WiFi 6 VS WiFi 7: Should Your Business Upgrade?

As WiFi technology continues to advance, businesses are faced with the question: should you upgrade to the latest version?

While WiFi 6 is already a powerful and reliable standard for most businesses, WiFi 7’s advancements make it an exciting prospect for future-proofing your network.

However, deciding to upgrade to WiFi 7 involves careful consideration of your current infrastructure, costs, business needs, and future growth plans.

What is WiFi 6?

WiFi 6, also known as 802.11ax, is the current standard in wireless networking designed to provide faster speeds, increased efficiency, and better performance in environments with many connected devices. 

One of its key features is the ability to handle more simultaneous connections without a drop in performance, making it ideal for modern offices with numerous devices. WiFi 6 can deliver speeds up to 9.6 Gbps, though real-world speeds are typically lower. Its improvements in network efficiency are particularly beneficial in crowded spaces, such as open offices, where multiple devices compete for bandwidth.

What is WiFi 7?

WiFi 7, or 802.11be, represents the next generation of WiFi technology. It boasts dramatically increased speeds 2.4 times faster than WiFi 6, thanks to wider channels and more efficient data encoding. This means faster downloads, quicker file transfers, and smoother streaming experiences. 

Additionally, WiFi 7 has reduced latency, making real-time applications like video conferencing and online gaming more reliable. Its enhanced capacity and efficiency can support even more devices simultaneously, making it a future-proof choice for growing businesses.

Key Differences Between WiFi 6 and WiFi 7

Speed and Performance

WiFi 6 offers impressive speeds, with a theoretical maximum of up to 9.6 Gbps. This is a significant boost compared to its predecessor, WiFi 5, and translates to faster downloads, smoother streaming, and more reliable connectivity for multiple users. 

However, WiFi 7 provides maximum speeds up to 46 Gbps that can accommodate the increasing demands of modern businesses, ensuring quick access to cloud services and large data transfers with minimal delay.

Latency Improvements

Latency, or the time it takes for data to travel from one point to another, is crucial for real-time applications such as video conferencing, online collaboration, and VoIP calls. WiFi 6 already reduces latency significantly, providing a more seamless experience for users. 

WiFi 7 aims to cut latency even further, making real-time interactions more responsive and reliable. This improvement is particularly beneficial for businesses relying on remote work and virtual meetings, where clear, uninterrupted communication is essential.

Capacity and Efficiency

WiFi 6 introduced several technologies to improve network efficiency and handle more devices simultaneously. One of these is Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), which allows multiple devices to share channels, reducing congestion and improving overall performance. 

WiFi 7 builds on this with multi-link operation (MLO), enabling devices to transmit data across multiple channels simultaneously. This innovation can drastically enhance WiFi network capacity and efficiency, ensuring stable and fast connections even in environments with many connected devices, such as smart offices and IoT-heavy setups.

Security Enhancements

Both WiFi 6 and WiFi 7 include robust security features to protect sensitive business data. WiFi 6 introduced WPA3, the latest security protocol, offering improved encryption and protection against brute-force attacks. 

WiFi 7 will continue to support WPA3 and may introduce additional security measures to further safeguard business networks. With cyber threats on the rise, the enhanced security of these WiFi standards ensures that your business data remains protected.

Benefits of Upgrading to WiFi 7

Future-Proof Your Network

As technology evolves, the demand for faster and more reliable internet connections will only increase. Upgrading to WiFi 7 ensures that your network can handle these future demands, accommodating new applications and services that require higher speeds and lower latency.

Enhanced User Experience

One of the most significant benefits of WiFi 7 is the enhanced user experience it provides. With faster speeds and reduced latency, everyday tasks such as video conferencing, file transfers, and cloud access become smoother and more efficient. 

Employees can work more effectively without the frustration of slow or unreliable internet connections. This boost in productivity can lead to better collaboration, quicker decision-making, and overall improved business operations.

Increased Device Support

As businesses grow, the number of devices connected to the network also increases. WiFi 7’s advanced technology allows for more devices to connect simultaneously without compromising performance. This is crucial for modern workplaces that rely on a variety of devices, from computers and smartphones to IoT devices and smart office equipment. 

With WiFi 7, your network can support a higher density of devices, ensuring that everyone stays connected and productive.

Better Performance in High-Density Environments

WiFi 7’s improved capacity and efficiency are particularly beneficial in high-density environments, such as open-plan offices, conference rooms, and event spaces. 

With features like MLO, WiFi 7 can manage network traffic more effectively, reducing congestion and maintaining high performance even when many devices are connected. This ensures that your business can operate smoothly, even during peak usage times.

Enhanced Security

Security is a top concern for any business, and WiFi 7 builds on the robust security features of WiFi 6. With support for WPA3 and potentially new security protocols, WiFi 7 provides enhanced protection against cyber threats. Enhanced security also ensures compliance with industry regulations, protecting your business from legal and financial repercussions.

Discover the Right WiFi Solutions for Your Network Connection

WiFi 7 promises substantial improvements over WiFi 6 in terms of speed, latency, capacity, and security, but upgrading will depend on your business’s specific needs and future goals.

Platform 24 has extensive experience and tailored WiFi solutions to help you navigate the complexities of network technology and ensure your business stays connected and competitive. Get in touch now to discuss the best options for your network upgrade, and enhance your business performance.

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