Unanswered questions on what determines the max connection of a wlan NIC on AP mode

david jaoui djaoui at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 28 13:15:23 EST 2003


This is a very cryptic topic.
It's quite impossible to have an official answer.
Everyone gives a different answer or don't answer clearly.

How many concurrent connections can a PCMCIA (ie prism) in AP mode (ie hostap) can accept ?
(= How many computers max in a wireless LAN . Not a regarding the bandwith to share behind)

You can buy, for example, 3 different types of 3com access points :

3CRWE20096A-E1  up to 128 users
3CRWE60092A-E1  up to 65 users
3CRWE80096A       up to 256 users

But when you ask what makes the difference technically between those models, nobody answers or not clearly.

What determines the limit ?
Is it the chipset of the NIC itself ?
If yes, does the chipset version plays a role (comparison between prism 2 and prism 2.5) ?
If yes, does the firmware plays a role ? 
If tertiary firmware used (no hostap), is-it more powerful ?

Is-it regarding the embedded RAM of the whole device (Access point or embedded PC with motherboard soekris-like) ? Explanation according to some people : The connections management table is as big as the size of embedded RAM allows.

If someone qualified could answer to that question, it would be very helpful in order to demistify that topic,

Thanx in advance

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