We’ve been hearing a lot about Wi-Fi 7, the next-gen wireless standard, of late, and one of the bits of chatter was worrying – namely that Windows 10 users may not get the benefit of these faster wireless speeds. Fortunately, we can now put paid to any notion that Windows 10 users will be left out in the cold.
This episode started a month ago when a leaked Intel document appeared on X (formerly Twitter), courtesy of one of the regular hardware leakers on that platform, and it omitted any mention of Windows 10 support for Wi-Fi 7. It listed support for Windows 11, Linux, and ChromeOS, but that was it.
The good news is that this isn’t the case, and we’ve now had confirmation – albeit an indirect confirmation – from Intel that Windows 10 PCs will be just fine to benefit from Wi-Fi 7.
Neowin reports that Intel has now listed a pair of Wi-Fi 7 modules on its official Ark product database – the Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 and Wi-Fi 7 BE202 – both of which are marked down as having Windows 11 and Windows 10 support (along with Linux, though ChromeOS is omitted with these product listings, oddly – again, we wouldn’t read too much into that either).
Analysis: Minor panic over, thankfully
So, if there was any panic for Windows 10 users – and there was a bit, for sure – they can now rest easy that when Wi-Fi 7 comes fully into play, they will be able to enjoy those much, much faster wireless speeds (compared to Wi-Fi 6, it’s in the order of a fivefold speed increase).
When will Wi-Fi 7 actually be usable? Well, it’s still relatively early days yet for the standard, and those first Intel modules won’t be in hardware for some time (and you’ll need not just client devices which support Wi-Fi 7, but of course one of the best wireless routers that does, as well). We’re looking at next year for the new wireless standard to be fully formed and certified, with supporting hardware to rollout following that in 2024.
There’s plenty to look forward to then, no matter what version of Windows you’re running.
A leaked Intel document has seemingly confirmed that users on Windows 10 and older operating systems won’t be able to enjoy Wi-Fi 7 when it launches next year.
The document, posted on Twitter by leaker @g01d3nm4ng0, lists Windows 11, Linux, and ChromeOS as supported platforms for the new Wi-Fi standard. While it isn’t explicitly stated that Windows 10 won’t be supported, it’s not an unreasonable extrapolation to make.
A document reveals Windows 10 doesn’t support Wi-Fi 7, due to lack of Windows 10 driver certified by Microsoft. Qualcomm and MediaTek Wi-Fi 7 don’t support Windows 10 either. Microsoft limits Wi-Fi 7 to Windows 11 only? 🧐🧐🧐GaP2/MtP2: Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200/BE202 pic.twitter.com/m5tIJoOI4OAugust 23, 2023
Wi-Fi 7 is expected to provide some seriously advanced data transmission techniques to offer speeds potentially close to five times faster than Wi-Fi 6, along with superior reliability, range, and power efficiency. Intel has been leading the charge to implement the new technology as early as 2024, so it’s unsurprising that’s where this leak originated from.
That being said, it likely isn’t Intel’s fault that Windows 10 (and presumably older versions of Windows) won’t support the new Wi-Fi standard. Microsoft has had a hard time pushing Windows 11 to users, and this is just another factor the tech giant can point to and say ‘look, you’re missing out on this!’
The death knell of Windows 10
Let’s face it: we’re going to have to let go of Windows 10 eventually. With Windows 12 just peeking over the horizon, it was inevitable that some new features wouldn’t make the cut for our beloved 10.
Still, it’s a shame to see Microsoft so aggressively pushing forward – especially when it’s arguably ahead of the curve when it comes to its operating system. Windows Copilot and the general slew of AI-powered updates for the OS show that Microsoft doesn’t even need version 12 to innovate in Windows, so why keep pushing ahead with major version releases like this?
Frustrations have been fairly widespread with regard to Windows 11, hampering adoption in a big way despite Microsoft offering free upgrades for existing Windows users. Part of the problem is the strict hardware requirements for Win11, which entirely prevent some users from upgrading past Windows 10 (the TPM 2.0 requirement is a particular sticking point here). Early leaks have suggested that Windows 12 will also come with new minimum system requirements, locking out even more people on outdated builds.
Still, if you can upgrade to Windows 11 and have simply been putting it off out of laziness or distrust of the new OS, now might be the time to start considering it. Wi-Fi 7 devices and routers aren’t available yet, but when they do arrive, you won’t want to find yourself stuck with slower wireless internet speeds just because you didn’t upgrade!
The best WiFi extenders don’t just help extend your wireless network to ensure your whole space is covered. These devices also make sure that you’ve got reliable coverage throughout, minimizing slow or dropped connections, wherever you are in your home or office.
That’s right; you don’t have to resort to spending a ton of cash on costly solutions. The best WiFi extenders will simply pick up where your router starts to lose coverage, and increase your network’s range to give you a significant (and strong) boost in your wireless coverage by repeating that signal.
If you’ve got a large space to cover, and you’re experiencing unreliable connections, you’ve come to the right place. We gathered the best WiFi extenders on the market, so when you’re ready to give your WiFi coverage a boost, you’ll find the best one for you on this list.
Needing to increase your network coverage and get network-based cybersecurity as well? The Plume SuperPods will get the job done, though they don’t come cheap. You see, the Plume SuperPods act as one of the best Wi-Fi extenders straight out of the box. But perhaps more importantly, they also come with a subscription service to protect your network from cyber-attacks, as well as remove ads from the internet. Nonetheless, even if you don’t care about the extra software, the excellent performance is more than enough to make this Wi-Fi extender worth your consideration at the very least.
At the time of writing, the Plume SuperPods are only available in the US, so check out our other picks below if they are not available where you are.
Over the last couple years, Netgear has essentially turned itself into a household name in the networking world. And, they’ve put their extensive expertise to impressive use with their AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender EX6150. This terrific extender is a simple device that you can discreetly plug right into any electrical outlet, and definitely has our vote for one of the best Wi-Fi extenders. As an additional bonus, the EX6150 boasts quick and easy installation, free of any hassling installation software. Just follow the easy-to-read instructions and you’ll have fast and dependable Wi-Fi covering your entire home or office.
Bring the power and convenience of a mesh network to your home with the Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700. Not only does this extend the area of your Wi-Fi network, but it creates a seamless Wi-Fi network throughout your home or office – so you don't need to switch networks while moving around.
Thanks to the powerful hardware inside the Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700, you can stream 4K content, play games and hook up all kinds of devices to your Wi-Fi network without a hitch. The included Ethernet ports are also a nice addition for bringing your network to wired devices.
TP-Link is a Chinese networking company that has been steadily gaining popularity in the west, and for good reason. With devices like the TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range extender, it’s easy to get why: this extender – among the best Wi-Fi extenders you can buy right now – does the job well, and it’s affordable. It’s not going to be the fastest Wi-Fi extender out there, but with the range this extender provides at the price it’s available at, it’s a steal. Finally, thanks to an LED signal indicator on the front, installation is a breeze.
The Linksys RE6500 AC1200 is yet another Wi-Fi extender which could be mistaken for a router. This tougher design lets Linksys include four gigabit Ethernet ports, which basically empowers you to increase your network to internet-connected devices that need an ethernet connection. It also has an audio output jack so it can connect to an audio system, letting you stream digital music from your PC to your audio receiver. This is a pretty robust and versatile product, and one of the best Wi-Fi extenders for the money.
If you’re needing a reasonably affordable way to beef up your Wi-Fi network, and you’re ok with settling a little on performance and features, then the D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender may just be one of the best Wi-Fi extenders for you.
This tiny device comes sans any Ethernet ports, and it doesn't feature dual bands or 802.11ac, which is presently the fastest form of Wi-Fi. However, it is designed well and is built to last. And best of all, it's a fast, easy and cheap way of boosting your Wi-Fi network as long as you don’t expect too much network traffic.
This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the TP-Link RE350
The Linksys Velop offers a solid argument for a wireless mesh network’s ease of setup. Looking to replace both your router and your now-antiquated range extender, the Velop comes at a time when companies like Google and Netgear are trying to accomplish the same thing. The main way Linksys hopes to stand out from its competitors in the wireless mesh networking space is with a user-friendly setup that anyone with a smartphone can easily do. With just a visit to the App Store or Google Play marketplace, you’ll have the Linksys Velop up and running in a matter of minutes. It's certainly a worthy addition to our list of the best Wi-Fi extenders.
If you need a great way to upgrade your network so you can have fantastic coverage anywhere in your house, a powerline adapter is a remarkable option. Not only do they offer the same functionality as the best Wi-Fi extenders, but the Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline might just be a dream come true.
It’s not exactly visually pleasing, and the price tag may be a bit much. However, this unit more than makes up for those issues with sheer performance. And, unlike other powerline adapters, the Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere features a clone button that will clone the SSID and WPA key of your network so that it can double as a Wi-Fi extender.