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IPFS News Link • Internet

Wi-Fi's next big upgrade is officially here

•, By Wes Davis

The Wi-Fi Alliance is now officially certifying devices that support Wi-Fi 7, the next generation of wireless home internet. With certification, Wi-Fi 7 devices are guaranteed to interoperate, and in 2024, we will see new tech products like phones, laptops, and routers endowed with the standard, which could represent huge speed and efficiency gains compared to even Wi-Fi 6E.

The alliance says in its announcement that Wi-Fi 7 will be better than existing standards for things like high-bandwidth streaming and low-latency wireless gaming, and that's crucial as virtual reality gains popularity and people continue commuting to their kitchen tables or home offices to commune with co-workers over Zoom. Kevin Robinson, CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance, told The Verge that Wi-Fi 7 is the "first generation built from the ground up" for the 6GHz band — the faster, broader swath of wireless spectrum first used by Wi-Fi 6E devices.

You might be tempted to point out that Wi-Fi 7 routers already exist, and you'd be right. Routers have already hit the market from companies like NetgearTP-Link, and Eero, and the first two came months ago. They may or may not get certification — Eero's existing Wi-Fi 6 routers don't show up on the alliance's certified product finder. That doesn't mean they won't work well with Wi-Fi 7 devices in the future, but certification allows companies to guarantee that they will.

Certification aside, nothing's changed about Wi-Fi 7 since we published our guide on it in October. It still offers double the channel bandwidth — from 160MHz to 320MHz — versus the fastest devices on the Wi-Fi 5, 6, or 6E standards, and that means the potential for wireless downloads at over two gigabits per second.

It will also debut Multi-Link Operation (MLO), which is essentially wireless link aggregation — bonded connections spread across two or three of the 2.4 GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands, giving you more speed and more stability since walking out of range of one band doesn't mean you have to reconnect to get on another.

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