DTIM Interval

Have you noticed that the battery life of your device isn’t what it used to be? Sure, over time your battery will discharge faster and will eventually need to be replaced, but before you pull out your wallet to purchase a pricey new battery for your laptop or smartphone, read on to find out how the DTIM interval may affect your battery life, and the benefits (and drawbacks) of changing this setting.

What Is DTIM?
Before we go into what DTIM interval means, it’s important to first establish the meaning of DTIM. DTIM stands for Delivery Traffic Indication Message, and it is part of the beacon packet. This is a message that is sent following the beacon broadcast from your router or access point. To break it down further, DTIM determines when your device is awake and asleep. When broadcast and multicast data are sent, DTIM “wakes up” your device so that the data can be received.

What is DTIM Interval?
The DTIM interval is a measurement of when your device receives these additional notifications that wake them up from sleeping mode. This goes hand in hand with the beacon interval. If, for example, your beacon interval is set to 100, this means that beacon broadcasts are sent every 100 milliseconds. Your DTIM interval determines with which beacon broadcasts your device is wakened from a sleeping state. If your DTIM interval is set to 1, this means that every beacon that is sent will contain an additional message that will wake the device. If the DTIM interval is set to 100, this means that the device will receive the message with every 100


How DTIM Intervals Affect Performance
Shorter intervals will allow your devices to connect to a network faster. If you want an instant connection, keeping your DTIM interval at 1 and beacon interval at 100 will be ideal for you. However, it’s important to point out that a main drawback is that this heavily consumes the power of your battery. In fact, a lower DTIM interval could potentially use up to 20% more battery power.

Higher settings will allow your computer to stay in Power Save mode more often, which will provide you with a longer battery life. Its drawback, however, is that connectivity may be affected when multiple devices are online and the network may get out-of-sync.

For the most part, many users won’t need to adjust the default beacon and DTIM interval settings unless there is a loss in connectivity or an issue with battery life. If this setting does need to be adjusted, this can be done through the router’s advanced settings.

Final Thoughts
DTIM interval is just another advanced router setting that may need to be adjusted to optimize performance of your wireless devices. You can find out how to change this setting through your router’s user manual or by contacting the tech line for your router’s manufacturer. Remember, just like with other advanced settings, some troubleshooting and tweaking may be required to optimize your personal settings.

Do you have any questions about setting the DTIM interval? Do you have any recommendations for settings that can boost performance? Leave your comment or question below!


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