Wifi Concerns with number of devices?

Hello all,

This is my first post :).

I have setup HomeAssisant, 3 TreatLife swtiches, and SmartThings to manage the connection to the switches. I created a group for the 3 swtiches so I can turn them off or on. This was all a proof of concept to make sure everything works smoothly and so far it does.

Now I am about to order 50 more TreatLife Wifi switches. The goal is to be able to turn off all lights in my house with one button. I am a little worried all of this traffic may clog up the wireless network. I could easily end up with 100 devices as I keep adding more over time.

Has anyone else had this many wifi devices added to their Homeassisant and run into issues?

Should I be thinking about creating a separate (guest) wifi for all of my automation devices?

Homeassistant wont be your issue. Your network will. Most consumer grade pre-wifi6 routers can only handle a DHCP pool of 128 devices. That’s your first hurdle. Solve that and it becomes a network saturation (not bandwidth - saturation - lots of small quick messages - especially if you’re doing power monitoring)

If you’re sticking with Wifi devices - explore your network backbone for how well it will handle the traffic. Consider appropriate upgrades including Wifi6 gear and a router that can handle VLans and decent sized DHCP scopes.

Thanks Nathan,

I was thinking the same thing. I have an enterprise class network with mainly unifi equipment in the house. It’s a full WDS wifi with 5 access points for full house coverage. I could go as hardcore as needed with VLANs or anything else. I think at a minimum I am going to create a guest network on a separate LAN for all of the automation devices. I currently have about 50 devices on the network before adding in any of the automation devices.

Most IoT devices are 2.4Ghz only and usually only support B,G or N so can’t take advantage of the Wi-Fi 6 bits. With 5 Access points you are going to have to do some tuning to make sure they don’t interfere with each other. Maybe even turn off the 2.4Ghz on a couple of the APs. Remember there are only 3 non overlapping channels in the 2.4Ghz band. 1, 6 and 11. If you also have bluetooth or Zigbee that sits in 2.4 as well. Not sure if your system supports it but see if you can see the channel utilisation and the noise floor.

I would look at the spec of the Access points you are using, how many devices per radio they suggest as best practice? This will be way below the maximum capable usually listed in product specs.

Lastly, look at moving all your users (PCs, Phones, Consoles and Tablets) or anything else that supports 5Ghz onto that band. This might be possible through the setup of the APs to prefer or force 5Ghz for devices that support it, but you may need to create separate SSIDs for 2.4 and 5Ghz.

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For obvious reasons I rather recommend you to get a ZigBee or Zwave network.
There is no point in finding out if it’s too much or not.
And even if it does work, the next device you buy, say a laptop or tablet might make the network crumble.

I have a unifi network and currently have 108 WiFi smart devices on separate vlan. The access points I have can each handle 300 clients.

Look for the hook up on YouTube, he runs through a unifi network setup with home assistant

As others have stated, I would much rather go for a zigbee or z-wave based network. It also gives you more options down the line (temperature sensors, door sensors and so on).

Also, if you search here, it looks like you can use treatlife with tuya and the localtuya integration

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I use both WiFi and ZigBee devices

Even more reason to not go down the wifi route. Edit: Sorry, I confused you with OP.

See this is a good reason to not get more of those.
I don’t trust Tuya at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if there comes a new update that destroys local Tuya.

If you get Tuya ZigBee or Zwave then it’s fine, but not wifi.

Cheap WIFI routers you get from an ISP are all junk with too little resources.

If you buy some “Prosumer” equipment like the fairly priced Ubiquiti stuff you will have no problem having 50-100 low traffic clients like wifi switches without having concern with VLAN etc.

I personally have an Edgerouter 4 and 4 access points from Ubiquiti. And the only reason for 4 is that the house is built in a time where you made walls from a biproduct from coal so there is carbon in the walls that absorb GHz signals. Plan for 2 or 3 access points and you will be good. I have 60 clients on my wifi right now and sometimes reach 70. And I can still run a speedtest from my iPad and get 500 Mbits.

Just avoid cheap wifi router. It will not have enough CPU or memory resources to handle more than a normal family with 10-20 clients

If you run 50-100 iot wifi devices I most definitely would be concerned with VLANs. You should at least seperate them from your other devices and limit their ability to talk to other non-iot devices.

A good point that i also lately seen missing in people “concerns” in regards to WIFI/Router capabilities ( True, a router specs says maybe up to 128 devices) thou with heavy “talking” devices / High traffic, i doubt one would reach half the amount, before “hitting the roof” at main-router end.
In regards to your old “coal” house, they are about to/will get “modern” again … speaking about crises

Why would that make a great difference?

My house is not a business. It is a home. My webserver, my misc server, and my home assistant are wired. My cameras are wired. My TV, my amplifier, all wired.

With the exception of our phones, our iPad, and laptops, all the other things are IOT. Some of these I access directly at times. I could spend a full year of weekends to learn how to setup routing between them so the boxes in the non IOT VLAN can talk to the boxes in the other. And at the end I save a little multicast traffic and increase the load on the router. I cannot see what I get other than trouble.

And do not tell me I have trouble without knowing. My Wifi works 100% reliable. Unlike my Zigbee where I see a light missing a message or a sensor disconnecting daily.

Doesn’t matter if you cameras are wired or not, the same principals apply. You should seperate iot-devices (especially cameras!) from you other devices and only let them communicate with your other devices with rules. It doesn’t matter how long you would need to learn the setup. It is best practice. It is common knowledge that iot-devices have more security flaws and gets less patches to address these than for example your ipad. How often do you patch your cameras?
In theory someone could have access to all your cameras, watch your movement and so on because of a exploitable weakness in a device that is connected to the internet.

I haven’t said anything about you having trouble, I only said that you should not run all your iot-devices on a flat LAN. If you have daily issues with your zigbee setup you’re doing something wrong :slight_smile:

Here’s a guide (from 2019) if you want to have a look at separation Guide: Creating Isolated Networks with Ubiquiti UniFi · vNinja.net

Is that really? Why does everyone throws this 128 around? Xioami does the same in the marketing for a wifi router but it was no problem to address >200 devices having openwrt on that thing (I think the limit is somewhere around 16k devices for the default openwrt).

Well, I have no Wifi 6 gear (not aware that any “smart” stuff actually utilizes it?) but on the other hand I have over 100 devices (mostly esphome based) on my (very) low-budget grade network which mostly consists of used openwrt capable hardware.

Wasn’t it one of this Z-technology which actually had a hard limit of devices and at some point more coordinator or other hardware is needed? :put_litter_in_its_place:

Beside Wifi devices (the ones you can really own) look like the most hassle and pain-free-:tm: devices for me. Not only the capability to extends it’s functions but also running updates on all nodes with one click beside integrating them in a network which has already perfect coverage (like the one from @intrex by the looks of it).

Only thing I would suggest the author is to don’t buy any random wifi (tuya) hardware but actually only ones that can be owned (hardware & software) completely - so basically being compatible with something like esphome.io :rocket:

One could instead buy wall switches which are based on esp32 and have them working as bluetooth proxies beside them doing there switching stuff :muscle:

Doing a quick search first for ZigBee max devices, then conbee 2 max devices seems to suggest there is a big difference what coordinator you choose.
I don’t know if conbee is the best, probably not but the first result seems to suggest 50 isn’t a problem.


Yes really and I’m not talking about flashed linksys boxes im talking about your garden variety cable modem/ta box. The 128 part comes form the fact that most consumer grade stuff only addresses a /24 or /25 address scheme in thier DHCP server so that’s 254 or 124 usable addresses. So yes 128. OpenWrt and tomato and prosumer gear doesn’t usually suffer the same fate.

Its not just about the end device bandwidth. The WiFi6 standard has improved data handling on the head end so that it handles saturation and a lot of clients better even when there’s A, C or N traffic.

Doing a quick search on Z-Wave max devices:

The Z-Wave Network Layer Supports up to 232 domains. Randomly generated in all unincluded nodes

And still the problem to cover larger areas. I didn’t try but I’m sure I would have a hell of time with this (imho) overpriced Z-Stuff on the other hand I had already a quite good wifi setup which covers all areas in need - obvious choice was to stick to wifi. Specially as the Z-Stuff (back in the time) couldn’t be completely owned but mostly limited to own the hardware and have no control over the firm/software :man_shrugging: