Nov 20, 2019 | posted by Conner Williams

How many devices do I actually have connected to my WiFi network?

If you've ever experienced lag or trouble connecting, there might be more happening on your WiFi network than you think. It might be because there are too many devices active at one time, the equipment is outdated, or there is simply not enough network bandwidth available.

Data from Cisco Systems, an international technology company, shows that the average American has eight devices connected to their home Internet network at once. That figure is expected to climb to 13.6 devices per person by 2022. You might think you only have a few, like a smartphone, laptop, and streaming set top box like Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV, but what about all of the other connected devices in the home you might have forgotten? There are voice assistants like Google Home or Amazon Echo, security systems like Ring Doorbell, thermostat systems, video game consoles, Smart TVs, washing machines, and so much more.

When all of these devices are connected to a single network, they fight for available bandwidth in order to complete tasks online, like load web pages, stream HD video, download files, access online multiplayer games, and more. The amount of bandwidth available on your network is determined by your download speed. For example, if you subscribe to 30 Mbps service and stream a 4K Ultra HD movie through a service like Netflix, there will more than likely be some issues with network congestion because one 4K Ultra HD stream requires 25 Mbps of download speed to run smoothly. If your network only has 30 Mbps capacity, there isn’t much room left for network activity on other devices. There is then only 5 Mbps for all other devices to fight over, meaning you could experience lag or challenges when trying do other things online while watching the 4K show, like play online games, send files, listen to music, or browse social media.

Some older WiFi routers and modems may have technical limitations on the amount of devices and activities they can support, even with a high-speed Internet connection. Technology deteriorates over time, so it is recommended to replace the router every 3-4 years if you use your own. Think of this like an older smartphone or computer trying to run new software updates; when the device was released, it wasn’t created with the ability to handle new updates and unknown demands 4 years into the future. Technology is always changing, and your router must be current in order to accommodate.

Another issue with connections may also be with an older or less effective wireless router. DirectLink offers a robust commercial-grade WiFi Home Networking System designed to provide the strongest signal throughout your entire home. Our technicians conduct a survey of the home to find the optimal location for equipment so that the signal reaches even the toughest spots. Plus, the service includes 24/7 Technical Support that allows our local professional to troubleshoot if any issues may arise.

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