WiFi beacon interval - Is it really this easy?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Eug, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    I'd been having problems with reliability with my Trendnet access points (TEW-432BRP and TEW-452BRP) mating with my iOS devices, particularly the iPad 2. Periodically, esp. after sleep, I'd lose connectivity between the iPad and the net. To get it back I'd have to either cycle off/on WiFi, or else try to renew the DHCP lease. I tried all sorts of security combinations and various settings on the APs to no avail. Checking the WiFi settings on the iPad, it looked like it was sometimes losing the DHCP IP lease, but even if it had the lease sometimes I couldn't get onto the net. Setting a fixed IP address reduced the issues but didn't eliminate them. I also noticed this from time to time on the iPhone 4.

    Finally, I saw a couple of mentions online to reduce the Beacon Interval on the access points to 50 (from the default of 100). So far this seems to have greatly reduced the problem. We'll see if the problem is completely gone or not with time, but the situation has certainly improved.

    However, what I've also noticed is that with these 802.11g access points, my MacBook Pro speeds WiFi have gone from 16ish Mbps (but with lots of fluctuation) to 22-23 Mbps (usually solid above 20 Mbps in the same room). My understanding is that this is close to the real-world max of standard 802.11g, but nonetheless it's a 40% increase to what I was getting before.

    Can it really be that easy, just by reducing the Beacon Interval?

    I was going to upgrade to 802.11n (Buffalo WZR-HP-G300N with the Buffalo DD-WRT firmware), but at these speeds I think I may just stick with 802.11g for the time being, esp. if everything is working well now.
     
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  3. theevilsharpie

    theevilsharpie Platinum Member

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    Decreasing your beacon interval will increase the amount of bandwidth your access point uses for beaconing. Unless something is seriously wrong with your access point, there is no way that this would increase your usable bandwidth.
     
  4. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    Check out this thread.

    https://discussions.apple.com/messa...tstart=0#12715493?messageID=12715493&tstart=0

    Also this thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=10633938&postcount=15

    Decreasing beacon interval increases usable bandwidth with the iPad for those people. I suppose the max would be lower because of the higher overhead but if the prior real speeds are way below max then there is still room for much improvement. Eg.

    Default beacon interval: 1 Mbps
    Reduced beacon interval: 10 Mbps
     
    #3 Eug, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  5. Megatomic

    Megatomic Lifer

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    Eug, I have the same issue with my lowly Aspire One netbook. Maybe I'll give this a shot on my wifi router. Thanks for the tip.
     
  6. spidey07

    spidey07 No Lifer

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    Sounds like a serious bug to me. There should be no need to mess with beacon intervals.
     
  7. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    Yeah, you're probably right. Nonetheless I had to do something, and fortunately this seemed to have addressed the problem.
     
  8. Emulex

    Emulex Diamond Member

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    ipad with 4.x has serious dhcp problems. their hacks totally mess with many routers. that's what standford medical and many campuses ban those devices. they do nasty non-rfc dhcp spec things to speed up dhcp at home. which causes all heck on a huge campus with thousands of arp requests and collisions and security alerts.
     
  9. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    Networking and its Devices configuration are Not a "Mirrors" of BIOS configuration, and video Cards Overclocking and "Frame Pushing".

    The extra settings in Routers and other devices are for specific issues that come up when using complicated professional Networks.

    Putting aside SSID, Channel, and basic security settings, everything else should stay at default when used for regular Home Network.



    :cool:
     
  10. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    It's been several days now, and since reducing the Beacon Interval to 50, I have not had the problem recur even once. It used to happen several times a day.

    Even if it's usually only a professional feature, I am very glad this basic home router had this feature.