Wi-Fi is a household term these days, but 20 years ago, this was not the case. Technology has moved so fast, that in the span of two decades, we have already gone from the original Wi-Fi standard, to the latest Wi-Fi 6e.
However, the latest tech is never good enough! We are always improving. Although Wi-Fi 6e is lightning fast and undoubtedly the best Wi-Fi standard yet, there is always something better on the horizon. That’s where Wi-Fi 7 comes in.
Wi-Fi 7 is a technology that aims to meet the increasing demands of the modern home and office, with 4K or 8K streaming, cloud-based gaming, interacting with virtual reality, designing over augmented reality, and many other applications.
In today’s article, we’ll explain what all this means, and — more importantly, what are the best routers to handle Wi-Fi 7? Is buying a router before the official Wi-Fi 7 release a good move? Or should you wait it out to see how good the latest models really are?
Difference Between Wi-Fi 7 and Wi-Fi 6E
Before diving into the Wi-Fi 7 router, it is useful to understand why this tech is superior to its predecessors. Wi-Fi 7 outperforms its predecessors in every way, but the most important ones are its throughput, improved modulation techniques, and increased channel width.
Wi-Fi 7 provides significantly higher throughput than Wi-Fi 6E, providing 4.8 times faster speeds up to 46Gbps. To achieve such incredible speeds, Wi-Fi 7 employs a variety of techniques, including Multi-link operation, which allows a user to send and receive data across multiple frequency bands at the same time. Furthermore, Wi-Fi 7 provides us with a higher channel width that can reach 320MHz, allowing it to easily outperform its predecessors.
Another feature of this technology that distinguishes it not only from Wi-Fi6E but also from its predecessors is its enhanced quadrature amplitude modulation technique, which can reach up to 4096 QAM (in other words, 575Mbps throughput per channel) and contributes significantly to higher bandwidth.
Now that we’ve established the distinction, let’s take a peek at some of the upcoming Wi-Fi routers that will soon be available to grace your home or office:
- Best Overall Wi-Fi 7: TP-Link ARCHER BE24000
- Best Wi-Fi 7 Gaming: ASUS ROG Rapture GT-BE98
- Best Whole Home Wi-Fi 7: TP-Link DECO BE 33000
- Best Performance Wi-Fi 7: MSI RadiX BE22000
Best Overall Wi-Fi 7 Router: TP-Link ARCHER BE24000
The competition is relatively thin at the moment, and companies like Netgear and Linksys are still silent on their upcoming Wi-Fi 7 models. Still, you know you can expect TP-Link to be ahead of the curve when it comes to network gear. The TP-Link ARCHER BE24000 is a Wi-Fi router from the BE900 series that features 12 high-performance generating antennas. At first glance, it appears to be an external hard drive, but it is not.
Its innovative design, which includes a touch screen and LED lights on the front panel, provides users with an easy-to-use experience. It can immediately notify you of the weather, current time, and other wireless network statistics.
This wireless router supports AR and VR gaming, 8K/4K streaming, and fast upload/download speeds. This, however, is dependent on your ISP and data plan.
Looking at the specs, it has everything you need to provide you with seamless connectivity wherever you hang it within your premises. It has high-performance antennas, dual 10Gbps ports, quad 2.5Gbps ports, one 1Gbps port, and dual USB ports, which are sufficient to avoid network blackouts or dead zones.
Tp-Link Archer BE24000 can easily integrate with your mesh network and interact with any type of EasyMesh router and range extender, saving you the trouble of disconnecting and reconnecting while moving around in your office or at home.
Furthermore, with this router, you will receive TP-HomeShield Link, a security software that ensures maximum security for all of your regular and IoT devices. You can easily implement any type of restriction that will protect your children from viewing explicit content or prevent your employees from accessing any type of social media or other time-wasting activities that will hinder their work.
Check out the TP-Link ARCHER BE24000 on Amazon.
Best Gaming Wi-Fi 7 Router: ASUS ROG Rapture GT-BE98
Gaming is evolving into a new way of unwinding and socializing. However, your equipment must be powerful enough to support all types of games with varying graphics and bandwidth requirements. Dubbed the “world‘s first Wi-Fi 7 gaming router,” we have good reason to think the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-BE98 going to be your best bet if you’re a hardcore gamer.
Because this Wi-Fi router has 8 antennas and Multi-Link operation, combined with a unique AI Mesh technology, it can send the signal to every corner of your house, including dead zones.
Whether you are operating at 2.4GHz, 5GHz, or 6GHz, this Wi-Fi router can provide you with top-notch and seamless connectivity with an unrivaled bandwidth. It offers quad-band rather than tri-band frequency, which means you will get one 2.4GHz and 6GHz band plus two 5GHz bands, providing a total bandwidth of around 25000Mbps.
Aside from wireless connectivity, this inverted spider-like router has four 1Gbps and three 10Gbps LAN ports, one of which can be used for WAN connectivity. So, if you don’t want to lose a single bit of data due to the air medium, you can take advantage of its wired ports.
It is one of the few Wi-Fi routers that provides two USB ports, one of which operates on the USB 2.0 standard and the other on the USB 3.0 standard. So, if you have a NAS or an external hard drive that you want to wirelessly share with the devices connected to this beast, don’t hesitate.
Best Whole Home Wi-Fi 7 Router: TP-Link DECO BE 33000
Tp-Link introduces another compact yet futuristic Wi-Fi 7 router that can cover the entire house with its mesh devices. It is best suited for home users who need seamless coverage, ease of use, simplicity of installation, and compact devices. The TP-Link DECO BE 33000 is made up of two modules that look similar to Amazon’s wireless smart speaker and can be configured as a satellite or a mesh router.
Because of its quad-band, of which one is 2.4GHz, one is 5GHz, and the rest are 6GHz, it can provide a total bandwidth of 32.8 Gbps. You can do whatever you want with this massive bandwidth, including streaming 4K/8K movies, gaming, torrenting, vlogging, audio/video conferencing, running AR/VR applications, and more.
Other features that make it more appealing to home users include parental control and Home shield security, which allows users to protect themselves against malicious sites, DDoS attacks, and other intruders.
The best selling point of this Wi-Fi 7 router is its high gain 12 internal antennas, which make the device attractive while taking up little space. Combined with the AI-Driven Mesh, these antennas cover the entire premises without leaving a single spot unattended.
Deco BE95 provides two 2.5Gbps and 10Gbps ports, one of which is a combo port that can function as an RJ45 interface with the help of SFP for users who prefer working over wire rather than wireless.
Along with these LAN interfaces, there is also a USB 3.0 port available for connecting and sharing a USB printer or any other USB device over the home network.
TP-Link adds to the ease of use by offering its app, which you can download and install on your smartphone to view the live stats of your home network. Overall, it’s a great Wi-Fi 7 option for all of your wireless connectivity needs.
Check out the TP-Link DECO BE 33000 on Amazon.
Best Performance Wi-Fi 7 Router: MSI RadiX BE22000 Turbo
MSI is relatively new to the Wi-Fi router game, and the jury is still out on its long-term longevity. Still, since this company has been producing high-end hardware for decades, they obviously know their stuff. It’s no surprise to see them release a Wi-Fi 7 router at the top end of the market. Although it is a gaming router, the MSI RadiX BE22000 Turbo is by no means limited to gaming; it can also handle multiple devices with 4K/8K streaming needs and multiple video conferencing sessions.
Like any other Wi-Fi 7 router, it has two 10Gbps wired ports and four 2.5Gbps interfaces for connecting any high-end device. It is worth noting that its main competitor, the Asus Rapture GT-BE98, only has 1Gbps port along with 10Gbps interfaces.
Its AI QoS offering gives it an advantage over other wireless network devices in this category because it provides extremely low latency and exponentially low ping rate, which is very important for any hardcore gamer.
However, network speed is affected by a variety of other factors, but this device does an excellent job. It is a tri-band router that has twice the channel width of any Wi-Fi 6 router and can reach up to 320MHz with a total speed of 22Gbps.
Although this device is not expected to be released until 2024, it is a good option to consider if you are looking to upgrade your device in the not-too-distant future.
As of September 11, 2023, the product is not yet released in the market. It’s expected to be released in 2023.
Technology Updates to Wi-Fi 7
Wi-Fi 7 was first announced in 2020 and there have been a number of technological updates revealed throughout 2023. Wi-Fi 7 will offer more than twice the number of channels as Wi-Fi 6 at 160 MHz channels, which will make it much faster and better operationally than earlier models.
It is also expected to feature “Target Wake Time” technology that will put Wi-Fi into sleep mode when it’s not being used to improve battery life. Wi-Fi 7 will also allow for multiple access point connections at once, whereas earlier versions didn’t have this feature.
How to Pick the Best Wi-Fi 7 Router: Step-by-Step
If you are not a tech geek, choosing a Wi-Fi 7 router can be difficult. As numerous manufacturers on the market are releasing their masterpieces one after the other.
Furthermore, each router has a unique set of specifications that may or may not meet all of your requirements. As a result, it is critical to choose the right candidate for your home and office on the first try because your hard-earned money is at stake.
Don’t worry, you’re in the right place for Wi-Fi router know-how. All you have to do is consider the following factors when looking for the best Wi-Fi 7 router:
- Coverage Area
- Frequency Bands
Let’s go over each of these, one by one.
The range of a wireless router is an important consideration, whether it is a Wi-Fi 7 or any other router. Your network should cover the largest area possible so that all of your devices receive the signal without lagging or dropping the connection.
A good Wi-Fi router provides maximum coverage and keeps you out of dead zones. One critical factor to consider to avoid blackouts is whether you want to use a single device to cover the entire area or whether you need mesh devices to extend the coverage range.
Because both options have their advantages and disadvantages, it is critical to consider this factor before committing to a specific device.
When purchasing a Wi-Fi router, your top priority should be to get the best speed possible—because you will be using it for more than just browsing the internet! Gaming, steaming, sharing files between connected devices, and other activities are probably going to be on the agenda at some point.
So shoot for a router with the highest speed. Luckily, with Wi-Fi 7 routers, your choices will be from among the fastest models available, so this shouldn’t be much of a risk.
Most people do not check the frequency bands available when purchasing a new Wi-Fi device, and we can’t blame them. But it does make a difference to some extent. Certain devices are only compatible with specific frequencies, and you want to ensure that everything can communicate.
The 2.4ghz frequency band is the most common, but also the oldest standard currently available. The 5.6ghz frequency band is newer, and as a result, supports higher speeds. You can use this band for your high-throughput devices. The latest routers will support tri-band or quad-band systems, allowing you to use up to four frequency bands.
Price may or may not be the most important factor—that’s up to you. But if you are factoring price into the decision, just know that Wi-Fi 7 routers most likely won’t come cheap. As it makes no sense to spend a lot of money on a high-end device, if you are an average user who only needs a router to browse the internet and check emails, you might be better off sticking with a Wi-Fi 6e router.
However, if you are a serious gamer, a streamer, or run bandwidth-hungry applications over your Wi-Fi router, you can opt for a higher-end router. The higher price tag will be worth the numerous benefits. Either way, any estimates we make for pricing are only speculation for now. We can only wait and see how Wi-Fi 7 routers perform in the real world when they get here.
The Future of Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi 7 is the latest advancement in wireless internet technology and is set to release in 2024. Like the four routers we compared in this article, here are some features that are expected from Wi-Fi 7 technology.
- Up to 40 Gbps speeds
- Better coverage range within a building
- Lower lag time
- Wi-Fi 8 will be even faster and better than Wi-Fi 7
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Thapana_Studio/Shutterstock.com.