For most of us, Wi-Fi is an essential part of everyday life. We depend on it for work video calls, streaming movies, scrolling social media, and controlling internet-connected devices around our homes. But despite recent advances like Wi-Fi 6, sluggish speeds, choppy video calls, and smart home hiccups still plague many home networks. The solution? Wi-Fi 7, the next-gen wireless standard poised to launch in early 2024 that promises near fiber optic speeds without the hassle and expense of running ethernet cables everywhere.
Nearly Five Times Faster Than Today’s Wi-Fi
When Wi-Fi 7 rolls out, it will theoretically reach blistering speeds up to 46 Gigabits per second (Gbps). For perspective, that’s nearly five times faster than Wi-Fi 6’s maximum of 9.6 Gbps. What does 46 Gbps actually mean in the real world? You could download a full 4K HD movie in about 8 seconds flat. Or have the entire family video chatting, streaming, gaming, and smart home controlling without a hitch. Of course, reaching those pinnacle speeds requires the latest Wi-Fi 7 supported devices along with an upgraded Wi-Fi 7 router.
Fortunately, Wi-Fi 7 is designed to be backwards compatible, so you won’t need to replace all your Wi-Fi gear at once. Your trusty old laptop can still surf along at Wi-Fi 5 speeds while your brand new smartphone downloads files at never-before-seen rates. With each new Wi-Fi 7 device you add, the less congestion and faster speeds overall.
Smoother Sailing For All Your Connected Devices
A key advantage Wi-Fi 7 introduces is more resilient multi-device support, essential in the era of smart homes brimming with internet hungry cameras, thermostats, appliances and more. Using advanced technologies like Multi-Link Operation and 4096 QAM modulation, Wi-Fi 7 juggles traffic across channels to reduce latency while quadrupling throughput per stream. Even if the kids are playing online games while you’re on a video conference, smart devices will finally get the steady data they need without as many hiccups.
When Can I Get Wi-Fi 7?
The Wi-Fi Alliance expects to certify the first wave of Wi-Fi 7 devices by March 2024. Given the lengthy five year gap since Wi-Fi 6 in 2019, device manufacturers are eager to deliver the next big advance as demand grows. In fact, several Wi-Fi 7 products are already in development based on draft specifications that should deliver full compatibility once finalized in the coming months.
Just don’t ditch your Wi-Fi 6 router quite yet. While early adopters may want to future proof with Wi-Fi 7 gear this year, widespread adoption likely won’t occur until 2025 or later. Given the still solid performance of Wi-Fi 6/6E networks today, you’ll want devices with Wi-Fi 7 onboard before upgrading your router to unlock the full benefits.
The Future is Nearly Lightning Fast
Each generation of Wi-Fi pushes closer toward the holy grail of lag-free video calls, instant downloads, and responsive smart home voice commands. Wi-Fi 7 represents a monumental leap, cemented by nearly instant file transfers at fiber optic caliber speeds. As more Wi-Fi 7 devices permeate homes over the next few years, get ready for networks that finally meet our bandwidth hungry digital lifestyles. The future of nearly lightning fast internet is almost here.