Long or Short Preamble

Long or Short Preamble – What’s The Difference?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

We all need fast internet but we’re frustrated most of the times. We usually think that the differences in actual and advertised speeds are fixed and no one can change that. However, there are some few situations that can boost the performance of your wireless Wi-Fi network significantly.

Most of the wireless internet routers and hardware have default settings for the Preamble Type. In most situations, the default setting is Long Preamble. Besides interacting with such terms on daily basis, many people don’t know what the Preamble Type router setting is, what the Preamble Type do and what to do to optimize the setting.

What is Preamble Type?

We need to familiarize ourselves with few terms before we try to understand the difference between Long and Short Preamble. The most important terms to understand are the Preamble and Header.

  • Preamble is the signal that is transmitted to the receiver showing that the data is on the way. Preamble is actually the first signal that prepares the receiver for the information that is about to be received. Preamble goes hand in hand with the transmission rate and length of time that the data will take to be transmitted.
  • Header on the other hand is the remaining portion of data that has its identifying information and that which contains a modulation scheme.

To check the Wi-Fi data transmission errors, the Preamble Type setting adds some additional data header strings. As the name suggests, the short Preamble type uses shorter strings which definitely adds less data to transmit the error redundancy. On the other hand, the Long Preamble Type uses Long Data strings. These long data strings allow a better error checking capability.

There are two major types of Preamble that users can optimize depending on their personal internet needs and preferences. These are Long and short preamble. Lets now have a deep look at both Long and Short Preamble.

Long Preamble Pros and cons

As stated earlier, Long Preamble uses longer data strings which improves the capability to check for errors. The total length, in this case, is 192 usec which is significantly higher than the short preamble. I had also stated that most routers use long preamble as the default setting mainly because the Long preamble allows connectivity to a larger range of devices. Another advantage is that it connects to even the oldest of the devices.

Long Preamble is usually recommended for people that are using network in a relatively large area. In this regard, long preamble has larger connectivity across many devices. Most old devices equally don’t support short preamble and for that reason, you will be forced to go for Long Preamble. Long preamble is also known for improving the transmission if the wireless signals are weak or if the signals are being transmitted over a longer distance than normal.

Long Preamble pros

  • Its compatible with major Wi-Fi devices
  • Higher error checking capability to reduce any data loss and errors.
  • It has a stronger signal strength for a larger geographical area.

Long Preamble cons

  • The PCLP cannot be improved from 1Mbps.

Short Preamble pros and cons

As Opposed to Long preamble, short preamble is the latest technology meaning it can only be compatible with the newest devices only. I have already stated that most older devices are not able to connect to the short preamble. This definitely means that you will not be able to connect an older device to short preamble. The main aim of short preamble is to enhance the efficiency of the network. Its was designed to improve the stability, speed and the data transmission across a wi-fi network.

Besides those many advantages, there are some common and unavoidable shortcomings. Short preamble is only recommended for people that have the router in the same room. Additionally, you need extraordinary data speeds for the short preamble to be beneficial. The transfer time for the short preamble is 96 Usec which means there’s a tad bit section for serious errors.

Short preamble pros

  • The speeds are capped at 2Mbps for PCLP transmission
  • Its compatible with all the latest Wi-Fi devices
  • Enhances the performance

Short preamble cons

  • Not compatible with older devices
  • The error checking capability is very low
  • Its not recommended for routers outside the room
  • It works optimally for shorter geographical areas.

What is faster: Short or Long Preamble for a wireless connection?

Going for short or long Preamble with your router is recommended but unfortunately it means that the lowest-performing device will be the prime determinant for all the other devices. It also means that there’s room for incompatibility. This way, its always recommended to start by checking the manufacturer’s manual for the optimal device’s settings. Setting the device preamble long guarantees compatibility if slower connections are unobjectionable.


What is short Preamble and Long Preamble?

Short preamble has sync of 56 bits while long Preamble has a sync of 128 Bites and is mostly used by Legacy systems. Regardless of this minor difference, SFD remains the same in all the situations. The purposes of Short and Long Preamble is different. The Short Preamble was introduced for the ultimate goal of efficiency.

What is 802.11b Preamble Long and Short?

It specifies the preamble settings in 802.11b. In this case, the default setting is access point mode which is Short & Long. This allows both long and short headers in the 802.11b frames.


The long and short preamble have different functionalities and they possess different features to meet their main aim. With such an idea, it will be very easy for you to choose the best preamble type. However, the type of the device, age, the data transmission speed, geographical area and the placement of your router should inform your decision. The Long preamble is recommended for the people that are using Wi-Fi on a couple of devices and they want optimal connectivity. But if your main goal is to achieve efficiency in terms of speed and you don’t care about the covered area, then Short preamble will do just fine.

What Internet Service is Available in My Area?

Jill Burns
Jill Burns
Read More
My internet and cable provider that shall not be named was raising my monthly bill. I later found out that there were were better discounts with no contracts. Now I'm only paying a fixed $92 dollars a month for cable and internet
John Hollaway
John Hollaway
Read More
Without warning from the provider, I get a bill thats $30 more expensive than the last month. I had a word with the customer service about the constant drop outs My friend told me about your website Theme Scene and now im getting wifi for $29 per month
Marie Williams
Marie Williams
Read More
If I called you earlier I would have saved myself 10 months of grief with my previous provider. Thank you

Disclaimer: Themescene.tv is an independently owned internet & cable and home services comparison review website on a mission to provide unbiased reviews. Themescene.tv is NOT an internet, cable TV, Satellite or phone provider

The information may be subject to change without notification of those changes. The information found on Themescene.tv is strictly for entertainment purposes only.

Leave a Comment

Discover the cheapest internet & Cable deals in your area

Fill the form below: