Windows 7 - How many PC on a Peer to Peer network

Asked By Marg on 01-Apr-08 12:43 AM
How many computers can you have on a peer to peer networking that is running
on a mixtures of XP Home, XP Pro and 1 computer on Vista? There are 4
printers on a Dlink network Server and 1 printer is a network printer plugged
into the switch / hub.

Many thanks
Pinetown, South Africa

Richard G. Harper replied on 01-Apr-08 05:59 AM
As many as you have network ports for.

Richard G. Harper [MVP Shell/User]
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Bob Willard replied on 01-Apr-08 06:32 AM
With a standard mask, the address limit is >250.
Cheers, Bob
Lanwench [MVP - Exchange] replied on 01-Apr-08 08:38 AM
Well...that's not really a complete/useful question as written. What do you
want to network/share?

You'll need a switch that can handle as many computers (or other networked
devices) as you've got.

You can share an Internet connection behind a router/gateway between 254
hosts if you use a 24-bit subnet mask . (or is it 253? I get confused.
Anyway, more than you've got, I'm sure)

You can't share *files* on one of your workstations with more than a
handful - 5 connections to XP Home, 10 to Pro, and you haven't mentioned
your version of Vista.

If you have more than a tiny handful of computers and want to share files,
get a server OS.
Jack \(MVP-Networking\). replied on 01-Apr-08 10:47 AM
you can install on the network as as many as you want.
However there is a limit to the concurrent connections.
WinXP Home allows only 5 concurrent connections, WinXP Pro 10 Concurrent
Vista 10 concurrent connections.
Next step, if you need more than 10 concurrent connections is Windows 2003
SBS, 75 concurrent connections.
Jack (MVP-Networking).
Bob Willard replied on 01-Apr-08 11:16 AM
Uh, really.  You see, 254 is >250.

{You are right that the limit is not just "computers"; anything that
swallows an IPA counts.}
Cheers, Bob
Anteau replied on 01-Apr-08 02:18 PM
In principle the answer is ten, since that is the max number of clients an XP
pro 'server' can service at one go.

In any case if you have more than a very few computers I would suggest
getting a server. This is comparable to buying a filing-cabinet instead of
telling people to just put the papers in any free drawer they can find.

An XP Pro computer (or Windows 2000) can in fact act as a server for up to
then users, beyond that you need a bespoke server OS which could be Linux,
Windows Server 2003,  or Small Business Server.

Linux; Low cost and very reliable, but not so easy to set-up or manage.
Great if you have a unix guru on-hand, maybe not so great if you don't.

Server 2003 Standard; Flexible and effective, will run on hardware of
moderate power, and do most things you need.

SBS; Offers a comprehensive set of features, but you have less control over
the way it works. Needs powerful hardware, or it will run like treacle.
smlunatick replied on 03-Apr-08 11:41 PM
On Apr 1, 7:38=A0am, "Lanwench [MVP - Exchange]" >

You are not limited to one (1) switch.  You can expand the number of
netowrk ports by "daisy-chaining" additional switches.  However, per
to my personal experience, after 30 network connections, it becomes a
Lanwench [MVP - Exchange] replied on 01-Apr-08 03:19 PM
Of course not. I am just trying to keep things simple for the OP ;-)
Jack \(MVP-Networking\). replied on 01-Apr-08 04:36 PM
Well, let say you have a small office with 16 computers using Win XP Pro.
One of computers is used as file server for Billing and other files.
All the workers would have the potential to use the server and it would work
well  as long as only 10 workers use the server at the exact same time. It
might not be the best arrangement but in many small offices Not all workers
do the same thing at the same time.
Otherwise, as I mentioned above,
Jack (MVP-Networking).
Lanwench [MVP - Exchange] replied on 01-Apr-08 05:19 PM
The main problem is, it isn't a simple matter of "one computer = one
connection" - one workstation may have several connections/handles open at
the same time. So, even if you have 11 computers & one XP Pro box acting as
the "server" don't expect it to work reliably.

Anything beyond a small handful of home/home office PCs really doesn't work
well as a workgroup, IMO. A domain lets you centrally control / manage your
security & data storage. 16 would be far beyond what I'd ever want to
support in a peer to peer network.
smlunatick replied on 03-Apr-08 11:41 PM
On Apr 1, 4:19=A0pm, "Lanwench [MVP - Exchange]"


One other possibility is to consider some type of network hard drive
(Network Attached Storage - NAS) and have the file stored on this.
Serveral NAS units seem to not use Windows at all for their
Lanwench [MVP - Exchange] replied on 02-Apr-08 05:53 PM
Yep - a lot run Linux. But you do not get a nice manageable AD domain that
way, of course.
smlunatick replied on 03-Apr-08 11:41 PM


Peer to Peer networking does not really ever need AD.
Lanwench [MVP - Exchange] replied on 03-Apr-08 11:57 AM
Of course not...that's true merely by definition. If you're using AD, you're
not using a workgroup, and hence aren't using peer to peer networking in
this sense. However, that doesn't mean that AD is not better & easier to
manage than peer to peer networking.  :-)