WiFi 6 vs WiFi 7 Featured
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

WiFi 6 vs WiFi 7 – Speed, Frequency Comparison | What To Expect?

It must be said that the pace of development of this technology circle is getting faster and faster. While we are still waiting for Wi-Fi 6 devices to be widely popularized, the seventh-generation Wi-Fi 7 technology has already been arranged. So, let’s see what are we expecting from WiFi 7 and do a WiFi 6 vs WiFi 7 comparison.

WiFi 6 vs WiFi 7 – Specs Comparison

Technology WiFi 6 WiFi 7
Maximum data capacity 10 Gbps 30 Gbps
QAM modulation 1024QAM 4096QAM
Data Streams MU-MIMO (8 streams) CMU-MIMO (16 streams)
Access Point 1 Multiple
Standard IEEE 802.11 ax IEEE 802.11 be
Bands supported (frequency) 2.4GHz, 5GHz 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz (introduced by WiFi 6E)
Single-channel width  160 MHz 320 MHz
Security WP3 WP4
Release Date 2019 (released) 2024

WiFi 6 vs WiFi 7 – Expect 3x the Theoretical Speed of WiFi 6

It is being rumored that the Wi-Fi 7 technology theoretical speed will reach 30Gbps. Remember that the new WiFi 6 has a speed of 10 Gbps. So, the difference will be almost thrice the speed.

A Little Briefing About WiFi 6

The major improvement of Wi-Fi 6 is that its QAM modulation accuracy doubles, making the speed of a single device faster, and introducing OFDMA technology, which can connect more devices at the same time.

Wifi 6

In addition, Wi-Fi 6 also introduces BSS Coloring technology which can reduce the signal interference between routers; at the same time, because the protocol introduces a target wake-up time design, it can reduce Wi-Fi power consumption. Compared with the Wi-Fi 5 router currently in use, the maximum potential speed of Wi-Fi 6 increases by 40% compared to the former, which greatly improves the data transmission speed.

WiFi 6 vs WiFi 7

Taking the home network hub router as an example, Wi-Fi 6 allows the router to communicate with more devices at the same time. It also allows the router to transmit data to multiple devices in the same broadcast, which makes the interaction between smart homes smoother and smarter. At the same time, because Wi-Fi 6 supports the latest security protocol WP3, which is more difficult for hackers to decipher, greatly improving the Wi-Fi security level.

Also Read: Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 Review – The Most Affordable WiFi 6 Router?

WiFi 6 vs WiFi 7 – What Improvements Does The Future Holds?

Now let’s talk about Wi-Fi 7. At present, the most likely to become Wi-Fi 7 is the IEEE 802.11 be standard under development. Compared with Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Wi-Fi 7 is expected to have the following improvements:

First of all, Wi-Fi 7 supports more data streams and introduces CMU-MIMO. Wi-Fi 6 supports up to 8 data streams, and the introduction of MU-MIMO is a major upgrade, allowing multiple devices to use multiple data streams to communicate with the access point. Wi-Fi 7 will double this number, the device can support 16 data streams. Supporting more data streams will also bring more powerful features CMU-MIMO. Among them, C stands for Coordinated, meaning that 16 data streams may not be provided by one access point, but by multiple access points.

WiFi 7

CMU-MIMO is a new feature that caters to the current development direction of multiple access points in wireless networks. In recent years, in order to expand the coverage of Wi-Fi networks, Mesh networking is often used, which is actually to increase the number of access points; and CMU-MIMO allows users to make full use of the extra access points. The data stream is diverted to different access points and work simultaneously.

Secondly, Wi-Fi7 also introduces a new 6 GHz frequency band, and the three frequency bands work simultaneously. As we all know, Wi-Fi 6 can use both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, and another upgraded version of it, namely Wi-Fi 6E, introduces a new 6GHz frequency band. Wi-Fi 7 will continue to use this new frequency band and strive to achieve the goal of using three frequency bands for communication at the same time, so as to obtain greater communication bandwidth to increase its own rate, and will also expand the width of a single channel, from Wi-Fi 6 the 160MHz doubled to 320MHz.

Furthermore, Wi-Fi 7 upgraded the signal modulation method to 4096QAM to have a larger data capacity. Of course, wireless technology will involve signal modulation. In 802.11ax, the standard uses 1024-QAM modulation, and Wi-Fi 7 is expected to continue to upgrade the modulation method, directly using 4096-QAM, to further expand the transmission data capacity which will be the highest 30Gbps.

As far as the application level is concerned, if the transmission speed of Wi-Fi 7 can reach 30Gbps at that time, it can bring users a smoother and faster transmission experience. Interesting thing is that WiFi 7 will be able to popular the 8K video products including cameras, phones, and TVs. From the user’s perspective, Wi-Fi 7 makes online playback of 8K video no longer a dream, and users will, therefore, get a better audio-visual experience. Though, we also said that when WiFi 6 released :p. In addition, the faster transmission speed will certainly extend more intelligent product functions and experiences, such as artificial intelligence interaction and home intelligent control, to solve the current consumer problems in these areas.

8K

Time to end this WiFi 6 vs WiFi 7 comparison. Let’s see what the future will hold for the WiFi technology from 4 years now. But one thing is for sure, it will be damn interesting.

Information is taken from (1)

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