Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.
Modern internet technology has advanced fairly quickly. With all of that progress comes a great variety of devices we can use for internet usage, to determine how we access the web itself, and different ways that we can either work or enjoy leisure activities online.
With so many devices that we might want to connect, we need ways that all of them can get stable, uninterrupted signals at all times. Your modem and router are two of the most common pieces of hardware that are meant to help you facilitate this. They give you a signal from your internet service provider, and that signal then splits so that each of your devices can use it to access the internet. However, access points can also be a key part of this equation.
Access points operate in ways that are similar to routers, but they extend the coverage area of whatever local network you set up. Although this means that more devices can get on the internet, you might be faced with error messages about the access point being full. We’ll go over why this might be and how you might fix it. Furthermore, we can cover some things that happen when you’re dealing with multiple access points across the same network.
When you connect devices to your router or access point extender, each of the ones it connects with becomes a client. This is true for computers, tablets, phones, or any other kinds of things that can use internet access over a local network.
All access points have a maximum limit on the number of clients they are set to support. When this happens, you will get an error message that the point is temporarily full. In short, the access point has all the clients it can handle, and it will refuse to accept new ones.
If you’re getting errors about the access point being temporarily full, the client list that the device can accept is at capacity. However, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how many devices you want to connect, strictly speaking.
Whenever you connect a device to a router or an access point, that device grabs an IP address that is put out. You might be familiar with the IP address of your computer, and you may know that it is an important identifier and way for the machine to access the internet.
The same is true for any other thing you might want to connect to the internet, and it gets assigned its own address for much the same reason.
There is a maximum number of IP addresses that your access point can pull from a pool at any given time. Once this limit is reached, it won’t give out additional addresses.
There could be hard limits placed on how many clients your access point can accommodate, but there are ways to check this out yourself. Here are a couple of the most common ways you can try to resolve issues related to the access point being too full:
1. Turn off the access point for at least a few seconds. Consider unplugging it as well. We mention this as a first step in case you know that you have not reached the client IP limit yet but are still getting an error about the access point being too full.
2. You may need to change the set limit on how many clients can connect to the access point at any one time. In rare cases, it is possible that an internet service provider could enforce a hard limit.
However, that usually seems to be the case more for routers than for access points. You can go into your access points settings on the appropriate app or web menu to see if you can change the necessary values to something bigger.
3. Even if resetting the access point didn’t work, the error may be because of an unstable connection. If so, try to check for a firmware update for the make and model of your access point. It could address some stability concerns, and the error message might resolve itself this way.
4. On a related note, it could be an issue with your service provider. This is particularly true for error messages even when you know you have not reached the limit. If so, check with your provider to see if there are similar issues with your make and model that might require the company to roll out a fix.
5. This is still a message that can come up on a router rather than a dedicated access point. If this happens, check to see if your router can support both 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands.
If so, try switching some of the clients already on the list to one band or the other, particularly if all or most of them are already on one band. See if this makes the error message and issue go away.
You can have multiple points of access for a single home network. If this is the case for you, proximity is a key factor here. Having access points too close together can cause some issues.
However, “too close” can be a relative term, and the access points you are using would probably need to be very close together in order to cause any kind of noticeable interference.
This can happen in a small setup, though, and it may make it hard for either of the points to stay connected or stable. They might get confused and pick up interference from each other.
There are other types of proximity at play here, too. Each access point will be on its own channel. If you have two access points that are running on adjacent channels, this can cause the devices to overlap too much, even though neither of them is using the same channel.
You can minimize this problem by setting access points that are near each other on channels that are not. For example, on 2.4 Ghz, you could choose channels 1, 6, or 11 to avoid the overlap. On 5 Ghz, you can pick from a range of channels that might go as high as 24, giving you more options to avoid any issues.
Co-channel interference is also a thing, and it can produce similar issues. This will happen if your access points are both trying to stay on the same channel. When this occurs, there is a delayed response.
Both the access points and clients need to wait for the network channel to clear before any transmission can occur, and this can slow things down. The easiest solution to this problem is to set different access points on different channels. However, keep in mind that it is best if they are not adjacent channels.
Yes, multiple access points can have the same SSID. This is the service set identifier. It may be easier just to think of it as the name of your Wi-Fi network. When you set up your network initially, this is definitely a step that the access point will ask you about.
You will come up with your own SSID that is unique to you. It is different from a password, but it still helps to be a good identifier of Wi-Fi networks. This is especially true if you are in an area where many such SSIDs are going to show up when you try to connect your devices to Wi-Fi for the first time.
Giving different access points the same SSID can, generally speaking, reduce some network clutter for you. Your devices should detect and connect to the strongest signal available.
Even more, they should be able to find and reconnect to strong signals if they happen to lose them while roaming. To facilitate all of this, it is best if your points are set using the same network keys or security protocols. This can help to streamline the process and make sure everything is compatible.
It is possible for more than one Wi-Fi network to have the same SSID, but what happens here is dependent upon network protocols. To some extent, it will also depend on encryption and how you use passwords and other things related to the networks.
Wireless protocols can be different. How they differ can be rather complex, but we’ll assume you’re dealing with two networks that use one protocol each. In such cases, your laptop or computer will detect that these things are not the same.
In doing so, it will identify both networks with the same SSID as two separate networks. It should be able to do this by itself, and no input from you should be necessary.
If both networks use separate encryption protocols, the same thing will occur. Your device should see them as two separate networks that happen to share the same SSID.
As we touched on, it may be better to use the same encryption protocols if you’re going to set up two networks this way. There is less risk of any kind of issue with one protocol or the other causing some kind of interference, and it is a bit easier and cleaner to set things up this way.
It is possible that your computer might see that both networks use the same passwords and encryptions. Even if this is true, the device will probably look for separate MAC addresses. These are unique identifiers that every device will get when they get on a network.
Your hardware uses the MAC address as a way to route data packets through the network. In short, your computer should be able to make a distinction between two different networks that share the same SSID.
Access points are great for expanding the range at which we can connect to the web, and they allow a single network to host several devices. If you configure things correctly, you can bridge different access points to give connectivity to several dozen clients at once. There are some configurations you’ll have to be aware of, and any single access point can fill up. However, there are some solutions here that can expand the client list or get rid of the error.