The recent development of technology brings us many unique and useful products and provides the opportunity for even faster technological growth. Case in point: WiFi 6 and WiFi 7. In the case of the former, the internet has developed to load high-quality video and immense volumes of content while the user watches it in real-time. The next generation of WiFi, which is number 7, is designed to be faster, have bigger capacity, work as several hotspots, and, naturally, be more secure.
In fact, the connection that the ‘popular’ user will get is going to approach the quality of something people see in movies. Whether you are trying to load a book faster, need help from paper writing service PaperWriter or save the world by texting your mom an immediate text, it all is promised to get three times faster in 2024. Along with speed, the great attention of future developers is concentrated on the data security of its users. So, let’s review the main differences in what WiFi 6 and WiFi 7 have to offer and how they will change the simple user experience of regular users.
Current and future generation specifics
First, we need to see the difference in numbers.
The review of the next technology characteristics looks like the WiFi 6 on steroids. Modern internet technology transmits data at 10 gigabits per second. The seventh generation promises it to be 30 gigabits per second. So, the faster, the better.
WiFi 7 promises 4096 QAM modulation compared to the now existent 1024 QAM modulation in WiFi 6. Experts say that the current capacities in modulation are impressive even now, so we will once have four times, which means an even more stable connection to the hotspot.
Max Number of Spatial Streams
The sixth-generation has a maximum of 8 spatial streams called MU-MIMO, while the next one promises to be MU-MIMO 16.
One hotspot now, multiple hotspots with WiFi 7.
Along with 2.4GHz, and 5GHz, the new WiFi generation promises to have a 6GHz frequency, and it will be possible to combine them.
Now it is 160 Mhz, which will double in the next generation to 320 MHz.
The security protocols will also be updated from WP3 to WP4.
What WiFi 6 is about
Wi-Fi 6 introduced BSS Coloring technology, which is capable of reducing signal interference between routers. However, the protocol also provides for a target wake-up time, so it can reduce Wi-Fi power consumption. Compared with the widely used Wi-Fi 5 router, the maximum potential speed of Wi-Fi 6 was increased by 40% compared to the first one, which greatly improves the data transfer speed.
With a home network hub router as an example, Wi-Fi 6 allows a router to communicate with a large number of devices at the same time. It also allows the router to transmit data to multiple devices in a single broadcast, making the interaction between smart homes smoother and more intelligent. At the same time, since Wi-Fi 6 supports the latest WP3 security protocol, which is harder for hackers to decipher, the level of Wi-Fi security is greatly improved.
What the numbers mean
The technical updates of the future generation of the wireless connection generally mean that the internet will become even better, easier to use, more secure, and safer for our nervous system, as we will not have to bear the uncertainty of whether something loads or not.
The sum of the WiFi 7 benefits are all the good things of WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E combined. Here, WiFi 7 will deliver similar to existing standards ranges. Yet, with the introduction of the three-band system 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz. The added 6GHz band guarantees the top speeds of the connection to the user.
Naturally, improving one characteristic opens the possibility to improve it all. We mentioned that the channel width in generation 7 would double to 320MHz. The expansion of the width, however, is only possible with the 6 GHz band. So, the three-channel band with the right width is the basis for another improvement—the internet speed, which is the most tangible quality for the average user. For the right comparison, the internet speed of today is 1.2Gbps a stream. In the next internet generation, it will be twice that—2.4Gbps per stream. Hence, a 4×4 broadcaster will be able to achieve a bandwidth of 9.6Gbps without compromising the quality of the connection.
WiFi 7 expectations
WiFi 7 is expected to introduce CMU-MIMO. WiFi 6 supports up to 8 data streams, while its major upgrade is MU-MIMO introduction. MU-MIMO will make it possible for several devices to connect to multiple data streams to communicate with an access point. WiFi 7 can support 16 data streams, which is twice as much. Support for more data streams will also bring more powerful CMU-MIMO features. Here, C stands for Coordinated; namely, 16 data streams will be the sum of multiple access points instead of a single one.
CMU-MIMO is a new feature that is a logical next step in the contemporary development stage of multiple access points in wireless internet. CMU-MIMO gives its users the full advantage of additional access points. These access points work at the same time, redirecting the data stream and providing a stable connection.
Wi-Fi 7 will upgrade the signal modulation method to 4096 QAM to have more data capacity. The standard uses 1024 QAM modulation, and in Wi-Fi 7, we expect it to quadruple to 4096 QAM. So, WiFi 7 will open the era of 8K video products to thrive. Cameras, TVs, and phones with 8K video technology will have trouble loading 8K videos in real-time. Therefore, the introduction of the next internet technology will also trigger the development of visual technologies, the ways they are created, and the level of users’ expectations from the content. Finally, the new faster command transmission means further upgrades in AI technologies, such as smart home systems.
The bottom line
Reportedly, there are only two years to go for us to see the upgraded internet. The technology, like any previous generation of it, will be backward-compatible with the devices for others. Although the speed of the internet is not something regular users can see quite vividly, the real excitement that the WiFi upgrade promises is the improvement of other technologies that rely on that, especially for the market of video games, video production, and AI consumer technologies.
FAQs comparing Wi-Fi 7 and Wi-Fi 6:
What are the key differences between Wi-Fi 7 and Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 7 offers faster speeds, lower latency, and increased bandwidth over Wi-Fi 6. It uses 320MHz channels and Multi-Link Operation to combine different frequency bands.
Which has faster maximum speeds?
Wi-Fi 7 has maximum speeds of 30 Gbps or higher, compared to 9.6 Gbps for Wi-Fi 6.
Which has lower latency?
Wi-Fi 7 aims for sub-1ms latency, whereas Wi-Fi 6 latency is typically around 10-15ms.
What frequencies does Wi-Fi 7 use?
Wi-Fi 7 adds the 6GHz band and can aggregate across 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz. Wi-Fi 6 uses 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
When will Wi-Fi 7 products be available?
Wi-Fi 7 products are expected to hit the market in 2023, while Wi-Fi 6 has been available since 2019.
Is Wi-Fi 7 backwards compatible?
Yes, Wi-Fi 7 is backwards compatible with Wi-Fi 6 and earlier versions.
Does Wi-Fi 7 require new routers?
Yes, you will need a Wi-Fi 7 certified router to get the full benefits. Wi-Fi 6 routers cannot be upgraded to Wi-Fi 7.
What kind of speeds can I expect from Wi-Fi 7?
You can expect real-world speeds of 1-2 Gbps or more over Wi-Fi 7, compared to 300-900 Mbps on Wi-Fi 6.
How does Multi-Link Operation work?
MLO allows combining 2.4, 5, and 6GHz bands simultaneously to increase bandwidth and reduce congestion.
Will Wi-Fi 7 be more expensive than Wi-Fi 6?
Yes, Wi-Fi 7 routers and devices will likely cost more than Wi-Fi 6 until adoption increases. But prices should come down over time.