Your Wi-Fi May Feel Faster on a Windows 11 Laptop—Here’s Why

Acer

Microsoft confirms that it’s adding Wi-Fi Dual Station support to Windows 11, a feature that will significantly improve wireless internet performance on laptops equipped with compatible hardware, specifically Qualcomm FastConnect modules with 4-Stream DBS. Or in plain English, your crappy Wi-Fi may feel a lot faster on a Windows 11 laptop.

With Wi-Fi Dual Station support, the Windows 11 operating system “can now leverage two concurrent Wi-Fi connections” to provide “Ethernet-like reliability and latency” over a wireless network. In most cases, that means your Dual Station-compatible laptop will utilize your router’s 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz (or 6Ghz) bands simultaneously to avoid jitter and congestion.

We expect all sorts of hardware manufacturers to take advantage of Wi-Fi Dual Station, but Qualcomm is currently leading the charge with its FastConnect systems. In a blog post celebrating the new feature, Qualcomm claimed a 4x reduction in latency when using a Windows 11 laptop with its 4-Stream DBS system with off-the-shelf Wi-Fi 6 routers.

To our surprise, Microsoft claims that Valve helped develop the Wi-Fi Dual Station system. The company has already added Wi-Fi Dual Station support to the Steamworks SDK, which many games (including CS:GO and DOTA 2) use for networking. Perhaps Valve is interested in bringing the feature to its upcoming Steam Deck, which does support Qualcomm’s FastConnect system. (Though the Steam Deck runs a custom Linux distro out of the box—maybe Wi-Fi Dual Station will come to Linux?)

If that’s not enough to convince you of Wi-Fi Dual Station’s capabilities, AMD and Qualcomm are working together to bring this tech to AMD laptops. Clearly, Microsoft and Qualcomm have developed a breakthrough solution to wireless internet latency.

But you probably won’t experience this breakthrough for a while. Wi-Fi Dual Station requires a laptop with a FastConnect subsystem that supports Wi-Fi 6 and 4-stream DBS tech. In other words, a high-end PC with a Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 or 6700 module. (You’ll also need a Wi-Fi 6 router.)

And the time of writing, your best bet is to buy one of Acer’s new Windows 11 laptops, which contain Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 modules. Lenovo says that it plans to stick these same modules in future laptops, though it hasn’t provided a release date or even a general timeline for such products.

Source: Qualcomm via PC Gamer

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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