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smokie
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Device quantity limitations

I've read a number of posts here but none seem to have any proper answers except that the VM router is useless.

So putting that to one side, I'm curious to know

a) if there is a "physical" hard limit to the number of devices, something lower than the 256 devices allowed in a subnet range, and if so what causes the limitation (like a limited device pool or memory size)

b) whether devices which are turned off but have an IP address assigned (i.e. you can see them in a network scan as dead) count against that limit

c) whether any limit, recommended or physical, applies only to concurrently active devices (i.e. ones currently in use and exchanging data, as opposed to, for instance, a light or switch waiting for a command counts as a device, even though activity may be a 2ms blip each second)

d) what actually happens if you reach the hard limit, if there is one - is it a performance drop-off or something less dramatic?

e) why people in responses have suggested a mesh network to get over device limits, and lastly 

f) if you use the guest network (for instance shift all home automation stuff onto it) does that come out of the total number or does it give you another x devices in the different IP subnet

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