What is the Beacon Interval On A Wireless Router? (And How To Change It)

What is the Beacon Interval On A Wi-Fi Router

Ever have problems with your network connection? Changing the beacon interval on your router is a fairly advanced way to tailor your network to the way that you use it, and as such can be a useful way to optimize your network.

To find out what a beacon interval is, as well as how to make it work for you and the way you use your network, please read on!

What Is The “Beacon Interval”?

The beacon interval is essentially how often your router sends out a signal to your devices. This signal, or beacon, contains data about the access point including configuration and security information.

The basic function of a beacon is to let your devices know that there is an access point, such as a router, in the area that the device can connect to.

A beacon interval, therefore, is how often the beacon is sent out by the access point to the devices in the area. A high beacon interval means that the access point will send out a beacon less often, while a lower beacon interval means the time between beacons will be lower.

It is measured in milliseconds and is usually set to a default of about 100ms. This means that the access point will send out a beacon every 100ms.

While this default setting is generally the best for most people and most uses of a network, there are certain network situations where it can be advantageous to change how often this beacon is sent out.

It should be mentioned that if you aren’t having any problems with your network, it is probably best to just leave the beacon interval as it is.

What Is The Optimum Beacon Interval Setting (High vs Low Beacon Interval)?

High Interval

Setting a high beacon interval means that your access point will send out beacons less often. It can be a good idea if you generally use your network while stationary and you have a strong connection to your network.

By setting access points to send out beacons less often, your devices will do less work and as such, they will use less energy which will allow them to save battery.

As well as this, setting the interval higher can result in an increase of connectivity problems, which can effect the usability of your network.

Low Interval

On the other hand, setting a low beacon interval means your router or access point will send out a beacon more often.

This can give you an improved connection and as such can be used in places where you have a weak connection or in places where there is a lot of network interference.

If you go too low, though, too much of your bandwidth could be taken up by the beacon and you may end up with slower speeds on your network.

Furthermore, your connected devices will have to do more work, which could affect their battery life.

When setting your beacon interval, it is really just a case of finding the correct balance that suits your uses.

How To Change The “Beacon Interval”?

If you think your network will benefit from a change in your beacon interval, you can do this in the settings of your web-based configuration on your router.

1) Log In To Your Router

To do this, simply open up a web browser, type in your router's IP address and enter the username and password.

2) Find The Beacon Interval Settings

Your beacon interval settings will usually be in the ‘Advanced Settings’ section of your wireless router.

3) Choose Your Beacon Interval

Now you simply need to put in the number you want to use for your beacon interval. Make sure to save your settings before leaving your router’s web-based setup.

And that's it!

If you don’t notice any difference to the problems your network is having, then you can always choose to move the beacon interval to an even lower or higher number. Just remember that the default is usually 100 and that you can always put it back to the default setting if needed.

Hopefully, you have found this article useful! Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or share on social media if you know anyone who might like the article!

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