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WiFi 7 explained – What you need to know

All the latest on WiFi 7
Last Updated on April 26, 2024
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So, what is WiFi 7? How does it work? What is all the fuss about? Well, we’ve done our research and are ready to break down all you need to know about the latest wireless standard. For the most part, many gamers and tech enthusiasts will be familiar with either WiFi 6 or 6E, but WiFi 7 opens up several new possibilities for the future. Whether it’s through faster speeds, lower latency, or balancing multiple connections, WiFi 7 is already turning heads.


WiFi 7 – What it means for you

WiFi 7 is the latest wireless standard, taking over from WiFi 6E and WiFi 6. It improves maximum data rate to 46 Gps, a 4x improvement on its predecessor. Furthermore, it increases to an ultra-wide bandwidth of 320 MHz, features 4K-QAM, and the latest Multi-Link Operation technology. This combination translates to improved connection speed, stunning efficiency, and balance between multiple devices on a single network.

What is WiFi 7? – Latest WiFi standard explained

WiFi 7 is the seventh generation WiFi standard (IEEE 802.11be), following on from its predecessors WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E. As the new kid on the block, WiFi 7 make leaps in terms of performance and user experience. With speed improvements, alongside reductions in latency disruption and a boost to overall capacity, this new WiFi frontier will certainly be an appealing option for many. Below you will find a round-up of the 5 main benefits of upgrading to WiFi 7:

  • Faster connection speeds
  • Reduction in latency
  • Larger capacity / more connections at once
  • Better delivery of entertainment and gaming visuals
  • Benefits to areas with densely packed devices or overlapping neighboring networks

WiFi 7 – Key improvements

A key aspect of a new WiFi package is making sure it has tangible improvements over your current setup. Given that the major WiFi standard found across routers today is either WiFi 6 or 6E, we will break down the major differences and improvements between the three:

Specification WiFi 7WiFi 6EWiFi 6
Release Date202420212019
IEEE Standard802.11be802.11ax802.11ax
Max. Data Rate46 Gbps9.6 Gbps9.6 Gbps
Bands2 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz2 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz2 GHz, 5 GHz
Channel SizeUp to 320 MHz20, 40, 80, 80+80, 160 MHz20, 40, 80, 80+80, 160 MHz
Modulation4096-QAM OFDMA
(with extensions)
Specification table for WiFi 7, 6E, and 6 standards


Wi-Fi 7 has been developed to be much faster than previous versions of Wi-Fi. It’s able to reach speeds several times higher than we have today. For reference, Wi-Fi 6 has a maximum speed of 9.6 Gbps, while WiFi 5 only has 6.9 Gbps. WiFi 7 promises speeds closer to 46 Gbps according to TP-Link. A truly monumental jump that will mean improvements in the reliability of your internet connection and the performance of desktops, laptops, and smartphones. If speed is what you are after, you may want to check out our best router modem combo guide which includes a latest WiFi 7 option.

Channel expansion

Firstly, while WiFi 7 does not open any new bands, it will have wider channels, sticking within the 6 GHz band alongside WiFi 6E. To explain, each band is divided into channels. The channel width dictates how much data can be transferred. For example, in WiFi 6E, the 2.4 GHz band has 11 channels of 20 MHz each. As we expand up, the 6 GHz band will have 60 channels typically as wide as 160 MHz. WiFi 7 improves this to an ultra-wide 320 MHz bandwidth. In terms of impact, this will cause improvements to the connection speed and the overall smoothness of performance.


You may be wondering what is QAM. Well, QAM, or Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, is a way to transmit data in radio-frequency waves typically used by WiFi. The more QAM, the more data and information you can get across. Wi-Fi 7 uses a more advanced and efficient method than the previous standard, called 4K-QAM. While the improvements are self-explanatory, this method is sensitive to weak signals or interference. While Wi-Fi 7 can pack 20% more information, it might not always work as well in areas with poor signal conditions.

Another interesting development is Multi-Link Operation. The main feature of each WiFi standard is to establish a connection between two devices on one single band. This band can be on either 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz or 6 GHz. Wi-Fi 7 routers with MLO technology allow routers to utilize multiple channels simultaneously. This not only increases the overall capacity for data flow, but MLO also enables these channels to be wider, further enhancing the amount of information that can be transmitted at once. This improvement will be felt in the speed and efficiency of your router.

When was WiFi 7 released?

WiFi 7 routers began their initial rollout in early 2024, however, you will need WiFi 7 compatible devices/hardware to receive and utilize the benefits of your new router. Importantly, WiFi 7 routers are backward compatible, meaning they will work sufficiently with previous Wi-Fi standards. Therefore, it may be the best option to upgrade to a WiFi 7 router if you are on the market as it is only a matter of time before WiFi 7 becomes the mainstay WiFi standard.

Looking for the latest routers to improve your gaming speed, and internet connection, or keep the whole family online? Well, we have several buying guides dedicated to WiFi routers, including products with WiFi 7. Make sure to check out our best wi-fi routers for gaming and best routers for streaming when you get a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

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