The 7 Best Small Business Routers of 2020
The key to increasing efficiency in your office
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No matter what type of business you have (a local coffee shop or a small law firm), a connection to the Internet is essential. Every small business needs to be equipped with a router to connect multiple networks and route 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 on the market, take a look at our list to find out which small business router is a good fit for your needs. Whatever your business demands, there will be a router on this list that can keep your employees and customers happy with a fast, dependable Internet connection.
Best Overall: Synology RT2600AC Wi-Fi AC 2600 Gigabit router
Get your network in gear with Synology Router 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 router 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.
Fastest Speeds: NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 Wi-Fi Router
If you want blazing fast Internet speeds, the Netgear Nighthawk X10 is the router for your business. The Nighthawk X10 AD7200 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 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.
Best for Streaming: Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router
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, now 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 twelve 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 EA7500 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.
Best Value: Netgear (R7800-100NAS) Nighthawk X4S AC2600
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S is more affordable than some others on this list, 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 Wi-Fi range for mobile devices with 160MHz support. The Nighthawk X4S AC2600 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 Security: Norton Core Secure Wi-Fi Router
With phishers, hackers and ransomware attacks, security on your network is more important than ever, even for small businesses. Help keep your office safe from these threats with the Norton Core Secure Wi-Fi router. Norton Core’s intrusion detection will quickly let you know if hackers have infiltrated your Wi-Fi network and can even quarantine devices that have been compromised, preventing the threat from spreading throughout your office. With your purchase of this router, you also receive a one-year security subscription to further help you defend your Wi-Fi network and any smart devices you may have on it. This router performs well too with the ability to stream your content in 4K and quickly download files simultaneously with its unique 4x4 antenna and MU-MIMO technology. Plus, this router also has a cool futuristic geometric design that looks more like office décor than a typical router.
Best for Businesses Offering Free Wi-Fi: 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 guest/customers, employees and administrators/managers.
Most Versatile: Linksys EA6350 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router
Small businesses need to be flexible and able to adapt 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 photo, video, 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).