Long Or Short Preamble Type: Advantages and Disadvantages [Explained]

Setting up the network seems easy. But in the early days, internet connection, speed or data transfer depended on the wire types, its materials and modem. Thankfully, with modern wireless technology, you can customize the network settings to get faster speed.

Preamble is one of those settings that, upon adjusting, can improve WiFi and router performance. It comes pre-loaded in the latest routers and you can customize it in the firmware.

Here we’ve discussed what preamble mode is and what it does to help you understand how to apply preamble on your device and apps.  

What is Preamble Mode

Preamble mode is a signal in network communication that is transmitted to a receiver. Physical Layer Convergence Protocol (PLCP) is responsible for preamble the information so that receiver can get it properly without losing data.

The preamble contains the transmission rate and time length to transmit data. Whereas Header, the remaining data, describes the modulation scheme and its information.

Preamble has two types, long and short, that you can adjust in the router settings as per your preference. Long preamble type uses long data strings for better error checking capability. In contrast, short preamble type uses short data strings with fewer data to transmit error redundancy in 96 microseconds making data speed faster.

Long Preamble vs. Short Preamble- Which is better?

Long preamble and sort preamble both have certain benefits and limitations. So let’s find out which one works better than the other.

Long Preamble

Long preamble uses a longer data string which means it takes a longer time to transmit a single data string. That improves the error checking capability than a short preamble.

The total transfer time is quite higher, 192 microseconds. Most routers have a long preamble by default to provide internet connection at a wider range. Even some oldest routers also use the same type for WiFi connectivity. Long preamble ensures a stable and better signal to all devices.

Therefore, when you have multiple devices connected to a router and want to have a strong WiFi signal, long preamble is the best choice. Moreover, even if the WiFi becomes weaker, long preamble can help with increasing the transmission speed and rate.

Let’s take a quick glance at its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

  • Connect multiple WiFi devices at a broad range.
  • Compatible with legacy IEEE 802.11 systems that run at 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps.
  • Provide reliable and strong signals.
  • Error checking capability is high to reduce data loss during transmission.

Disadvantages:

  • Physical Layer Convergence Protocol (PLCP) with long preamble is only transmitted at 1 Mbps, which can’t be increased.

Short Preamble

Short preamble works on the latest models only. Therefore, you can’t connect an older device to a short preamble because the device won’t support it.

Short preamble is better than long preamble in terms of network speed and reliable data transmission. It improves network efficiency and ensures faster data speed. 

The total data transfer length is 96 microseconds, lower than the long preamble. In a word, a short preamble reduces the time for error checking. 

However, this preamble type is only suitable for a smaller network range. It works the best for people with the router in the same room.

So, the advantages and disadvantages of short preamble can be said as follows:

Advantages:

  • Compatible with the latest WiFi models.
  • Speed is capped at 2 Mbps for PCLP transmission.
  • Increase router as well as WiFi performance for a stable and faster internet connection.

Disadvantages:

  • Incompatible with legacy 802.11 systems working at 1 and 2 Mbps.
  • Incompatible with the older devices.
  • The error redundancy check is lower for the shorter data strings.
  • Connection problem or weak signal outside the room or at a wider area.

How to Customize Preamble Type Settings

If you want to customize preamble type settings, do it in the router’s firmware as follows.

  1. Log in to the router settings.
  2. Under Wireless Configuration, select the Advanced tab.
  3. Set the preamble to long or short as per your preference.

All the routers come with long preamble by default for better connectivity. But you can optimize it anytime.

Conclusion

Hopefully, now you have a clear idea about long and short preambles. If many devices are connected to the same router, long preamble is the better option. But to use the WiFi within a room for the fastest speed, go for short preamble.

About Ady Wilson

Ady Wilson is a technical writer/blogger with years of experience passionate about the latest trends. He is a true tech-enthusiast and loves to explain how different tech products work and what to do when they stop working. He mainly covers topics on troubleshooting guides, Games and app comparisons for Android, iOS and Windows. When Ady isn’t writing, he spends his time playing games like Fifa, Call of Duty etc., on Xbox One.

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