Business Wi-Fi routers sit at the heart of their networks and it is important to choose the best router for your specific requirements. Routers are designed to share your business internet connection between the computers and other devices connected to the network, with a variety of features available to enhance their performance.
Prices for business Wi-Fi routers can vary widely from entry level consumer routers to feature packed large-scale business routers. To help you find the best router for your budget, we take a look at the most important features of a business Wi-Fi router.
Single or dual band business Wi-Fi routers
In wireless communications there are two main frequencies, 2.4GHZ and 5GHz, with dual band routers able to pick up both frequencies. A basic single band router may suffer from interference and the bandwidth signal may become congested, as it will only provide 3 non-overlapping channels. Overall, a dual band business Wi-Fi router will offer higher speeds and improved performance thanks to the availability of 23 non-overlapping channels.
Guest Wi-Fi access
Some business Wi-Fi routers will offer wireless guest access, which allows you to make your internet connection available using a separate wireless network name (SSID). This connection is virtually separated from your main business Wi-Fi network and different security settings are applied. This means it is possible to provide visitors, the public and contractors with access to the internet, while keeping your own Wi-Fi network secure.
Separate networks (VLANS)
Most business Wi-Fi routers offer the ability to create multiple virtual networks, which are commonly referred to as VLANs. These virtual networks are designed to separate traffic on your Wi-Fi network, which can be very useful for businesses with multiple departments. For example, it is possible to create a separate VLAN for the management team designed to hold sensitive information.
Business Wi-Fi routers often include additional security features, which are grouped together as UTM gateways or Unified Threat Management Gateways. These gateways can scan for viruses, protect against spam and filter content to protect your business from threats and dangerous content. Many business Wi-Fi routers also have built-in integrated firewalls, which support security keys such as WEP, WPA and WPA2, for an extra level of network security.
There are some business Wi-Fi routers which include a USB port, which will allow you to share connections to USB printers or external drives with those connected to the network. This can be a useful feature if your current hardware is not network ready and is often a cheaper alternative than replacing expensive hardware.
Gigabit Ethernet connections
Standard routers are capable of offering maximum speeds of 100Mbps; however, some business Wi-Fi routers are capable of offering significantly faster speeds of 1Gbps. In addition, if there is an issue with the connection, these routers are more likely to failover to an alternative connection which will reduce business downtime.
A business Wi-Fi router with two WAN ports or direct 4G support can be great if your business relies heavily on a reliable internet connection. It will be possible to connect two lines from separate providers or plug in a 4G adapter, which will ensure there is always a backup connection available. It may even be possible to increase the bandwidth through load balancing by using both connections simultaneously.
These are just a selection of the many features which a specialist business Wi-Fi router may provide, however, if you are looking for a fast and reliable internet connection you should also compare business broadband deals. To find out more about dedicated business broadband, please contact our experienced team today.