What is Wi-Fi 7?

Wooden cube blocks flipping from words WiFi 6e to WiFi 7.

Wi-Fi allows people to connect to the internet to talk with their friends across the globe, stream their favorite TV shows, and do a million other things. As you read this blog, most of you likely are using Wi-Fi 5 or 6. But have you heard of Wi-Fi 7? 

Wi-Fi 7

Wi-Fi 7 is the next generation of Wi-Fi. Its predecessor, Wi-Fi 6 was an upgrade to Wi-Fi 5 and so on. With each new generation of Wi-Fi, the speed and range with which it sends data has increased. For example, Wi-Fi 7 can allow you to download a 15 GB file in about 25 seconds compared to the 1-minute it might take on Wi-Fi 6 – that’s 2.4 times faster! 

One exciting feature about Wi-Fi 7 is Multi-Link Operation (MLO). MLO allows users to connect to multiple channels (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz) at once and transfer more data. Think of each band as a highway. Wi-Fi 7 allows devices to access these highways at once, so if you have multiple points of data (cars in our example), they can use separate highways to reach their destination without getting stuck behind another car in traffic. This becomes increasingly useful as the number of devices we connect to the internet increases. 

How Can I Get It? 

As great as Wi-Fi 7 sounds – the speed and its fun new features, it unfortunately won’t be available to everyone everywhere. Wi-Fi 7 routers are costly, ranging from $700 to $1,000. And even if you do manage to get your hands on one, you need a device that’s compatible, like one of the new Google Pixel or the Samsung Galaxy phones, or the newest HP laptops. And what about iPhones? Well, unfortunately, none of the current iPhones are Wi-Fi 7 compatible, so I won’t be able to use it anytime soon… However, there are rumors that the upcoming iPhone 16 will be compatible with Wi-Fi 7. 

Should I? 

So, why get Wi-Fi 7? Well, as the world becomes more and more digital, the need for higher speed internet will increase. One day you’ll be streaming 8K movies from Netflix, downloading massive video games, and attending even more Zoom meetings… As those needs grow, as well as the required bandwidth speeds, the need for the newer Wi-Fi generations will increase. However, is that something everyone needs now? Well, probably not, at least not yet. It does have its benefits, but the cost and availability are still a major holdback.  

It’s probably best to wait until it becomes more available and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. However, if you do take the leap, let us know how it is. 

 

P.S. Talks about Wi-Fi 8 are in the works, so there’s lots to keep up with! 

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