In 2022, the latest WiFi standard available is WiFi 6E, but its successor is already in the works, and it will be called — you’ve guessed it — WiFi 7 (Wi-Fi 7). In this article, we explain why the standard is worth looking forward to, especially if you’re craving better WiFi performance.
WiFi 7, technically called IEEE 802.11be Extremely High Throughput (EHT), is an upcoming generation of the 802.11 IEEE technical standards for the implementation of wireless local area network computer communication.
As the technical name suggests, the standard will deliver massive throughput gains when it becomes available, with speeds theoretically reaching up to 40 Gbps. That’s what the Thunderbolt 3 hardware interface can manage.
In comparison, the latest current WiFi standard, WiFi 6, has a maximum throughput of “just” 9.6 Gbps. In other words, WiFi 7 will be more than 4 times faster than WiFi 6.
The massive throughput increase will support the proliferation of the Internet of Things and enable new Augmented Reality ( AR ) and Virtual Reality ( VR ) applications.
But how is it possible for a new WiFi standard to be so much faster than the current WiFi standard? To answer this question, we must take a closer look at the new WiFi technologies behind it.
It’s very likely that your current WiFi router supports the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands. Your future WiFi 7 router will also support the 6 GHz frequency band, which extends between 5.925 GHz and 7.125 GHz to offer a wide frequency range of 1,200 MHz.
To put the number into perspective, it’s important to realize that the range of the 2.4 GHz band is just 83.5 MHz (yes, MHz), while the range of the 5 GHz band is 700 MHz. As such, the 6 GHz band is wider than the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands combined.
The massive width of the 6 GHz band not only makes it easier to send data at blazing-fast speeds, it also minimizes issues with signal interference, so your speeds won’t fluctuate wildly when other people in your area go online or when your roommate or spouse turns on the microwave oven.
But that’s not all! The WiFi 7 standard will also likely support many new features, including:
Together, these and other features will deliver ground-breaking speeds and ensure great signal strength even in heavily congested areas.
It’s important to clarify right away that the WiFi 7 standard hasn’t been finalized yet. A final version of the standard is expected to arrive in early 2024.
There’s currently only one WiFi 7 router on the market, the H3C Magic BE18000. This tri-band router is based on the latest draft of the WiFi 7 standard, so it may or may not be fully compatible with the final version.
Even if you decide to take the risk and buy the H3C Magic BE18000 router, you won’t really see any benefits over a comparable WiFi 6 router because there are no devices with WiFi 7 support currently on the market.
The good news is that leading chipset manufacturers like Qualcomm have already announced their intention to support the standard, with Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 becoming the world’s first WiFi 7 connectivity system.
Still, that doesn’t change anything about the fact that the WiFi 7 release date is still far in the future, so we recommend you wait until the standard is finalized and more WiFi 7 routers are available.
Until then, you can use a WiFi analysis tool like NetSpot to optimize the performance of your existing WiFi network.
WiFi 7 is not here yet, but it’s coming. When it arrives, it will usher in an era of Thunderbolt 3-level wireless speeds, enabling you to do the things you love to do online even more conveniently and using a whole new category of devices, such as augmented and virtual reality headsets.
WiFi 7 will be the 7th generation of WiFi. Its purpose is to enable wireless data transmission speeds equal to some of the world’s fastest wired data transfer standards, namely Thunderbolt 3.
The WiFi 7 standard, technically called IEEE 802.11be Extremely High Throughput (EHT), is the successor to 802.11ax, commonly referred to as Wi‑Fi 6 (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and Wi‑Fi 6E (2.4, 5, and 6 GHz).
You can expect WiFi-7 speeds to reach up to 40 Gbps, which is what the Thunderbolt 3 hardware interface can manage.
WiFi 7 supports a whole host of new WiFi technologies, including 320 MHz channel bandwidth, Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), and 4096-QAM, to unlock the fastest speeds to date.
At the time of writing this article, there’s only one WiFi 7 router, the H3C Magic BE 18000. Many more WiFi 7 routers are expected to be released in 2024 and beyond.