How to Pick the Best Wireless Business Router

March 2024

How to Pick the Best Wireless Business Router

IT admin working remotely

Selecting the best wireless router for a business is a crucial decision that will have a big impact on your network. One must consider more than just the router that will be used, but how it will impact the entire network. In general, in addition to overall speed, security protocols, and a variety of other features, a business will want to look for a wireless router that supports VLANs, VPNs, and multi-wan connections.

Here are the most important factors to consider when selecting a wireless router for your business.

  1. Network Requirements

    Consider your business’s specific network needs and requirements when selecting a wireless business router. This includes the number of connected devices, the coverage area, and bandwidth requirements. Note that some network functions can be done by Ethernet switches and wireless access points on the network.

  2. Wireless Standards, Speed, & Performance

    Routers with the latest wireless standards (such as 802.11ac/Wi-Fi 5 or 802.11ax/Wi-Fi 6) will have faster speeds, better wireless range, and improved performance compared to older wireless standards. However, depending on your needs and budget, you may be able to get by on a legacy model router.

    IT admin using a cloud network manager
    Nonetheless, wireless router speed and overall performance are important factors when choosing your business router. Depending on your network requirements, look for wireless routers that offer high data transfer rates, and multiple antennas for improved wireless signal strength.

    Keep an eye out for advanced features such as beamforming or MU-MIMO that assist with more efficient data transmissions and enhanced range. Beamforming technology increases real-time performance by directing strong wireless signals to a specific location. MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology processes multiple data streams simultaneously, increasing real-time WiFi performance when multiple devices access the network.

    Note that most business-grade routers will be wired, not wireless. More often than not, an enterprise will utilize a wired router, connect it to a network switch (or switches), and deploy access points for wireless. Of course, there are exceptions based on your business and needs. When choosing a wired business router, wireless speeds will be irrelevant; consider the speeds of the LAN ports and WAN port(s) instead.

  3. Security

    Reliable network security is crucial for businesses, not only to protect company data, but data on customers and clients. Look for wireless business routers with robust security features, such as the latest encryption protocols, VPN support, and built-in firewall. In some cases, you may want the ability to create an isolated guest network (although this can be accomplished by other means, e.g., VLANs and access points).

  4. Management & Monitoring

    Router management and monitoring features allow businesses to control its network much more effectively. Management and monitoring of router resources helps to reduce network downtime, as well as identify network issues before they become critical problems.

    Some features to consider that enhance network performance include traffic prioritization or quality of service (QoS), and remote management. Traffic prioritization, or QoS, assigns different levels of importance and bandwidth depending on the type of data packet(s). QoS intelligently prioritizes voice, video, and other data traffic to improve network efficiency and overall performance.

  5. Scalability

    Choose a business router that not only accommodates your business needs today, but one that can be scaled for future growth. In the future, you’ll likely need to expand your bandwidth to support your business’s, so consider business routers that can handle a high number of connections simultaneously, or those that utilizes mesh network technology for a simple, seamless coverage solution.

  6. Reliability

  7. Choosing a router from a reputable brand will give you peace of mind that it is reliable and durable. Take a look at the company’s warranty and return policy in case of any issues or defects. Also, if choosing one, a business-grade router is designed to perform in more vigorous conditions than home routers or budget routers. They are designed to handle a high-degree of continuous usage, and reduce the chances of interruptions to the network.  

    IT admin using a cloud network manager

    These are the main factors to consider when choosing a wireless router for your business; focus on your needs, performance reliability, security, and scalability. However, you may also want to consider your budget, and available support and services from the router manufacturer. Even if you find the perfect business-grade router, if it’s not in your budget, it becomes a moot point. However, you should prioritize quality and performance over cost. And while the main factors and budget are important, the availability of reliable tech support and customer service (including warranty briefly mentioned above) can be priceless.

    Though not required, you may want to select a manufacturer that also offers a decent range of other networking solutions for future expansion considerations. Using products from the same brand should be changes and expansions more seamless. And finally, learn from those that require similar network requirements and experiences. Read product reviews from trusted sources, and seek out business router recommendations from industry experts and colleagues.