What Beacon Interval is | Everything You Need to Know

If there ever was a list of the most annoying wifi problems, slow speed would top it. Is there anything more frustrating than sitting there idle, waiting for the page to load? I think not. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. In that desperation, we try out different things. Beacon Interval is one of the things.

While others may end up fruitless, the beacon interval is something that may work. That too, when all else seems to falter. These several efforts may include tweaking with routers and wires, settings of the router. Or to the length of calling up your technician.

In all the chaos, you may forget, or you may not know how foolproof a way beacon interval is. Now, you all might be wondering what it is? Never heard of the term before? No worries, I’m going to tell you all about beacon interval in the upcoming section. So, let us jump right to it.

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Diggin’ Up Everything On Beacon Interval || A Boon For Your Wifi?

But again, the question remains. What is a beacon and its interval? You can take beacon to be a significant piece of information. It may consist of elements like the name of the Wifi (formally we know it as SSID), time logs, etc.

Think of it as a bunch of all the elements which aid in configuring your network and more!

Coming to it, it is the number of times a beacon gets sent over. In other words, it is the time that elapses between the sending of subsequent beacons.

Beacon Interval
Beacon Interval

The default value in most routers gets set to 100 milliseconds. That means once every 100 milliseconds. The system transmits a beacon with all its information. So, it is concerned with the beacon’s frequency.

So, when your Wifi is not behaving, the experts recommend you re-adjust it. It could significantly increase speed. But it happens only when you know what settings will suit your requirements. Otherwise, chances are, it may backfire. So, to make sure nothing of that sort happens to you, We’ll be discussing how to set it up.

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Beacon Interval Ranges

Like every other setting, there are possible ranges between which you may set your beacon interval. We’re talking about the optimal limits here. Outside that range, experts don’t consider it ideal to set up the beacon interval.

Different brands of routers offer different optimal limits. From the default, the optimal lower limit is 20 ms, and it goes up to be 1000 milliseconds. It may vary in different brands, though.

But what may lead you to vary the range of it? And what considerations should you take while you’re at it? Let us take a look.

Deciding On What The Proper Beacon Interval Should Be

There are several factors that play a major role in deciding apt beacon interval. You can set the beacon interval to values higher than the default or lower than it.

Beacon Interval Range
Beacon Interval Range

High Interval– When To Opt For It

Deciding to keep it more than 100 ms, means the system spends less time in transmitting beacons. That time, instead, the system can invest in accomplishing other tasks. Which, in turn, ensures faster execution and better productivity.

Big organizations with several devices usually opt for that kind of interval. As only a small number of resources go into high intervals, battery consumption is less. So, if you’re fussy about draining your battery, a high variety of it is not for you. Also, they’re capable enough for personal use.

But if it is of little consequence to you and all you care about is productivity. Then you might want to side with a high beacon interval.

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Going For Low Beacon Interval

If you live in a desolate area, where the speeds are constantly fluctuating, then you’ve got to try it. The low beacon interval might suit your just right.

So, when you set it below 100, it keeps on sending out beacons at shorter intervals, which is perfect if you have a not-so-stable connection. If more resources get used for sending beacon, what can you imply from that?  

It will consume more time to send beacons at lesser intervals. Hence lesser productivity and more battery consumption. But you can use internet stably in that case.

Also, for the sake of convenience, you can opt for more than one point of access. Why? Then the devices can take their pick from the available on ones. Fair enough?

Figuring Out And Sticking To The Beacon Interval That Works The Best For You

Figuring out the best beacon interval is partly understanding and partly hit and trial. How? You could start by knowing your network. For instance, if you live in remote areas and speed is important than the battery, go for the low intervals.

It could work wonders for you. Also, when we are talking about making use of multiple points of access, be more tentative. The value of the interval that you set should have a balance. That means it should not be too much cause any harm, but just as much as the systems can pick.

Proper Beacon Interval
Proper Beacon Interval

For instance, you can keep it as low as 70ms. Then you can go on increasing and decreasing as you deem fit.

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Conclusion

To close the article, I’d like to say that with a beacon interval, a thorough understanding is a must. Otherwise, there is no way you’ll be able to set it to just the right amount. So, take your time, weigh the pros and cons of both variants. Give what you want a though and then start experimenting with the time interval.

Once you get the it right, you won’t have to struggle when your wifi messes up—no more trying a thousand things just to fail at it again. So read out our article on it because it sure can work wonders for you.

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About the Author: Nicholas Miller

You can always find me with a cup of coffee Googling anything and everything related to the networking. Refer to our detailed How-To Guides on wifi routers and never face any issue with router again!

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