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How many wireless devices can connect to an 802.11b?

In this response, our WLAN expert, Mike Puglia, answers "How many wireless devices can connect to an 802.11b access point if the maximum capacity needed by each device is 2 MB?"

How many wireless devices can connect to an 802.11b access point if the maximum capacity needed by each device is 2 MB?
802.11b is commonly referred to as 11 Mbps, but that is the data link speed (signaling, Wi-Fi protocol overhead, etc.). What matters is the real throughput users see, because in the end that is all they care about. If you are close to the AP, the maximum real throughput is approximately 5.5 to 6 Mbps. So, if all your users were using 2 Mbps at the same time, three clients would consume the available bandwidth.
This was last published in October 2006

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