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Approximating Maximum Clients per Access Point

The exact performance of MR Access Points will vary based on the deployment parameters.  Assuming correct sizing and proper site design, a well-designed network can support high-density client scenarios including schools, universities, stadiums and Wi-Fi hotspots at crowded locations. 

Note: Each access point has a technical limitation of 128 clients maximum per radio. Please note that this is only a theoretical maximum; in practice, interference caused by multiple clients communicating simultaneously will cause this limit to be far lower.

Technical Considerations

The considerations in the number of clients that can be supported include:

  • Wireless AP model - The MR12/MR62 will support a lesser number of clients as it is a single radio device, whereas other MR access points will be able to support larger numbers of clients as they are dual-radio devices.

Note: Triple-radio APs (including the MR18, MR26, and MR34) don't use their third radio for client traffic, so their theoretical client limit is similar to the dual-radio APs.

  • Coverage/throughput requirements - Based on the amount of throughput required by each client device, the client spread around the access point, and the available backhaul bandwidth, there may be a physical limitation to the number of clients that can be supported and delivered with an 'acceptable' wireless Quality of Service that is independent of the wireless AP's performance. 
  • Application requirements - The spread of applications running across a wireless AP will also affect the maximum number of clients that can be supported simultaneously. For example, if all clients are running high throughput applications such as HD video streaming, a lesser number of clients will be supported as compared to when all clients are surfing the web.

Resources for Improving Client Coverage

Ultimately, the recommended best practice for an optimal wireless deployment is to perform multiple site surveys to best understand and improve the RF environment. For a professional site survey, it is recommended to work with a qualified wireless contract, VAR, or Cisco Meraki Sales Engineer.

For additional information regarding site surveys and wireless coverage, please refer to the following articles.

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