Preamble Type

Setting up a network seems easy. You have the right equipment, you’ve signed up for high-speed internet access, and you’re ready to go, right? In some cases, sure. Depending on the type of equipment you have, the number of devices connected, and your level of IT expertise, it’s possible to have your network up and running in no time. However, what happens when you think your network is ready to go, and you don’t have a connection? Maybe you log in and your internet is moving at a snail’s pace. While outdated equipment or slow internet may be to blame, it’s likely that your problem lies within your network settings. One of those settings that may need to be adjusted and that can affect your Wi-Fi performance is the preamble type.

What Does Preamble Mean?
Like the Preamble to the Constitution, a preamble in networking terms means “introduction.” What is it introducing, exactly? The preamble defines a series of transmission criteria that indicates when someone is preparing to transmit data. When the information begins to transmit, all systems must begin interpreting the start of the transfer at the right time. Failure to do so may result in a decrease in internet performance. Changing this setting can increase speed and performance.

The Two Preamble Types
There are two different preamble types that apply to your network: long and short. Long is typically the default setting. This type uses additional data header strings to check data transmission errors. Short, on the other hand, is faster because it adds less data when checking transmission errors.

So why would a person want to add additional strings if it can decrease performance? With older equipment, sometimes this is required in order to connect. This is particularly true of older wireless cards. If you are unable to connect using the short preamble type because of outdated equipment, you can use the default long type for your connection.

You may also opt to choose this type if you have low signal strength or a high rate of interference. The long type can improve transmission when signals aren’t strong.

However, if neither of these situations apply to your network, you can change the type to short. This will boost performance, although you shouldn’t expect to see a significant change. If your internet won’t connect at all or goes very slowly, additional settings may also need to be adjusted to optimize performance.

Changing Your Settings
You can change your default settings through your wireless router. Consult your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website for information on how to do this. If you notice that performance does not improve or worsens, simply change the setting back to default. However, with modern equipment, you’ll want to make sure that the short preamble type is selected.

Final Thoughts
Remember, while optimizing this setting can help performance, it won’t completely transform your computer, but it can help. It’s especially helpful when this change is made along with other changes to default settings to best suit your network.

Do you have questions about your network’s preamble? Do you have any recommendations or advice for changing settings? Leave a comment below!


Preamble Type Short or Long