Computing

The best small business routers in 2020

A good router is a modern requirement for small businesses. Whether you are linking your POS system to the internet, running the latest CRM software on mobile devices, or just giving your customers Wi-Fi access, a powerful and safe router is key.

To help out, we’ve gathered our top picks for business-friendly routers that are ideal for small and growing businesses. Our top pick is the Asus RT-AX88U that’s Wi-Fi 6 ready and a perfect addition to your business. But we’ve also chosen a number of excellent routers for covering large spaces, customizing your router, and more.

Asus RT-AX88U

Asus RT-AX88U Dual-band Router

One of the most important features of a business router is that it’s ready for the future. The last thing a business owner wants to do is set up and customize a router only to learn that they need to replace it two years later. A good business router will be Wi-Fi 6 ready for the coming years, as devices slowly upgrade to the new wireless protocol. This Asus model is “ax” ready and will be able to handle this new protocol.

Of course, that’s only part of what makes this model great. It’s a powerful dual-band router that comes with commercial-level AiProtection software for security, 8 Gigabit LAN ports, and mesh compatibility for covered especially larger areas. It also sports OFDMA and MU-MIMO technologies for giving select devices an extra speed boost when possible. All these attributes make it an easy recommendation for a small business, including businesses that are run out of your home.

Linksys Velop Wi-Fi 6 router

The Velop was an interesting choice back when the tri-band mesh router was first revealed in 2017, a 2-pack router system designed for “whole home” coverage. Now, a few years later, there are a lot more mesh routers on the market, but the updated version of the Velop is more of a “whole business” model instead, too pricey for a home but with the power and coverage that a business needs, especially a business that offers Wi-Fi for customers as part of its service.

The new version of Velop also comes with bandwidth for more than 100 devices and full Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, so it’s ready for the future of Wi-Fi and you won’t have to update again for quite some time. Everything can be managed through Linksys’ dependable app, and under the right conditions, it can offer speeds up to 5.3 Gbps. It’s one of the top mesh routers available right now–but it has a price to match. If you don’t care as much about preparing for Wi-Fi 6, you may prefer the Orbi mesh router below at about half the cost.

Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000

The Orbi Pro is a mesh system router designed to cover particularly large spaces – think warehouses, factories, farms, docks, larger restaurants, and other areas that may benefit from satellite routers. However, just one will cover up to 2,500 square feet, which may be enough for you! The tri-band router also comes with the latest technology, including MU-MIMO, plus the ability to manage up to 40 mobile connections with ease.

The model offers high speeds, up to 3Gbps, which positions it well for future Wi-Fi improvements. It also has preset traffic separation, creating three different, customizable networks for guests, employees, and owners, which is great for small business data management. Note that you can choose outdoor models as well if you need weather protection — plus models specifically designed for ceiling attachment if necessary.

Synology RT2600ac

This dual-band Synology router does a little bit of everything. It offers MU-MIMO security threat detection, smart connections based on mobile device range, traffic monitoring…and that’s just the beginning. You can customize it to turn into a private cloud server and synchronize files across devices, or use add-ons to expand router capabilities and share media more easily.

You also get VPN Plus that allows you to use the router as a VPN server for additional protection. If you want a router that does more than just sit there, and you need some extra data management capabilities for your business, check out this model.

Netgear Nighthawk X10

The Nighthawk line is filled with powerful routers, but this tri-band model is particularly suitable for businesses, sporting AD7200 wireless speeds and covering up to 2,500 square feet. The X10 comes with six 1G Ethernet ports, two USB ports, and a powerful 10 SFP+ connection.

All in all, it can handle up to 45 devices without trouble and includes MU-MIMO tech, beamforming, and even voice controls via Alexa if you want. It’s a good choice for smaller businesses that may not need a lot of additional tech features, but want still want a very robust router for their working space.

Ubiquiti EdgeRouter ERLite-3

More technical businesses may want a little more control over their wireless network than the average router provides. For businesses with more demanding IT requirements, this Ubiquiti router is designed just for you. It comes equipped with all the administrative and customization tools that you could want, including the ability to create your own configurations on the command line level.

It’s a great choice for those who like to tinker or tech startups that have a lot of specific requirements for their wireless networks. However, it doesn’t quite reach the speed of some of our other picks.

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