Learn how to manage your SmartWiFi speed limits to optimize your network usage.

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Enabling WiFi speed limits

Enabling speed limits will reduce the maximum possible device speeds. It helps set priorities and smooth out usage in busy locations to be more even for all users.

By default, the private network has no speed limit imposed, so if a single device is tested, it would get the plan speed. Guest networks are set to a speed of 5Mb/s down, 1Mb/s up to ensure priority is given to the private network.

For many, this default setup is perfect, as it’ll allow you to have full speed capabilities on all devices at all times on the private network. This isn’t ideal in all situations however as some want faster guest network speeds, and some private network devices might be using too of the connection and slow down others.

Managing speed limits will take practice to balance out individual user needs with that of the whole network.

Any speed limits you set will never affect your wired devices, only the wireless devices on the private or guest network. Setting speed limits also help if you need the hardwired network to have the highest priority.


Device speed limits

Speed limits can be applied to limit the maximum speed that each wireless device can get. Device limit rules affect all devices connected to the private or guest network where rules have been setup, and rules cannot target specific devices on the network.

You can set different device speed limits per network name. Often this is only applied to the guest network, but can also be setup on your private network if you need it to.


Network speed limits

Network speed limits set the maximum total speed that all devices on the specified network would share.

You can set device speed limits per network name. Often this is only applied to the guest network, but can also be setup on your private network if you need it to.

Network limits are more optimal than device limits for very busy guest networks. As an example, 30 guests connected to SmartWiFi 30 won’t help if using a device limit of 5Mb/s. This would let 30 guests use the entire plan many times over, but a network limit of 15Mb/s means they’ll never use more than half of the available speed and squeeze out the private network’s business use.


Checking your current network use

Login to your Meraki Dashboard and go to Client analytics. Network use information is on page 6 of the SmartWiFi User Guide.

It’s a good idea to look over the info when users are reporting slow speeds, or if you’re worried that guests might be slowing you down. It can also be handy just to know what usage is like throughout the day. Once you have an idea of the usage, it may be easier to know if speed limits need to be applied, and if so should you use device or network limits.


Choosing which speed limits to use

It can be hard to determine if you should set speed limits, and may require modifications over time. Both the network/device speed limit settings will be helpful depending on your location’s type of usage.

Here’s a few scenarios for a SmartWiFi 60 plan customer:

Your business needs high speeds and guest speeds aren’t essential:

  • No private network limit but guest network limited to 10Mb/s to prioritize speeds for business use.
  • Device limit isn’t essential if your only concern is priority for business use, but you may want to set device limits if some users hog bandwidth.

You own a coffee shop with only basic internal use and you want your guests to have lots of speed:

  • No private limits, but set guest to 55Mb/s to prioritize guest speed but still have some basic dedicated bandwidth for business use.
  • Setting guest device limits can help set expectations and keep things fair during busy times, but will limit total achievable speeds. See how things go and modify as needed.

Few users on either guest or your private network but you are getting complaints about speed consistency:

  • Set device limits for each network to 30Mb/s. No one will get the full speed when connecting wirelessly, but no one can hog it all either. Device limits will keep things even.

You get many guests in your business at once, and it slows down your business too much.

  • Figure out how much speed you need for your business, and set the guest network limit. If your needs are 10Mb/s, set guest to 50. Device limits will be less important if you’re just trying to protect what you need.

You frequently have many guests, but 1 or 2 of them still try to hog the speeds inappropriately.

  • Set both device and network limits for the guest network.

These again are only example guides. Figuring out the best settings for you can take time. Just keep in mind how the limits work, and make sure that you get the most of your plan and how you want it to work for you and your guests. As long as you know what your speed limits are set to, you can manage expectations and tweak settings as the need arises.


Changing speed limit settings

If you need to make changes, contact technical support, making sure to have account verification information handy. Limits cannot be self-managed at this time.