How Many WiFi Devices Can a Router Handle?

Though a router can technically connect to hundreds of devices, it’s best to run anywhere from five to fifteen in order to get the most optimal performance. 

I’ve spent most of my life working with or tweaking my own personal internet. Those years of using such technology have taught me a lot about routers, including the way they work and what they’re able to handle.

The following guide will take a more in-depth look at that by studying the various devices modern routers can work with. It will go over their personal limits, how they can become overloaded, as well as what to do if they get too stressed. 

Key Takeaways

  • Every modern router has a limit, but it’s often far beyond anything that would be used by a regular home.
  • You should always check your router’s health and monitor your WiFi speed to make sure everything’s working as intended.
  • Getting a better router, upgrading your software, or adding a second one to your setup are all ways to improve 

Can There Be Too Many Wireless Devices on a Router?

On average, most users have around ten smart devices in their home. That’s already quite a lot, but that number is only set to grow as time goes on. More and more people are utilizing wireless devices in their homes, and that means more stress on their routers.

While most modern routers are able to handle a lot of use, they all have a limit. What that limit is, largely depends on the model. Some routers are only built to work with ten devices (though that’s quite rare) while others are built to work with a couple hundred. 

However, it’s not so black and white. There’s a large difference between what a router can theoretically do and what it can do in reality. Most routers can handle much less than their limit, as it cuts down on stress and enables all devices to work to the best of their abilities.

Just about every modern device can comfortably work with up to thirty devices at a time. Given the amount of smart devices most people have in their homes, that’s an extremely high limit. It’s going to be a long time before that becomes the norm.

Even if you do go beyond that, there are a few models (like the Gryphon and the Linksys Mesh WiFi Router 5) that will give you some extra juice.

How to Know What a Router Can Handle

Knowing how many devices you can connect to a router is one thing, but applying it to your own setup is another. You always want to be aware of what your personal router can handle, as well as what it needs to operate on a functional level.

The general rule is, the newer the router the more devices it can handle. Where a few older models are only good at connecting a few things, newer generations that run on WiFi 5 or WiFi 6 are designed to work with a much larger number.

Ideally, your router and modem should both support all of the latest gadgets. However, that’s rarely the case. Most of the time, you want a router that improves device speed through methods like prioritization which gives extra power to things like video streaming or games.

It’s also critical to know that your router will slowly degrade the more devices that are connected to it.  It won’t have issues if there are too many active devices, but if you’re running a lot at once there may be some problems. The more stress it’s under, the worse it’s going to be.

That being said, don’t be afraid to connect devices to your router. While slowdowns will happen if too many devices are running at once, that almost never happens. Just about every modern model can handle what a home uses on a daily basis.

How to Know If a Router is Overloaded

If your router does ever reach a point where it’s dealing with too much at once it becomes overloaded. That typically happens when multiple devices are working at max capacity or performing tasks that take up a ton of bandwidth. 

To figure out if your router is overloaded, there are certain signs you want to watch out for. First, always pay attention to slow internet speeds or particularly lengthy download times. Both of those, while not always indicative of an overloaded router, are a great starting point.

Anytime your router behaves in an odd way, including often disconnecting from local devices or simply shutting down without notice, could be a sign too. It’s easy to miss or ignore those situations, but paying attention can let you know when something’s wrong.

If that happens, there are a few solutions you can look into. Getting a new router is always a way to deal with overload, as a more updated model can better handle more devices. Shutting the router down and hard resetting it is a good route as well.

Another way to take pressure off your router is to add a second one. Though not always financially feasible, that’s a great way to make sure everything runs a lot more smoothly. The setup process is easy, and will do a good job towards cutting down on connectivity issues.

If you want to ensure that your router (or routers) doesn’t experience any more overload in the future, you want to always stay on top of its activity. Monitor the device and keep an eye on any irregular functions. Also keep it in a cool, dry place off the floor to cut down on heat.

Finally, it’s a good idea to update the firmware every now and then.


This section tackles questions many users have about routers and their WiFi devices.

Can Too Many Devices Crash a Router?

While overloading a router with devices will not cause it to crash, it can slow it down to the point where it becomes almost useless. It can severely impact connectivity and latency as well.

Will a Better Router Improve Multiple Devices?

As routers are critical in managing and processing all the devices across a network they can indeed maximize internet speed across internet devices. In that same vein, an older model can also cause certain devices to run more slowly.

What Can Damage a Router?

Heat is the most common culprit of router damage. That can come from the machine being in too cramped a space or from having to work too hard. Always make sure yours is an open area and isn’t pushing itself too much.

Final Words

Despite the fact that all routers have a certain device limit, it will rarely be reached. As long as you monitor your machine, understand what to do if it becomes too stressed, and know its limit, there won’t be any problems.

Do you use a lot of wireless devices at home? Has the load ever put stress on your router? Let us know in the comments below!

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