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No matter what type of business you have (a local coffee shop or a small law firm), a router is essential for connecting multiple networks and routing traffic between them in a fast, efficient, and reliable manner. Routers have improved in quality over the past years with many fast dual- and triple-band routers that allow for multiple networks, which comes in handy if you are running a business where customers and employees need to connect to separate networks (like in a restaurant or retail shop).
Other important considerations include the level of security, whether the router can establish a Verified Private Network (VPN), and how large of a space the router needs to cover (a small office might need to have more coverage than, say, a cafe).
With so many options to choose from, take a look at our list of the best small business routers to find out which is a good fit for your needs.
Best Overall: Synology RT2600AC
Get your network in gear with Synology RT2600AC's powerful wireless capabilities and security-minded Synology Router Manager core. Designed with offices in mind, this router’s MU-MIMO support ensures more devices can connect at higher speeds. Small businesses will appreciate the strong security tools, including intrusion prevention, denial-of-service protection, and firewall management. If your company needs to support remote workers, you can even use this router to set up a “virtual office” for secure remote access to your company’s systems.
With optional multimedia add-ons, the RT2600AC can even morph into a server hosting multimedia content that can be accessed by anyone in your office. Easily stream files located on SD cards or USB storage devices. You can even use this router as a private cloud server with advanced file management capability. Synchronize files across devices, share files with your co-workers or clients, and back up your computers for extra security.
Best Value: Netgear Nighthawk X4S
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S is a more affordable option, yet it still enables you to stream 4K content while receiving ultimate Wi-Fi speeds of up to 2.53Gbps, thanks to the powerful 1.7GHz dual-core processor. For mobile devices, this router doubles the bandwidth and increases the Wi-Fi range for mobile devices with 160MHz support. The Nighthawk X4S has Multi-User MIMO technology, enabling it to stream data to multiple devices simultaneously without loss of speed. With MU-MIMO, your office’s Wi-Fi network can deliver faster throughput to every MU-MIMO connected device resulting in faster downloads, smoother streaming, and overall better productivity for your employees.
Best Speed: Netgear Nighthawk X10
If you want blazing fast Internet speeds, the Netgear Nighthawk X10 is the router for your business. This smart Wi-Fi router is the industry’s fastest router for media streaming. The X10 delivers 802.11ac/ad Wi-Fi for ultra-smooth 4K streaming and instant downloads. Thanks to impressive hardware, including a powerful 1.7GHz Quad-Core Processor and Quad-Stream architecture, you can enjoy combined wireless speeds of up to 7.2 Gbps. Worried about wireless performance? MU-MIMO supports simultaneous streaming, while 160MHz doubles Wi-Fi speeds to mobile devices. The Nighthawk X10 also has four patent-pending external active antennas designed to amplify Wi-Fi signals to maximize range and throughput. Plus, with the purchase of this router, you get six months of unlimited backup to Amazon Drive–ideal for a small business that needs extra storage for important documents.
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Best for Streaming: Linksys AC1900
Do you work in an office where streaming is part of the job? Is your group’s productivity stalled due to annoying lag or buffering? With the Linksys Max-Stream AC1900 Wi-Fi Router, everyone in the office can enjoy fast, reliable wireless internet thanks to Multi-User MIMO technology that delivers Wi-Fi to multiple devices at the same time and speeds. Simultaneously connect more than 12 devices including tablets, smartphones, 4K UHD televisions, and other connected devices using just one router. Dual-band Wi-Fi speeds up to 1.9 Gbps and four Gigabit Ethernet ports provide seamless connection experiences for the entire office. Plus, the AC1900 is equipped with Linksys Smart Wi-Fi software for easy setup. You can even use this router to control your Wi-Fi from anywhere and at any time.
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Best Coverage: Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000
In today’s connected world, free Wi-Fi is one of the best ways to attract customers to your small business. With the NETGEAR Orbi Pro AC3000 Business Mesh Wi-Fi system, you can provide fast Wi-Fi to up to a 5,000 square foot area. Cover your entire office or other commercial space with a simple, secure, easy-to-access Wi-Fi system and reap the rewards of happy customers. Of course, if you’re going to provide free Wi-Fi, you want it to be good and not another problem you have to solve at your place of business. With Tri-Band Wi-Fi and Mu-MIMO, your customers will get fast Internet even with many connected devices—40 connections per unit and two included units mean you can host 80 connected devices at one time using this router system. This router works with your existing Internet connection and allows you to use a single Wi-Fi network but maintain separate traffic thanks to dedicated entry portals for guests, employees, and managers.
Most Versatile: Linksys EA6350
Small businesses need to be flexible to meet a wide variety of challenges. For a router that helps you rise to the challenge, check out the Linksys EA6350 Smart Wi-Fi wireless dual-band + router. Featuring wireless-AC technology, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and USB 3.0, the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Gigabit Router is made for the well-connected office. Dual bands and two external antennas provide a robust, reliable wireless signal without annoying dead spots. Four Gigabit Ethernet ports provide fast connectivity to wired devices so traditional desktops and laptops situated near the router can enjoy superfast speeds. A USB 3.0 port provides handy access for transferring large photos, videos, or data files across your network. The wireless speed is super-fast, too, up to 2.8 times faster than Wireless-N technology, the simultaneous dual-band achieves up to N300 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + AC867 Mbps (5 GHz).
Best for Security: Asus RT-AX88U
Built to handle large areas and busy networks, the Asus RT-AX88U boasts 802.11ax Wi-Fi technology (and it's compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi devices as well as current Wi-Fi devices) for increased signal range and high speeds of up to 6,000 Mbps. Its four antennas and eight LAN ports also allow your small business to use multiple devices with better efficiency than most standard routers. Best of all, get commercial-grade cybersecurity for your business thanks to the router's AiProtection Pro, which is powered by cybersecurity company Trend Micro, which protects your devices and data from security threats. It's also compatible with the Asus AiMesh Wi-Fi system that connects multiple Asus routers for powerful, whole-home internet coverage.
Best Features: Google Nest Wifi
Google's stylish, simple router offers up to 2,200 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage and ensures uninterrupted signals, even when moving around different rooms while taking business calls. The router also provides automatic updates for new features so your networks always stay safe and secure. Easily set it up using the Google Home app, from which you can connect and manage devices in your network. The app also lets you check your speeds, share your password, among other functions. For more internet coverage, add Wi-Fi points for an extra 1,600 square feet of coverage, which also acts as a Google Assistant smart speaker—making this router perfect for Google Home users.
The Synology RT2600AC (view at Amazon) is our top pick because it's designed with offices in mind. It has high connectivity speeds, strong security tools, supports remote workers, works as a private cloud server, and much more.
Meet the Expert
Patrick Hyde is an experienced freelance writer whose topics include tech and the tech industry. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Reactual, Rawkus, and more.