100 smartphones in one single room. Across the hall there are two rooms with about 30 ipads and 30 smartphones each. I was looking at the business class Netgear Access Points: http://netgear.com/business/products/wireless/business-wireless/

I guess I am confusing devices, connections and clients. How many devices, (ipad, laptop, smartphone, etc) is supported per Access point. Is it common to have more than one AP in a single room?
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rbudj
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rbudj
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4 Solutions
 
BillBondoCommented:
A simple wireless Linksys can connect 250 devices. I would suggest one for each room/side of hallway. Maybe use some kind of MAC Auth to keep other unwanted devices off your network.
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Craig BeckCommented:
Wow I would NEVER ever connect 250 clients to an AP simultaneously - there would be no bandwidth available for clients to get a useful service, even if it's just to obtain an IP address.

Generally the rough figure is 20-25 clients at the very most per access point.  Even then I'd only really do this on a dual-band, dual-radio access point.  That would give me the ability to connect around 12-13 clients per radio in the AP.

So in a room with 100 clients I'd want at least 4 APs.  5GHz would be the preferred band to use.
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rbudjAuthor Commented:
What about the data sheet on the 660 and 620 in the link I provided? The data sheet shows up to 128 supported clients. Is this not accurate?
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Craig BeckCommented:
Technically it is possible; the MAC table will allow 128 clients simultaneously, however the realistic throughput with that many clients would be so low you'd not be able to achieve even dial-up modem speeds at best if all clients were trying to use the AP at the same time.
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rbudjAuthor Commented:
Ok. I'm understanding. Let me ask this then. If I have multiple AP's in the same room, what regulates how may clients actually connect to each one for best performance. In other words, If I have four AP's in one room, what is to say that one AP will not try to provide all the connections? How are the connections divided between the AP's?
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BillBondoCommented:
Thats why I said to use MAC Authentication. If user A comes into the office he will only connect to AP1. If user Z comes in he will connect to AP4. I only said a Linksys would do 250 as a example.
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Craig BeckCommented:
You can't do MAC authentication if you don't know the MAC addresses of the devices beforehand.

Usually we set a different SSID on each AP if we want to determine which AP people connect to, otherwise we can use a controller-based system which can do dynamic client load-balancing.
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rbudjAuthor Commented:
I cannot use the mac address method because the devices will travel throughout the building and will need to connect to any available AP. I will look into the load balancing. Thanks.
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rbudjAuthor Commented:
All comments were helpful. I have enough info to start testing solutions. Thank you for your time.
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