What is WiFi 7?



WiFi 7 (802.11be) is the new WiFi standard promising faster speeds, greater efficiency, and seamless connectivity. Also called Extremely High Throughput (EFT) WiFi WiFi 7 employs cutting-edge technologies and protocols to increase network capacity and reduce latency for a quantum leap in wireless networking. Read on to find out more about the wonders of WiFi 7.

The Technical Breakthroughs of WiFi 7

WiFi 7 is the latest WiFi standard, succeeding WiFi 5, WiFi 6, and WiFi 6E. NETGEAR WiFi 7 products deliver a superior user experience. For example, the latest NETGEAR Orbi 970 Series Quad-Band Mesh System can support 200+ connected devices simultaneously without compromising speed or signal quality. New standard WiFi 7 technical breakthroughs include increased bandwidth up to 320 MHz, higher data rates (potentially up to 40 Gbps), and improved network efficiency. At last, you can stream your favourite 8K movies without buffering and join video calls in real time.

The best WiFi devices keep the world informed, entertained, and productive. Advances are ongoing, overseen by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and the WiFi Alliance. The latest industry standard IEEE P802.11be, or WiFi 7, takes performance to the next level. WiFi 7, also known as Extremely High Throughput (EHT), offers improved responsiveness and the opportunity to explore the future of sophisticated Qualcomm technologies.

The next generation WiFi 7 delivers the advantages of the recently introduced WiFi 6E, along with some significant improvements. These include wider WiFi 7 channels, higher Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), and Multi-Link Operation (MLO). Here are five significant ways WiFi 7 is improving the online user experience.

Wider WiFi Channel Frequency Bands

Wide WiFi frequency bands are typically split into multiple 20 MHz channels. The 2.4 GHz band has 11 channels, while the 5 GHz band contains 45 channels. The channels can also be combined to create a wider bandwidth, as in the 5 GHz band which can support 40 MHz and 80 MHz channels.

It’s in the 6 GHz band that WiFi 7 makes a huge difference. The 6GHz band has 60 x 20 MHz channels. While WiFi 6E supports a channel width of 160 MHz, its successor can support 320MHz channels. The wider the channel bandwidth, the more data it can transmit. A simple analogy is to compare WiFi bandwidth to road traffic. WiFi 7 vs WiFi 6 is like a 6-lane highway compared to a 3-lane highway.

Higher Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM)

Orbi 970 WiFi 7 supports 4096-QAM (4K QAM), up from the 1024 QAM offered by WiFi 6E. The higher the QAM, the more information that can be transmitted to client devices. At peak spatial stream performance, NETGEAR Nighthawk and NETGEAR Orbi Mesh WiFi 7 offer data rates 20% higher than WiFi 6E.

Multi-Link Operation

Multi-Link Operation (MLO) wireless connectivity is a huge Orbi 970 WiFi 7 advantage. All previous WiFi standards, including tri-band WiFi 6E, use single-band connections between devices. WiFi 7 MLO combines several frequencies into a single connection. MLO optimises efficiency by addressing congestion and interference issues while maintaining low-latency connections.

Multi Resource Units (RU) and Puncturing

With earlier WiFi versions, the WiFi channel becomes unavailable for additional devices if any part of the channel is already in use. With Multi-RU Puncturing, WiFi 7 will allocate parts of the channel that are not in use so your devices can connect seamlessly and function optimally.

Target Wake Time

This new WiFi 7 feature allows you to reserve bandwidth for specific devices and applications. You can guarantee bandwidth for video conferencing, multi-player gaming, video streaming, downloading large files, or smart home IoT gadgets even while other people on your network are hooked up to the internet.

NETGEAR's Role in the WiFi 7 Revolution

NETGEAR has been a WiFi industry leader since the 1990s, and the progress continues with the latest and greatest WiFi 7 products. WiFi 7 is fast becoming mainstream with compatible routers and WiFi 7-enabled devices that are at the forefront of technological evolution. WiFi 7 operates on the 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz radio spectrum bands and doubles the number of MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) streams to 16, enabling WiFi 7 to handle more throughput than its predecessors.

WiFi 7 also uses Multi-Link Operation (MLO) to mitigate network interference and traffic congestion. This also improves throughput and reduces latency by enabling devices to act as a single connection in sending and receiving data over multiple radio bands simultaneously. Another new feature, Target Wake Time (TWT), enables routers to reserve bandwidth for dedicated transmissions to free up bandwidth, optimise network resources, and conserve device battery life.

The Impact of WiFi 7 on Everyday Internet Use

The arrival of WiFi 7 can upgrade everything you do online, including gaming, streaming, downloading, and browsing. Plus, your WiFi 7-enabled smart home can handle more devices simultaneously. Your smart fridge, smart TV, sensor lights, Amazon Alexa sound system, security cameras, and loads more smart gadgets will all work in synchronised harmony.

The benefits of WiFi 7 manifest in lots of ways. For instance, higher throughput and lower latency will facilitate high-definition gaming, video streaming, and sophisticated virtual reality programs. WiFi 7 also mitigates interference and network congestion. WiFi 7 improves your networking experience, particularly in busy WiFi areas such as shopping districts, office buildings, airports, and large venues.

A brief history of the digital WiFi revolution

Internet WiFi was first introduced in the late 1990s. Since then, a succession of WiFi standards followed, dramatically transforming the technology into a blazing-fast rival to the fastest wired Ethernet connections. In the early 2010s, WiFi 5 effectively met ever-increasing consumer demand for activities such as video streaming. Toward the end of that decade, WiFi 6 arrived to support new-generation applications such as WhatsApp, TikTok, and Facebook Live.

Soon after, WiFi 6E extended the performance capabilities and bandwidth capacity of WiFi 6. In late 2023, WiFi 7 was introduced, dramatically improving support for next-generation use cases such as multi-user networking, cloud gaming, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and dense public and industrial deployments. Major WiFi brands such as NETGEAR have continually evolved to meet the challenges in a fast-growing WiFi marketplace.

The need for WiFi 7

Today, our digital lifestyles are dependent on reliable broadband connectivity and WiFi services. 10G broadband is now a reality and multi-gigabit device capability is driving even more demand for fast and reliable wireless data transfer rates. Consumer spending on data-hungry gaming applications has increased by 40 percent since 2021, and the uptake of augmented reality and virtual reality headsets and immersive devices is unprecedented.

This transformation in consumer demand calls for superfast WiFi with very low deterministic latencies across the entire network. WiFi 7 is tailor-made for whole-home mesh WiFi systems such as Orbi 970, providing the ability for everyone in the household to enjoy a strong and stable internet connection for work, school, and play.

Metaverse Potential with WiFi 7

WiFi 7 brings the Metaverse a step closer to reality. The immersive world of WiFi 7 includes virtual reality, IoT applications, state-of-the-art medical devices, technology for science and industry, and much more. The Metaverse is a space where we can remotely interact in real-time with people and things in other places. The high-performance speeds and low latency of WiFi 7 solve connectivity issues, making the potential of next-generation WiFi routers almost unlimited. The Metaverse has the potential to enrich our lives with immersive, real-time experiences.

WiFi 7 for entertainment

WiFi 7 opens up a whole new world of entertainment. For starters, WiFi 7 speeds allow you to stream 4K and 8K content throughout the home. Everyone in your household can have their own entertainment space for streaming videos, hosting podcasts, gaming, making Zoom calls, and browsing the web without slowing one another down.

WiFi 7 for gamers

With WiFi 7, multiplayer gamers can now experience lower latency WiFi without annoying lag. With WiFi 7, games download and render faster and clearer than ever before. WiFi 7 opens up the future for AR and VR gaming in ultra-high definition.

WiFi 7 for home

WiFi 7 is perfect in today’s smart homes. The rise of remote work and education has pushed the capabilities of WiFi technology and bandwidth to the limit. WiFi 7 is the solution, eliminating glitchy video, slow downloads, and buffering. WiFi 7 offers more speed, bandwidth, and the ability to handle many devices in concurrent use.

WiFi 7 for business

WiFi 7 for business unlocks many new capabilities that give businesses a competitive edge. Users will experience remarkable improvements on shared office networks thanks to faster internet speeds, greater bandwidth, and new features like multi-link operation. WiFi 7 router access points unlock intriguing potential for AR and VR in the workplace. Exciting possibilities include AR-enhanced heads-up displays, IoT smart office products, and workplace automation technologies.

The Transition to WiFi 7

The best way to transition to WiFi 7 is to keep an eye on industry leaders like NETGEAR. By choosing NETGEAR WiFi 7 products, you’re ensuring that your home network, guest network, and IoT network are all future-proof and ready to handle busy networking conditions. The Orbi 970 Series unlocks the extraordinary power of WiFi 7, delivering unprecedented WiFi device speeds from the front door to the backyard and the basement to the rooftop. Orbi 970 mesh WiFi eliminates WiFi dead zones upstairs, downstairs, and even outside by the pool.

The enhanced dedicated quadband backhaul channel facilitates multi-gig speeds across all devices, and you will enjoy 360-degree whole-home coverage thanks to the innovative high-performance satellite antenna design. Next-gen Orbi mesh router systems allow you to connect up to 200 devices concurrently. Standout features of NETGEAR Orbi 970 include fast download speeds, preamble puncturing connections, high throughput, multi-link operation, and many more state-of-the-art WiFi technologies.

Orbi uses patented WiFi 7 technology to create a superhighway between the router and satellite nodes for smooth and seamless WiFi across your entire property. In addition, the 10 Gig internet port unlocks the fastest available internet speeds of today and tomorrow. NETGEAR Orbi 970 offers ultimate flexibility with both 10 Gig wired LAN port connectivity and unparalleled 10G WiFi.

NETGEAR Orbi Setup

The Orbi app makes it easy to install and monitor your Orbi mesh WiFi system. The entire setup can be completed in less than 30 minutes, and you can use the Orbi app on your Apple iPhone or Android smartphone to manage your network remotely. Orbi is compatible with any internet service provider (ISP) and you can create up to 3 separate guest networks and calibrate smart home (IoT) devices for optimised network traffic flow.

Orbi 970 whole-home mesh systems include NETGEAR Armor encrypted WPA3 security software that provides real-time protection across the entire network. NETGEAR Orbi also promotes healthy and safe internet use with Smart Parental Controls.

NETGEAR Orbi 970 in a Nutshell

The future of WiFi is here with the NETGEAR Orbi 970 Series. This amazing WiFi 7 system delivers maximum speeds and improved performance for all your connected devices and networks. Here are some of the outstanding Orbi 970 features and specs.

✔ WiFi 7 speeds up to 27Gbps for unparalleled performance and WiFi coverage.

✔ 2.4x faster speeds than WiFi 6 and fully backward compatible with your older legacy devices.

✔ 8K streaming, video conferencing, gaming, virtual reality, and more, simultaneously.

✔ Exclusive patented quad-band technology with enhanced dedicated backhaul.

✔ Elegant satellite design and high-performance antennas for 360° WiFi coverage.

✔ The fastest WiFi speeds for today and tomorrow with 10Gbps and 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports.

✔ NETGEAR Orbi works with any ISP, and the Orbi app makes it a breeze to set up and manage.

✔ NETGEAR Armor software provides a shield of security for all your connected devices.

The main Orbi router contains a 10Gbps Ethernet port, four 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports, and a 10 Gig Internet port. Orbi satellite nodes contain a 10Gbps Ethernet port and 2 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports.


Is WiFi 7 widely available in Australia?

The rollout of WiFi 7 is gaining momentum in Australia. More WiFi 7-enabled devices are being introduced every month and now is the right time to upgrade.

Do I need to replace my older devices?

WiFi 7 is backward compatible, so your older legacy devices will work as normal. However, you will need WiFi 7-enabled devices to fully appreciate all the benefits WiFi 7 has to offer.

Does WiFi 7 improve gaming and streaming?

WiFi 7 promises a vastly improved real-time gaming and streaming experience, free from interruptions and lag.

How is NETGEAR gearing up for WiFi 7?

NETGEAR is a WiFi technology leader. NETGEAR leverages the full WiFi 7 potential to deliver a superior connected experience.