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EIGRP timers (hello, hold and active)

Today at work I have run into troubleshooting an EIGRP problem with one of our customers; while troubleshooting this problem I started making every optimization I know about EIGRP. In this post I am sharing with you EIGRP timers I adjusted in order to clear up the problem.

Hello interval timer:

Hello interval is the rate at which EIGRP sends hello packets. The command ip hello-interval eigrp can be used to set the hello interval time manually.

Hello interval defaults to 60 seconds for low-speed, NBMA networks and 5 seconds for other types of networks.

Hold timer:

This is the amount of time that a router will consider a neighbor alive without receiving  hello packets. The hold time is typically three times the hello interval. You can adjust the hold time with the ip hold-time eigrp command.

Unlike OSPF changing the hello timer does not automatically adjust the hold timer.

Sometimes hello packets are lost in congested networks and neighbor relationships start to flap; in such cases you may want to increase the hold time.

Increasing the hold timer delays convergence, this is  an undesirable effect. If the default hello/hold time value is not suitable for your network try to find the value that best suits your network.

Active timer:

This timer controls the time the router waits after sending a query before declaring the route stuck in active (SIA) and resetting the neighbor relationship. To avoid this neighbor resetting you can temporary increase the active timer until you solve the problem by eliminating the cause.

The timers active-time command can be used to adjust the active timer.


  1. As salaam u alaikum,,

    Awesome post, when needed the most!!

  2. Nice Post.



  3. Really Good Post

    Thanks for information


  4. a Hold-Down timer is NOT what you are talking about. You are talking about the HOLD timer.

    A hold-down timer is a time that it will NOT allow the route to come back. A hold timer is the time it WILL keep the route before dropping it in the absense of a new hello.

  5. Thanks for good information

  6. Nice post really helpfull to understand about the EIGRP timers.

  7. Good post, Its vary useful

  8. Hey man, what are you talking about….
    You can’t adjust the hold time with the “”ip hold-time eigrp”” command. OK
    And this is NOT “Hold-down Timer”…….this is “HOLD-TIMER”

  9. Hold-down timer mentioned is incorrect.

    “if i am (source) not able get a response from you(destination), i will consider myself as down(source)”

  10. Hold-down timer mentioned is incorrect.
    Hold timer is :
    “if i am (source) not able get a response from you(destination), i will consider myself as down(source)”

    Hope this helps

  11. Hi there,
    Nice post, but i have a question Is there any command to check default values of these three timers ?

  12. What is effect if we increase hello and interval by router. For example change hello is 2 and dead interval is 6

  13. good post!Very helpfull.

  14. Muhammad Rasoul Ayubzada

    Nice and Easy Information