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RexG's avatar
New Contributor
3 years ago

What's a reasonable expectation for # of devices?

My theory is households with 20-30 wi-fi devices connected to their Internet setup is fairly common nowadays, due to work-from-home and the plethora of wi-fi devices people are installing. Is my theory wrong? Cox says I have too many devices, so I thought I'd ask. Here's my situation...

I have Cox "Internet Ultimate 300" Internet (no phone or TV), and am experiencing lots of intermittent loss of connectivity -- multiple short outages per day. I'm trying to diagnose this via another thread on these forums, but one thing I often see here is people are told "you have too many devices on your network". So, my question is "What is a reasonable number of devices that can be supported?"

I have a Netgear CM1200 cable modem + a 2-node Orbi mesh wi-fi -- this is a recent upgrade from my prior configuration of Cox Panoramic cable modem with built-in wi-fi -- I had the same connectivity issues then, and a Cox tech came to visit and strongly recommended I dump the Cox equipment & upgrade, so I did. I have about 25 devices connected via wi-fi and 3 via direct Ethernet connection. The wi-fi devices include (not all of them are always concurrently connected): 2 TVs, 1 Fire TV stick, 4 laptops, 3 iPhones, 4 Amazon Echos, 4 Ring cameras, 2 other security cameras (note the security cameras do NOT record continually; only when motion is detected, which isn't that often), 2 printers, 2 Nest thermostats, and 1 garage door opener sensor. As you can see, these aren't unusual devices. Are my expectations too high? 

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  • BenS1's avatar
    Former Moderator
    Hi @RexG
    I know how important it is for you to stay connected with all of your devices. Our Gigablast Internet service is the best for the number of devices that you are using. For Ultimate 300 we recommend no more than 8 connected devices. Router/Modem placement matters as well. I often like to compare wifi to a lamp. If you have a lamp in the corner of a room you will limit the amount of light that the room will get. Wifi is the same way, it is best to make sure that the modem/router is placed in a central location in the room and in a middle local in your home. Even if this is not always possible, when it comes to streaming, you will want to make sure that you limit the number of walls and objects that are between your devices and your modem/router.

    Ben S.
    Cox Support Forums Moderator
  • RexG's avatar
    New Contributor

    From a response from Cox: "For Ultimate 300 we recommend no more than 8 connected devices." I also see that their Internet Ultimate 500 plan is "Ideal for up to 9 devices".

    So, consider this scenario -- A household family of 4 with the following devices:

    • 4 cell phones (one per person)
    • 2 laptops
    • 1 video game console 
    • 1 video doorbell (e.g., Ring)
    • 1 internet-connected thermostat
    • 2 Amazon Echos (Alexa)

    That seems super-reasonable and not too overboard, right?? But, according to Cox, those 11 devices EXCEEDS the recommended maximum for their "Ultimate 300" plan and is even beyond their "Ultimate 500" plan. 

    That just blows my mind -- that the above modest requirements exceeds all but their top residential plan is beyond comprehension. 

    Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. 

    • A_Cox_Customer's avatar

      I don't buy that too many devices nonsense. This is a canned response and attempt to upsell you. It does nothing to help you diagnose whether you have a real connection issue.

      When your internet is up. With all devices connected turn on some Netflix (4K if you got it) open multiple youtube videos on your computer, start a zoom call, listen to music on your mobile devices.

      Then do a speed test on a computer via a wired connection and you'll see how much available bandwidth you have left. If the speed test is close to nil or your streams start cutting out during the test you might need to upgrade your service.