It is a fairly common scenario these days that a household of four will have at least four mobile devices in it. And all these devices connect to the WiFi at home. Once you add your smart TV, Amazon Echos, Google Assistants, or anything else that needs to be connected to the local wireless network, you will wind up in a scenario where there are more than 15-20 devices connected to the WiFi router at the same time.
Now, most residential-grade routers will allow you to connect about 50 devices at the most by design. But, the reality is that most of these devices start to struggle once they have more than 10-12 devices connected to them at the same time. This probably maybe due to the fact that most of them run some version of the Linux kernel under the hood and they have very little memory (RAM) they get to use and they also often come with very little disk space.
Our household has (mostly due to work) about 20 devices connected to the network at the same time. If we have family over, this goes well over 30 and we have been having issues with constant resets and freezes of the router. We have tried using the tiny wireless repeaters (Linksys and TP-Link), but neither supports an ethernet connection to the main router and the WiFi-WiFi link is too laggy.
We had a Linksys EA6200 AC900 router lying around that was a hand-me-down from the extended family and it looked good to handle a lot more devices than the ISP’s router was able to manage. I was able to flash DD-WRT on the device to get rid of the ghastly Linksys firmware and we have been doing well ever since.
It was a pain to get everything hooked up correctly with our setup (I’ll write about that another time, since there seems to be very little out here about the unique set of issues that we faced. We are still limited by the ethernet port speed on the ISP router. Even so, I am able to get ~12 Mbps at the corners that used to struggle to get ~1 Mbps and a steady connection before.
I’d call that a win and highly recommend it as an upgrade for homes that have too many connected devices.