Eli5: Does the speed of the WiFi router really matter to much? Say from WiFi 6 to 6+ or 7?

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I have internet at home with speeds that top out around 250 Mbps. I find that good enough for what our household does with internet usage and streaming and such.

I am confused about the various WiFi router speeds that are advertised these days. Does it really matter? We have an Eero Pro mesh network. Would newer equipment make any meaningful difference?

In: Technology

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

So, your internet’s cruising at 250 Mbps. Going for WiFi 6+ or 7 won’t be a game-changer speed-wise. But those newer routers handle multiple devices like a champ, amp up the coverage, and come with some neat features. Since you’re already rocking the Eero Pro, which is pretty reliable, an upgrade might not blow your socks off unless you’re drowning in gadgets or dealing with WiFi dead zones. Think about whether the upgrade’s worth it based on your setup.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You are right that it is not important for you. We have reached a point when the Internet is fast enough and you will not be able to use any additional Internet speed. You probably have 250Mbit/s Internet so the speed of your internal wifi network does not matter as long as it is better then your Internet speed. There are people who do a lot of bulk uploads and downloads though who might struggle a bit with only 250Mbit/s. Typically only the case if you work with large video files.

But you might still see some benefit from better wifi technology. Your wifi router shares the airways with all the other routers in your neighborhood. And there is a limited total amount of bandwidth available to all. If your wifi router is spending a lot of time sending data slowly to your laptop it is going to interfere with your neighbors wifi signal. So they will get higher latency and lower bandwidth because of your old router. Similarly when your neighbors wifi router is able to send then your router have to patiently wait so your wifi speeds will be lower. A newer router might be able to send short bursts of data at higher speeds and is therefore less affected by your neighbors wifi.

But unless you have an issue with your current system I would not bother much. And even if you started to notice some issues I would rather invest in network cables where possible as these are better then wifi can ever be.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I moved from the Eero Pro to the Eero Max 7. Devices that support Wi-Fi 7, such as my iPhone 15, can now get full wire speed (1.4 gigabit) instead of being limited to ~400 megabit as previously. Will it make a difference? Not noticeable when watching a YouTube video (since that’s constrained by the frame rate) but backing up my 30+ gigabyte photo library is noticeably faster.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can also access your other devices on your home network via wifi, not just internet. For example you could have a wired NAS (network storage), which can be connected with 1gbit or even 2.5gbit to the router (switch), and having faster wifi will achieve faster speeds when you’re transferring files back and forth.

For home use in general wifi 6 is already really fast, and not all that many devices even support WiFi 7 yet, so I don’t think you’d see any improvement from faster access points today. I still have wifi 5 devices at home for example, those will not work any faster with a wifi 6 or 7 access point.