Why you should consider upgrading to a WiFi 7 router instead of a WiFi 6E model

We look at the advantages that Wi-Fi 7 routers bring, plus the best models from ASUS to cover different needs and budgets
Updated: Mar 19, 2024 10:17 am

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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

WiFi 7 promises to be the biggest upgrade to wireless internet connectivity for over a decade, and we’re pretty excited to see what benefits this could bring for home use, in businesses/commercial scenarios, and for gaming and the like. 
In order to make sure you can take advantage of the new standard though you’ll need to equip yourself with an actual WiFi 7 router. Thankfully ASUS is leading the way with releases of these products, and has some great options available for different use-cases.

What benefits will a Wi-Fi 7 router bring?
The below isn’t an exhaustive list but covers the main upgrades the new standard will bring. See our WiFi 7 release date page for more information.
Double the channel size thanks to MLO
MLO stands for Multi-link Operation; this feature basically allows WiFi 7 routers to combine their channels into one larger channel. Under the WiFi 6E standard the max channel size is 160MHz, whereas WiFi 7 goes all the way up to 320MHz as it can effectively combine two 160MHz channels together. Double the channel size means a doubling of the throughput/data rate over the same period of time.
4K QAM modulation
4K QAM is the new, improved modulation that Wi-Fi 7 will use, compared to the 1K QAM currently used by Wi-Fi 6E. Improved modulation equates to more efficient data packaging, and the news standard is supposedly up to 20% better. Again this means more data is being transferred over the same period of time.
x4.79 the Max Data Rate
If you include the benefits of both the larger channel size and better modulation, the net effect is a vastly improved data rate 46Gbps: this is 4.79 times the 9.6Gbps max that you get in WiFi 6 or WiFi 6E.
Multi-RU Puncturing
Last but not least, Multi-RU Puncturing is an improved feature of the new standard that deconstructs data into smaller packages for transmission. In layman’s terms, this effectively means less clogging/congestion on the information highway when multiple people are using the same bandwidth. The net result of this is improved efficiency of transmission and reduced delay.

Which WiFi 7 routers should you go for?
ASUS are one of the leaders in Wi-Fi 7 routers in today’s market, and there are a couple of product lines they’ve released which we particularly recommend. All of these products come with ASUS AiMesh technology, which essentially maximises the Mbps between any ASUS routers if you’re combining them in a wider network and also means you can mix and match different ASUS products (whereas with other brands you typically need exactly the same model).
Best for gaming

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-BE98 (WiFi 7)

2.4GHz BE up to 1376Mbps, 5G-1Hz BE up to 5764Mbp, 5G-2Hz BE up to 5764Mbp, 6GHz up to 11529Mbp

2.6GHz quad-core processor

256 MB Flash and 2 GB RAM

1 x 10Gbps for WAN/LAN, 1 x 2.5Gbps for WAN/LAN, 1 x 10Gbps for LAN, 3 x 2.5Gbps for LAN, 1 x RJ45 10/100/1000Mbps for LAN, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen1, 1 x USB 2.0

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-BE98 is a top-of-the-line product if you’re looking for the perfect gaming router. These striking-looking routers look like something out of a sci-fi film with their eight antennas, which in practical terms ensure a superb signal strength, with four of the eight having a dual-feed construction with copper tubing to boost things even further.
The specs include a powerful quad-core 2.6 GHz processor, which means faster allocation of data packages, 256MB of flash memory, 2GB of RAM and an advanced heat sink that means it won’t overheat even when you’re pushing it to the max. Besides Wi-Fi, connectivity includes 2x 10G and 4x 2.5G ethernet ports, plus 4G/5G mobile tethering.
There are a myriad of tweaks and features to ensure you have the smoothest gaming connection possible, plus Open NAT tech to enable your gaming friends to bypass your firewall and an in-built gaming VPN. Security and protection features include Commercial-Grade AiProtection Pro and Instant Guard.
There’s only one difference between the standard ROG Rapture GT-BE98 and the Pro version (besides the Pro version being a bit more expensive), and that’s in the channels. Whereas the regular variant has 2x 5GHz channels and 1x 6GHz, for the ROG Rapture GT-BE9 Pro it’s the other way around: you get 2x 6GHz and 1x 5GHz channels. What this means in practise is that the potential throughput (i.e. how much data is transferred over a set period of time) of the Pro version is a bit higher, but this upper ceiling is dependent upon the environment in which you’re using it. The reality is that many countries still have not given 6GHz bands regulatory approval. If this is the case in your region (we recommend having a Google) then you might as well opt for the standard model.
Best options for business use
At CES 2024 ASUS unveiled three new WiFi 7 routers: the ASUS ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro, ASUS ZenWiFi BQ16, and ASUS ZenWiFi BT10. All three of these are great options if you’re looking to build a Wi-Fi 7 network in your home, and come with dual 10G WAN/LAN I/O ports, are compatible with ASUS’ Smart Home Master software plus the ASUS Router app, have commercial-grade AiProtection network security with updates to keep you as protected as possible, built in VPN, parental protection features, and Instant Guard to allow you to extend your secure VPN connection to your mobile phone, wherever you are. At the time of writing they are still yet to hit the shelves, though the first are expected in Q2 2024.

ASUS ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro (WiFi 7)

2.4GHz BE up to 1376Mbps, 5GHz BE up to 5764Mbps, 6GHz-1 up to 11529Mbps, 6GHz-2 up to 11529Mbps

10G WAN/LAN x 1, 10G LAN x 1, 1G WAN/LAN x 1, 1G LAN x2, USB 3.0

Top of the line is the ZenWiFi BQ 16 Pro. This is a four channel router, which comes with 1x 2.4GHz, 1x 5GHz, and 2x 6GHz channels, that add up to a total bandwidth of 30,000Mbps, which is massive. Again though you’ll want to check out whether or not your regions supports 6GHz or not to see if it’s worth your money.
An AiMesh system with two of these devices can have a reach of up to 8,000 square feet, which is enormous – 33% more than was capable on the previous gen and ideal for a large place of business.

ASUS ZenWiFi BQ16 (WiFi 7)

2.4GHz BE up to 1376Mbps, 5GHz-1 BE up to 5764Mbps, 5GHz-2 up to 5764Mbps, 6GHz up to 11529Mbps

10G WAN/LAN x 1, 10G LAN x 1, 1G WAN/LAN x 1, 1G LAN x2, USB 3.0

Very similar to the Pro variant is the standard ZenWiFi BQ 16. Once again the only difference between this and the Pro is the channel width: you get 1x 2.4GHz, 2x 5GHz, and 1x 6GHz, so again this is the better option for those in a region where 6GHz is not regulated. The total bandwidth is slightly lower, at 25000Mbps, but still enormous, and it can have the same 8,000 square foot reach if deployed in a pair.

ASUS ZenWiFi BT10 (WiFi 7)

2.4GHz BE up to 688Mbps, 5GHz BE up to 5764Mbps, 6GHz up to 11529Mbps

10G WAN x 1, 10G LAN x 1, 1G LAN x 1, USB 3.0 x1

The ASUS ZenWiFi BT10 is the cheapest of the three but it’s still a premium-grade system. It has three channel bands rather than four: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz, with a max bandwidth of 18,000Mbps. Although it has four fewer antennas compared to the other two business models (eight instead of twelve) and fewer connectivity options, if you pair two of these together it still has a similar area coverage as the BQ16, so is well-suited for business use.
Best for home use

ASUS RT-BE96U (WiFi 7)

2.4GHz BE up to 1376Mbps, 5GHz BE up to 5764Mbps, 6GHz up to 11529Mbp

2.6GHz quad-core processor

256 MB Flash and 2 GB RAM

1 x 10Gbps for WAN/LAN + 1 x RJ45 10/100/1000Mbps for WAN/LAN, 3x RJ45 10/100/1000Mbps for LAN, 1 x 10Gbps for LAN USB 3.2 Gen1 x1, 2.0 x1

If you’re looking for a slightly more toned down version of our top two gaming picks then the RT-BE96U is a solid option. It’s Tri-band (2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz) rather than Quad band, and doesn’t have the same Triple-level Game Acceleration, but besides this its features are very similar, with Dual 10G Ports and all the latest WiFi 7 benefits. It’s still a beastly router whether you’re gaming competitively of doing some high-end productivity task.

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