Aironet Maximum Number of Users

Unanswered Question
Jun 5th, 2009

What is the maximum number of users that one Aironet would allow without the disruption of service?

I have this problem too.
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jeff.kish Fri, 06/05/2009 - 06:51

Lightweight APs have a default limit of 12 clients per AP, but this can be changed. Cisco recommends no more than 25 clients per AP, but it can easily handle more. How many more simply depends on your conditions.

Keep a few things in mind:

1. Your actual data rate is generally a little less than half your advertised rate (22Mbps on a 54Mbps link, for example)

2. You're sharing the ACTUAL data rate with every other client on the AP. So if 20 users are sharing a 54Mbps connection, they'll all get barely over 1Mbps

3. Any slow clients, 802.11b or otherwise, take more time to communicate with the AP and thus slow all other clients down

4. RF space is a shared medium, and congestion avoidance mechanisms in 802.11 start creating a LOT of overhead as you increase client count significantly. This starts dropping your actual data rate, so you might start getting only ~15Mbps on a 54Mbps connection.

All that said, I doubt you'll start seeing disconnects until you hit client numbers in the 30s. But again, take all the above into consideration as you evaluate your environment, your application delay tolerance, and your bandwidth requirements per user.


Vinay Saini Sun, 06/07/2009 - 05:13

Hii ,

There is no software limit on how much max clients can associate with the AP. (~2007 is the max association ID that an AP can issue)

But the Air gets saturated after a particular number depending on the envorionment.

But can limite the number of client association on particulat using , Aggresive load balacing feature avail. on LWAPP solutions.



rguzman.plannet Mon, 07/27/2009 - 13:43


I was looking around and I found this topic which is interesting.

Thanks for that information it will be useful but I have a question. How many APs you can have in a determined are and how close can they work to each other?



Leo Laohoo Mon, 07/27/2009 - 14:38

Hi Roberto,

This is not an easy question to answer. The following factors affect the distribution of your wireless signal:

1. AP model type;

2. Signal strength;

3. Channel assignments;

4. Height of the AP deployed;

5. Vertical and Horizontal azimuth of the antennaes;

6. Size and shape of the room deployed;

7. Did you feed your network administrator properly or not?

Hope this helps.

NOTE: #7 is optional but very helpful! He he he ...


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