- Two years after the release of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7 is taking over.
- With Wi-Fi 7, things will speed up and new ways to reduce network delays will emerge.
Wi-Fi 7 still operates in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands like Wi-Fi 6E, but offers further improvements. Wi-Fi 7 makes things easier by offering more potential bandwidth for faster downloads, aggregating connections across bands to deliver faster downloads, greater stability, and using more signal modulation to deal with bottlenecks.
Some of the marketing around Wi-Fi 7 focuses on delivering 8K video, but even if 8K streaming is common, compressed 8K streaming is weaker than most modern routers can easily handle.
The most obvious difference that Wi-Fi 7 makes is actually raw speed.
According to Intel, a “typical” Wi-Fi 7 laptop can achieve a “potential maximum” of around 5.8 Gbps; However, even reaching half of this number may be an exaggeration for most people.
Most of the time, what provides speed is the channel bandwidth or the size of the pipe through which the data is transferred. Wi-Fi 7 doubles the maximum channel bandwidth to 320 MHz, compared to the 160 MHz you can get on Wi-Fi 5, 6 and 6E routers.
The new specification also supports combining bands into a single link, a feature called Multi-Link Operation (MLO). For example, if you can download a file at 1Gbps on the 6GHz band and 700Mbps on the 5GHz band, combining the two can get you up to 1.7Gbps. This also means that if one of these connections stops working for any reason, your device can fall back on the other.
Wi-Fi 7 also doubles the number of MU-MIMO spatial streams. Wi-Fi 6 supports 8 x 8 MU-MIMO; This means that an eight-antenna router can communicate with eight devices and provide up to eight simultaneous streams to each device. For Wi-Fi 7 this is 16 x 16.
Compiled by: Damla Şayan