DTIM Interval (Period) Optimal Setting: DTIM Definition and Best Settings

Some small tweaks in our devices can have a great influence on the devices and others. For routers, setting the optimal DTIM interval can enable a balance in performance for home devices.

You must be aware of the Beacon Interval Setting, which is known for the creation of lag between the beacons that get channeled to your AP. This means that you have a clue about the DTIM which means the Delivery Traffic Indication Method. The two are closely linked, and understanding one helps you to understand the other quickly.

We will not cover overly technical details. But in this article, we will define DTIM, explain what it does, its application, and how to get the best setting for the DTIM interval option.

What is DTIM?

DTIM is an abbreviation for Delivery traffic indication map or message.

DTIM is the form of communication sent notifying clients about the broadcast data by the router or access point. The transmission comes from an access point.

router and gets generated within a periodic beacon. It comes within a specific interval that comes from the DTIM interval setting.

What is DTIM interval?

DTIM interval is the period that data is sent to clients. The advanced router setting determines the specific time that a client gets a message from the access point or router. Information is sent to each client individually thus the interval enables your devices to know when to “wake up” to receive those data. If the client receives data, they don’t get the messages. It is therefore responsible for managing data packet loss.

The router “buffers” broadcast and multicast data depending on the timing set for your router and let your mobile devices or clients know when to “wake up” to receive the submitted data.

More straightforwardly, DTIM is the number of transmissions that get channeled on each beacon.

Thus, if the DTIM is transmitted to your mobile devices more regularly, the more these mobile devices wakes up thus draining the battery faster. This is because the devices stay “awake” for longer.

Therefore, you can set a low value of DTIM or beacon interval to ensure the mobile devices do not go to sleep mode when idling. This sort of setting can increase power consumption by 10-20%.

How DTIM interval works

Settings are usually significant determinants of how buffering takes place in your connection. DTIM ensures that the clients are awake to receive the data that is coming to them.

However, a router should broadcast data quickly and conveniently and manage the traffic without controls.

Devices that are on power are the ones that receive the data, and any that are in sleep mode tend to ignore the message.  A non-DTIM beacon is responsible for the blocking of the message. Devices that tend to ignore the messages have a longer battery life as they stay in sleep mode for a more extended period.

The DTIM wakes them up to receive the data hence having lovely moments. Any communication or information that comes from the router at this stage gets to the destinations effortlessly. DTIM involves calculations that ensure there is consistency in the rhythms that the data arrives.

Router DTIM

DTIM Interval Optimal Setting: Depending on your devices, performance required and wakefullness required, you can choose the best DTIM interval Optimal settings and the beacon interval

Router DTIM is applying the DTIM service to send the broadcast to the clients from the router. DTIM is a router that stands for delivery of the traffic through an indication map of the message. An additional message accompanies the standard beacon as it delivers its channels. 

If you have more DTIM getting transmitted to your devices, they will be awake, and the battery will have more consumption. Lowering it, therefore, reduces the performance hence lowering the battery.

For Asus routers, for example, you will get the following tool-tip message when you check for DTIM setting: Delivery Traffic Indication Message (DTIM) is included in the Beacon packet.

The DTIM interval lies between 1-255 with the default value as 3. Therefore, this gives you the period to wake up Wi-Fi-connected clients from sleep mode.


Wireless DTIM happens when your wireless connections get into power-saving mode. A good example is when the AP goes into sleep mode or wakes up to send and receive data packets.

Under such data channeling, you will have the beacon intervals increasing or decreasing which are called listen-to intervals.

TIM occurs in Wi-Fi DTIM, and it is the packets that are sent by the wireless connections. You will have a chance to see the clients listen to the interval. If it is in sleep mode, power-saving mode of the high and low usage, you will have quick monitoring.  

Under TIM, there is a unique beacon that gets channeled to the clients. They then wake up to receive and broadcast the traffic. Configuring the DTIM is straightforward so long as you can manage the SSID.

The channels get delivered accurately and at the quickest rate. Under this situation, all clients will wake up to receive the packages.

If there is a large DTIM, the devices may sleep for more than 10 hours. Such a long sleep will have a positive effect on battery life. However, the traffic and delays increase as there will be latency in sending and receiving information.

Calculating DTIM interval

The beacon interval works the same way the DTIM interval works. One thing that you have to understand is that there is insufficient sleep when the DTIM is low. This means that all your devices will be active and will receive data without hassle and delays.

The level of idling also lowers hence making the power consumption limited and best performing. If the value of DTIM is 50, then the number of transmissions that occur is 50.

It means that the DTIM will broadcast once in every 50 beacons. If the value is 1, then it will send ten times in one second.

The default setting maintains the way it is unless you change it. Understanding the sending of the intervals is slightly complicated because you have to set it according to a specific number of settings. For instance, 1 DTIM setting will transmit every 100ms seconds as 2 transmits every 500ms.

Optimal DTIM Interval setting

Each router comes with its own default DTIM interval setting. It is usually between 1 and 3. Choosing to stick by the optimal DTIM interval setting is the best thing for the router to deliver its best. 

You can also choose to make changes by visiting the router’s settings and making changes from advanced settings. Changing may come with effects such as latency and ping.

If you have to change the interval, you will need to consider your needs and make the changes closely. You have an option to change according to your intentions, such as saving power and battery. It is possible to set it to the highest at 255, depending on how you want it to perform.

If you’re a gamer, you may have to increase the DTIM to enjoy uninterrupted gaming sessions on your gaming router. It will deliver high quality because there is an advantage of enhanced performance.

The most significant benefit is that the battery life increases because the fluctuations in data channeling also tend to lower. 

How to activate DTIM

Whenever one of your network devices enters power-saving mode, DTIM is activated. If a device has enabled power-saving mode on an SSID, the AP buffers data messages to ensure that they are sent at regular intervals.

Thus, if you’re using a wireless network and at least one device has a power save mode enabled, your access point will buffer data packets so that data doesn’t get sent out until the DTIM period ends.

Otherwise, the router or access point sends the data messages immediately, regardless of whether clients are present on the network. To prevent the use of DTIM, ensure that no devices on your network are in power-saving mode.

If your network doesn’t have any devices using power save mode, the router or access point will send out data as soon as it receives it.

However, most current mobile devices, such as Android or iPhone, are enabled by default to use DTIMs, so your home network or access point is most likely to utilize power-saving mode.

Do I need to lower my DTIM?

There are times that the quality of performance lowers because of the high DTIM. At this point, you will need to lower the DTIM so that the performance remains enhanced and well-performing. When devices also start working weirdly, you will have to lower the DTIM.

Therefore, the optimal DTIM interval setting for some devices may be a lower value as compared to others.  

Best beacon interval for gaming

The beacon default interval value for connections and other tasks is 100. You have the option of scanning the connection to ensure that it is not infected by malware. Various activities take place in any instance. Beacons are configurable and help in making the various functionalities manageable.

Intervals for beacons are the duration between one beacon and another. Measuring the interval period and assessing it against the gaming requirements will make you have an optimal interval. Under most circumstances, the settings by the manufacturer support various activities such as gaming.

The employment of various technologies determines how the performance of activities will take place. You can strategize by checking the requirement for the various gaming tasks and then allow the functions to take place conveniently. Decreasing the beacon interval increases the utilization of the bandwidth.

Gaming is an activity that needs you to have the best hardware and stable connectivity. Each gamer looks at managing being at the competitive edge. The beacon also needs some configuration so that you enjoy the best outcomes and performance.

If you have the latest firmware and devices, you will have an easy time with your gaming activities.

Maintaining the beacon is something you will enjoy for your gaming tasks. If you have to change the interval, then you may have to add 20. Anything between 100 and 120 makes the best beacon interval for gaming.

Adding more intervals will make the performance lower or will make the battery drain. Therefore, you will need a balance between the performance and the battery you use to have a long-lasting outcome.

DTIM iPhone

iPhones will need frequent communication and sending of data channels. There is also a variation between the DTIM beacons that make the functionality of the routers more enhanced.  iPhones are notorious for using 2.4 GHz which means that it needs a more stable connection.

Sometimes the connection can go lower and become unreliable when you use the 5GHz bands. The DTIM interval stands at 100 for most of the connections. However, the speeds are high enough ad will make the battery drain quickly. iPhones get services from routers and access points, which makes the connection more reliable.  

When using the iPhone, the number of wakeups comes with how lower the intervals are. You will therefore need to have a slightly lower beacon interval to have better functionality.

Lowering the beacon interval will make the performance reliable and performing better. Between 75 and 100 beacon intervals will make the model deliver more enhanced performance.

Applications that experience challenges with high DTIM intervals

When operating under very high DTIM intervals, some activities won’t function as you expect. Airplay, VolP, Mirroring, and multicast applications will experience a challenge in connection.

There is a solution that will make you use the applications again.  Choosing the proper DTIM value will make the performance of the applications suitable.


DTIM settings are those that you will have an easy time managing. You can make simple adjustments that will make the performance enhanced.  All your devices have a specific beacon interval that makes them function as you expect.

Choosing the best DTIM interval value will make the performance better and enjoy quality service thus setting it lower or higher will make the performance reliable. The optimal DTIM interval setting will balance power consumption and keep the devices awake.

For example, if you have a couple of Nintendo switches in your home, changing the default DTIM interval setting and setting a value of 3 or another optimal setting will ensure that they do not show up on the events lists of the controller as devices disconnecting/ reconnecting to the WiFi network when on standby mode.