Examining the many distinctions between the two protocols can help you find the best answer. The three most significant changes are the change in theoretical maximum speed, increased channel width, and Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).
The speed differential comes first. Although Wi-Fi 6 has a fast maximum speed of 9.6 Gbps, Wi-Fi 7 is anticipated to have a maximum speed of 46 Gbps. That’s 46 Gbps per client. Now that’s fast.
The expansion of channel widths comes next. With the addition of new spectrum in the 6 GHz band, the maximum channel bandwidth in the 5 GHz band will increase to 320 MHz wide from its previous maximum of 160 MHz wide. This is a significant gain because the entire 2.4 GHz spectrum has a bandwidth of only 83 MHz.
Finally is the increase in QAM. This is the process of encoding data on a radio signal. 1024-QAM is used in Wi-Fi 6, while 4096-QAM is anticipated for Wi-Fi 7. Why can’t Wi-Fi be 4K if TVs can? 46 Gbps can be attained with this increased QAM rate along with a 320 MHz wide channel.
Regarding similarities, both Wi-Fi 6e and Wi-Fi 7 use the 6 GHz band, operate at exceptionally high speeds, and have extremely broad channels. In addition, both currently have only a handful of client devices to make use of all of these new innovations.
Check out this site, which offers a table of potential data rates, to get an idea.
I’m aware that I’m bombarding you with numbers, but there’s a good reason. Wi-Fi speed is frequently the deciding factor for the newest technology – but it has a price. The cost goes beyond the money invested. In addition, certain conditions must be met in order to obtain the enticing 46 Gbps. Many factors must align for those incredibly rapid speeds to be reached. In reality, that’s not always possible.
Even though moving data at 46 Gbps sounds glamorous, 95 percent of Wi-Fi apps do not benefit from this speed because they depend on connections to services in the cloud. Time for a little dose of reality – for average use cases a well-designed Wi-Fi 6 network with quality hardware is sufficient.