There always seems to be a newer, better technology on the horizon, something that'll change your life and make it more convenient. Some of these innovations are truly amazing, and you should adopt them immediately. Others, depending on your needs, not so much.
Enter Wi-Fi 7, a new standard for your wireless internet, which promises faster connections across more devices. But what exactly is Wi-Fi 7? And will it render your current router and other tech obsolete?
At Asurion, we don't just take care of your tech. We teach you how to get more out of the devices that run your world. Here's everything you need to know about Wi-Fi 7.
What's Wi-Fi 7, and how does it work?
The seventh generation of Wi-Fi promises internet speeds four times faster than the previous one. This latest Wi-Fi standard also increases how fast you can transfer data and how much information your network can handle, among other things. It's great for creatives using video and editing software, streamers watching shows like The Sopranos from start to finish, and families (or coworkers) using the network at the same time. All will have a smoother, faster internet connection.
Once Wi-Fi 7 is widely available, you'll be able to use it with your existing wireless devices as long as you have a new Wi-Fi 7 router or other compatible device that helps extend your wireless coverage. But to take advantage of all its features and perks, you'll need to invest in Wi-Fi 7 hardware.
What are the benefits of Wi-Fi 7?
Wi-Fi 7 promises faster speeds and greater efficiency for every connected device—from routers to smartphones to laptops to TVs. So if your Wi-Fi connection suffers from lag, congestion, or constant buffering, a Wi-Fi 7 router will transform your experience. You'll have higher quality video, better cloud gaming, and access to augmented reality and virtual reality apps. Plus you'll be able to support more devices connecting at once.
What is the difference between Wi-Fi 7 and previous versions?
If you've looked up routers online, you may have seen that there are multiple standards available: Wi-Fi 5 (which has been around since 2014) and Wi-Fi 6 and 6E (which, up until now, have been the fastest options). Here's what Wi-Fi 7 offers:
Wi-Fi works on three frequency bands—2.4-GHz, 5-GHz, and 6-GHz—which devices use to send and receive data. Each band is broken up into multiple channels, and the wider the channel, the more information it can transmit. Wi-Fi 7 supports all three wireless frequency bands, but it has double the bandwidth of the last generation.
Earlier Wi-Fi standards transmitted data on one band, using one fixed channel at a time. Multi-link operation allows a Wi-Fi 7 router to send and receive data using different frequency bands and channels, at the same time, boosting speed, efficiency, reliability, and the amount of data that gets transmitted. So if you're looking for the fastest internet possible, Wi-Fi 7 will get you there.
QAM, short for Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, is one way of sending and receiving data in radio-frequency waves. The higher the QAM, the more information you can send and the better the performance will be. Wi-Fi 7 offers a 20% bump in transmission rates over Wi-Fi 6. That means you can play huge online games without lag, live stream from your laptop, and watch incredible 4K/8K videos.
When's Wi-Fi 7 coming out?
Officially, Wi-Fi 7 launched in late 2022, but it's not widely available, and most devices don't support it—yet. Of course, that'll change as manufacturers develop new routers and other tech. For now, Wi-Fi 6 and 6E remain the fastest, most accessible wireless standards that are widely available today—and depending on your needs, they won't be obsolete once Wi-Fi 7 becomes more common.