The internet is a necessity for any business today. Whether you are doing online shopping or conducting your work over the web, it’s important to have fast and reliable Wi-Fi.
It can be difficult to find the perfect router for your small business though! That’s why our IT team compiled this list of 10 different routers that can suit any business’s needs.
The Different Types of Wi-Fi Routers
An Access Point (AP) is a device that allows wireless devices to connect to a wireless network, like a home Wi-Fi router. The AP then connects to the internet through one of the wired connections on your router.
A Wireless Distribution System (WDS) supports multiple access points and distributes data to them. WDS supports high-density areas where there are too many access points for an AP alone.
A Wireless Bridge (WB) is used when you want wireless coverage in a location where your AP doesn’t reach. This can be helpful if you have a building with just one room and don’t want to buy an AP for the whole building to get coverage.
The 10 Best Wi-Fi Routers on the Market in 2021
- Synology RT2600ac (Best Wi-Fi Router for Multiple Devices)
- Asus RT-AX88U (Best Wi-Fi Router for Security)
- Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 (Best Wi-Fi Router for Large Buildings)
- Synology MR2200ac (Best Mesh Wi-Fi Router)
- Netgear Nighthawk X4s (Best Wi-Fi Router for User Set-Up)
- Linksys Velop Wi-Fi 6 router (Best Wi-Fi Router for Data Transfer)
- Netgear Nighthawk XR500 (Best Wi-Fi Router for 4K Streaming)
- Ubiquiti EdgeRouter ERLite-3 (Best Low-Range Wi-Fi Router for Your Budget)
- Linksys EA6350 (Best Middle-Range Wi-Fi Router for Your Budget)
- Google Nest Wi-Fi System (Best High-Range Wi-Fi Router for Your Budget)
1. Best Wi-Fi Router for Multiple Devices
This router is perfect for any small business with lots of devices that need to connect at the same time. It offers speeds up to 1750 Mbps and has a range of up to 12,000 square feet! And it’s super easy to set up too – even if you don’t have much technical knowledge in this area. The Synology RT2600ac will be perfect for any small business, and it costs about $200 on average.
2. Best Wi-Fi Router for Security
This router is about $200 and offers speeds up to 6,000 Mbps. This router has four antennas, allowing for a broader range of Wi-Fi for your business. One of the great benefits of the Asus RT-AX88U is that it comes with AiProtection Pro. So not only is this a powerful router, it offers an extra layer of security.
3. Best Wi-Fi Router for Large Buildings
Netgear Nighthawk RAX120
Retailing for roughly $450, this is one of the most expensive routers on this list, but it offers speeds up to 12000 Mbps. It also has great customer reviews and a range that covers up to 20,000 square feet! Like the nighthawk X10, this router has Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. Another benefit is the built-in support for Guest Wi-Fi, Firewall Management, and VPNs. The Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 is an excellent choice if you need high speeds across a large area.
4. Best Mesh Wi-Fi Router
Synology MR2200ac Mesh Wi-Fi Router
This router is less than $150 and offers speeds up to 1200 Mbps. The Synology MR2200ac is a Tri-band, mesh router, which means it can cover a large area with its Wi-Fi signal by setting up multiple mesh routers to reduce congestion on the network.
The Synology MR2200ac has a 2T2R high-performance antenna and also comes with parental controls, guest networks, state-of-the-art security, and advanced VPN capabilities. Given the price of this device and all the features that come with it, this model of router is perfect for home use and business use alike.
5. Best Wi-Fi Router for User Set-Up
Netgear Nighthawk X4s
This router is roughly $422 and offers speeds up to 2.5 Gbps. This router is known more for its streaming capabilities but has a lot to offer the small business owner. The Netgear Nighthawk X4S allows multiple devices to stream at once. This router provides faster downloads, so your employees spend less time waiting and more time focusing on what is important. User reviews state that the router is extremely easy to set up, with very little technical knowledge needed! It’s the ideal choice for a small business that needs a high-speed router that is simple to set up.
6. Best Wi-Fi Router for Data Transfer
Linksys Velop Wi-Fi 6 router
This is a perfect router for any small business that needs to make sure they have fast internet speeds and reliable connections. This one also has excellent customer reviews, making it an affordable choice as well! The Linksys Velop costs about $245 on average and offers up to 300 Mbps. The benefit of this router is that it comes with a 3.0 USB port and can be used for large data transfers. Another benefit of this router is that it is Wi-Fi 6 compatible! This means that when Wi-Fi 6 is available in your area, you will automatically benefit from it.
7. Best Wifi Router For 4K Streaming
Netgear Nighthawk XR500
This option is one of our more expensive options but is a powerful router. The Nighthawk X10 is roughly $500 and offers speeds up to 7.5 Gbps. Nighthawk offers smooth streaming capabilities with the ability to stream 4K. The Nighthawk X10 has four antennas to amplify the range of Wi-Fi, making it the perfect router for a larger space that needs high-speed internet. A bonus factor of this router is that it comes with 6 months of Amazon Backup. This could be a great solution for a company looking for a high-quality router as well as expanding its storage and backup.
8. Best Low-Range Wi-Fi Router for Your Budget
Ubiquiti EdgeRouter ERLite-3
Ubiquiti Edge Router ERLite-LITE is a good choice for businesses that need an affordable and reliable router. The router costs about $100 on average which makes it a great choice if you’re looking to save some money while still getting the quality you deserve! It has an excellent range of up to 100 meters, perfect for any business. This is a cheaper option for anyone looking to save money on their Wi-Fi router. It offers speeds up to 300 Mbps and has great customer reviews as well! The Ubiquiti EdgeRouter ERLite-300 will be perfect for any small business that needs something reliable on a budget.
9. Best Middle-Range Wi-Fi Router for Your Budget
This Wi-Fi router is perfect for any small business that wants something affordable and reliable. The Linksys EA6350 costs about $110 on average, making it one of our cheaper options! It has a range of up to 150 meters, making it perfect for any business with lots of devices. This router offers speeds up to 300 Mbps which means your employees will have no issues connecting.
10. Best High-Range Wi-Fi Router for Your Budget
Google Nest Wi-Fi System
This is a cheaper option on this list and it’s perfect for any small business that wants something reliable but doesn’t want to spend too much either. The Google Nest Wi-Fi System costs about $200 and offers up to 300 Mbps. It has an excellent range of up to 100 meters. It’s an excellent option for small businesses that need something affordable.
11 things to consider when choosing a Wi-Fi router for your small business
1. The Size of Your Business
The size of your business matters when deciding on a router. A small business might be able to get away with a Wi-Fi antenna like one found in most laptops. An office building needs something much more powerful and robust. If you are a small business, you will want to look for an option that is more affordable and has fewer features.
2. The difference in coverage area between small business routers.
Wireless routers have different coverage areas. These can vary from 300 feet to 1500 feet or even more, depending on the type of router and how it is configured.
The higher quality a wireless router is in general, the larger its coverage area will be. You want to make sure that your Wi-Fi signal can reach all areas of your office so that no one feels left out.
3. How many devices can connect to a business router at once?
The number of devices that can connect at once is usually dependent on the router’s bandwidth. You want a router that has enough ports and bandwidth to accommodate your number of devices.
You also want to make sure that a router can handle any forecasted growth in your business.
4. What kind of security controls will you need in a small business internet router?
You want to find a router that controls the types of media and other content that can be accessed on your network.
You can also include parental controls that allow you to monitor what your employees are doing at work. With a wireless connection, it is easy for your employees to access anything they want. These features keep your internet traffic private and protect against viruses and hackers.
5. How much bandwidth does your small business need?
It’s important to have a Wi-Fi router that can handle all your devices at once without slowing down.
You’ll want to find something with options like MU-MIMO and beamforming that handle many devices.
If you’re not sure what your small business will need, it’s best to start with a router that can handle more than you think. A good rule of thumb is 60% – 80%. If your office has two wireless devices that don’t stream media or use VOIP services, a router that can handle a maximum of 100Mbps is recommended.
The more devices your small business has, the more bandwidth you’ll need. If an office with 20 wireless devices and two are streaming video or VOIP services, then at least 300 to 400 Mbps is recommended.
6. How easy it is to set up a Wi-Fi router for small business use?
You’ll want something that’s designed with simplicity in mind and has only a few steps before you can begin using it right away. If there are too many complicated instructions, chances are good that someone will give up and find another option.
Many good Wi-Fi routers for small businesses can be set up and configured in less than five minutes. Just follow the instructions that come with your router, and you should have no problem getting it up and running in a short period.
If you need assistance, contact customer service representatives from the manufacturer or retailer. Digital Operating Solutions can provide device and hardware setup. No matter your need, contact us today!
7. How easy it is to manage the Wi-Fi router in your small business?
Look for cloud-based options, to access them remotely, when necessary, rather than having to go on-site every time you need to make a change or update. If something goes wrong with one of your devices, you’ll be able to access the router remotely on your computer and fix it from anywhere.
The router should also have a firewall to protect your network from other threats. You’ll want this capability if you’re using the service for remote employees.
8. How much speed or bandwidth can your Wi-Fi router handle at once?
If everyone in your office has a smartphone that they stream video on all day, then you need something more than your average router. You’ll want to find a high-speed option that can handle all the traffic without slowing down or causing any lag for your users.
This is where the newest Wi-Fi router technology comes in handy. High-speed routers are capable of moving data at speeds that measure up to 1,000 plus Mbps. This means you’ll never have to worry about your users complaining about waiting for media to load.
9. How much control do you have over who connects to your wireless network in the office?
If someone brings an unsecured device and tries connecting to your Wi-Fi, you’ll want to be able to monitor what they can do while on the network.
A wireless router allows you to set up a guest network for visitors and lets employees connect wirelessly on their own. If your office allows guests, it’s good to have this option so that they can easily log onto the Wi-Fi without having access to the internal network. It will also restrict them from using bandwidth and slowing down your network.
You can use the guest Wi-Fi on a router to set up time limits so that users must log in every few hours or days before their access times out. This doesn’t just protect you from an unknown person piggybacking off the network. it also protects guests from accidentally costing you more money.
10. How often are updates released for a particular router?
The number of times a router is updated can vary. Some are updated monthly, while others may not update for years at a time. The frequency depends on the vendor and the model of the router. It is difficult to determine how often you should expect updates before purchasing one because there’s no such industry standard.
You’re going to find that newer models have more features, better performance, and longer life spans than older options. If you buy an outdated model or one with only a limited lifespan – you’ll start to notice problems with your Wi-Fi signal and the features of the router.
11. What is the cost of a small business wireless router?
The cost of a small business wireless router ranges between $200 and $500. The price will depend on the size, configuration, features, and quality of the device.
Wi-Fi routers come in all shapes and sizes depending on the size of the small business and its needs. The cost can be a determining factor for some businesses. Most businesses will choose to invest in a quality router upfront rather than a cheaper counterpart that will need to be replaced.
Wireless Router Broadcasting Frequencies
2.4 GHz, the frequency range that 802.11b/g devices work in.5 GHz, the frequency range that 802.11a and 802.11n devices work in; and 60 GHz, the frequency range that 802.11ac devices work in.
The wireless router broadcasting frequencies are important because they describe how much bandwidth is available for the devices. The higher frequency (60 GHz) is less crowded and offers more width, but it has a shorter range and cannot penetrate walls as well as lower frequencies.
The frequency a wireless router broadcasts its signal is called the “channel.” The channel you set your access point will depend on how many networks are nearby that use the same band. A popular Wi-Fi frequency is 802.11n and it operates on channels 11-13 which have little interference from other networks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Wi-Fi router?
A wireless router is the key ingredient of any Wi-Fi network. It does not matter how many devices are connected to your home’s Wi-Fi. Without a working internet connection, they will all be useless.
A router brings the wireless internet to your phone, tablet, and other devices. It’s plugged into an electrical outlet and broadcasts the internet signal to the connected devices.
The best Wi-Fi routers make managing networks and accessing data easy by providing a signal that won’t get lost in interference.
Which is the best Wi-Fi router for a small business?
It really depends on your needs! The best Wi-Fi router is one that offers the highest signal strength and throughput. If you need a lot of coverage, then a powerful antenna might be needed to help extend your network.
You will also want to consider what type of technology you’re looking for. If you are in an old building, then an 802.11g Wi-Fi router might not have as fast connections. But if it’s new and has brick walls, a newer wireless standard like 802.11n may be better suited for your needs!
You may also wish to consider the cost. A good Wi-Fi router for a small business can range in price from $80-$400 depending on your needs. You will want one with enough ports or antennae for your needs as well!
If you have trouble deciding what type of wireless router is best for you, don’t think about it too hard. But always try to be aware of your needs and keep them at the top of your mind when deciding.
What is bandwidth?
Bandwidth refers to the specific width of a channel that transmits data. It’s usually measured in megabytes per second (Mbps). In general, higher bandwidth means you can stream or download content easier and more quickly than lower bandwidth.
The amount of available bandwidth depends on how many users are connected to the network, and how much data they are transferring.
Bandwidth is important for small businesses because it affects the speed and quality of network service.
Do I need a firewall for my small business?
A firewall can be beneficial, but it is not necessary. A router has built-in security features that you may find sufficient for your needs. Read more about when you should consider a firewall vs. the router’s default security settings.
How can I monitor the Wi-Fi traffic on my small business network?
A wireless router can help you monitor the internet usage on your small business network. If one person is using up all the bandwidth, it’s easy to see with an external Wi-Fi router. You can also limit the number of devices that connect to your business’s wireless network.
Learn more about how Digital Operating Solutions (DOS) can assist your business with network monitoring.
Do I need a VPN for my small business?
A VPN is a virtual private network that helps employees securely access remote sites and company data when they are away from the office.
VPNs encrypt data, create a secure connection to block hackers, and control access authorization. If you need help determining if you need a VPN, contact Digital Operating Solutions (DOS) today.
Verdict on the best wi-fi router for small businesses
All the routers listed are top-of-the-line while remaining affordable for the small business owner. The best small business router for one team may not work for another. As stated before, there are many factors to take into consideration.