Can Too Many Devices Crash a Router?

Though having an extremely large number of devices on your router won’t necessarily crash it, they can slow it down to the point where it’s greatly inhibited.

I’m a long-time technology user with years of experience working with different routers. My familiarity with the devices, backed up by extensive research, has enabled me to figure out the most effective way to use them.

The following sections look at how much routers can handle by breaking down their individual capacity, general capabilities, and what might cause them to suffer performance issues.

Key Takeaways

  • Though routers don’t often crash, too many devices can cause them to drop connections or slow down a large amount.
  • Installing a second router, restarting your device, creating a mesh network, or improving your internet plan are all ways to get more from a spotty connection.
  • There are several factors that can create router overload, and it’s best to test them all when trying to fix your device.

How A Router Becomes Overloaded

Modern routers are tough devices with a lot of functionality. In fact, most models are able to provide single-point access for up to 250 devices at a time. Still, that’s much more theoretical than it is practical. Most homes will never have that many devices.

Despite that, routers tend to become overloaded long before they have hundreds of devices connected to them at once. Many see connection or reliability issues once they hit their limit of around thirty, but even a few high-usage devices can cause them to slow down.

It’s extremely unlikely that your model will crash from being too overloaded. At least, in a literal sense. Still, being connected to too many things will have negative impacts, including large connectivity drops, buffering and latency problems, as well as delayed load times.

Such issues will likely make your router almost unusable. In that way, while it doesn’t crash, you still want to prevent your device from being too overloaded. The more devices you have connected to a single device, the more general performance will suffer.

On top of that, if your router’s firmware isn’t set up to handle such a large load you can have even more problems down the line. 

How to Improve an Overloaded Router

Looking at the above information, a router may not crash but it can become overworked. While that may be incredibly annoying, it’s not a death sentence either. There are more than a few steps users can take in order to get everything back up online and running at full speed.

The first is to install a second router or network booster. This solution is one of the most elegant, not to mention the simplest. An additional model better distributes the network load, which takes stress off of your router and prevents it from getting too overwhelmed.

Another step you can take is to better plan how and when you use the internet. As mentioned, routers only become overloaded when they’re overused. It always helps to work with other members of your household to switch up when certain people use certain devices.

If that’s not feasible, a mesh network is another route to take. The setups utilize multiple routers to send a signal over a large area rather than rely on a single device. That greatly increases both speed and functionality.

Finally, you can always contact your internet service provider and see if you can get faster internet. This tends to be the most expensive option, so it’s typically a last resort. Still, there’s no doubt that it helps in terms of general proficiency.

Why a Router Becomes Overloaded

Router overload, which occurs when your router is handling too many devices at one time, is a real issue that can severely impact internet performance. That’s especially true if you’re someone who likes to download files, play big games, or stream on various devices.

However, that’s not the only reason your router may see problems. It’s important to always be able to identify why something isn’t working before making any big changes or trying to call a technician.

Most of the time, your router crashes because it needs a software update or has to be restarted. Always try that first before doing anything else. On top of that, watch out for internet issues and placement. Many obstacles can affect a router, so don’t be afraid to move it around.

Weak or damaged cables may also be at fault. If you see router problems that don’t get better with any of the above solutions, it’s best to see if anything is damaged or loose. If you can easily pull a cable from its socket, it’s not in the right way. 


This part of the article answers some of the biggest, and most common, questions related to router crashes.

Why Does My Router Stop Working?

There are a few reasons why your router may not be up to snuff. The biggest is heat, which can cause unnecessary stress to interior electronics. Shocks and vibrations can lead to issues too. It’s important to limit such jostling whenever possible.

Can A WiFi Router Get Overloaded?

Yes. As with any electronic device, a router can become overwhelmed or greatly slow down if it’s trying to do too much at one time.

How Many Devices Can a Home Router Handle?

Though the number differs from time to time, most average home routers can handle roughly 250 devices at once. They will see slowdowns far before they reach that point, however, especially in a space with a lot of electronics.

Final Words

Routers may be reliable, but they aren’t perfect. They come with a limit just like everything else. Though crashing is something most users will never see, they can experience extreme issues with slowdowns or dropped connections. Always try to lower the load when possible. 

Have you ever crashed a router? How many devices do you run on yours? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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