Best Small Business Routers of 2021 – Complete Round-up

Austin
| Last Updated: June 6, 2021

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When you own and operate a small business, it's essential to invest in the best upgrades possible to set yourself apart from the competition.

Having a good WiFi router as part of your small business is an essential part of your customer experience, after all.

In this article, we'll be talking more about why having the best small business router is vital for your small business. 

Comparison of the Best Small Business Routers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Can be used with a wide range of devices
  • 7200 Mbps data transfer rates
  • Up to 2500 square feet WiFi coverage
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  • Use the latest WiFi 6 transfer speeds
  • Supports WPA 3 WiFi protocols for improved security
  • Up to 2Gbps wired and wireless speeds
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  • Best for the Money
  • Gigabit Wan and Lan Ports for easy connections
  • Supports up to 20 IPsec VPN tunnels
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  • Best Wireless Router for Small Business
  • Up to 3000 square feet coverage
  • Operates at very low temperatures of 5 to 40 degrees C
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  • Best Cisco Router for Small Business
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty included
  • Makes use of Cisco Umbrella anyconnect security
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  • Best Dual Wan Router for Small Business
  • Dual Wan Gigabit ports for improved connection
  • Very reliable connect with load balancing
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What Makes a Router Great for a Small Business? 

There are many reasons why you need a good router for your small business, and these reasons mostly fall under convenience. However, a good router can be convenient for you and your customers, especially if you have a physical office for customers to visit. 

Personal Convenience

Obviously, the main benefit of having a router in your small business is for you and your employees' convenience. You don't need to set up a new wired connection whenever you add a new computer to your small business office, and you can use tablets and smartphones without needing mobile data.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 R9000

Customer Convenience

The other significant benefit of a small business router is for the enjoyment of your customers. Some of your clients may find it inconvenient if they sit in your waiting room and have no way to connect to their favorite entertainment. This is especially important if you don't get good cell service in your waiting room. 

Review of the Best Small Business Routers

In the sections below, we'll look at some of the best small business routers available on the market today. While there are still plenty of good routers available that aren't included on this list, this is a great place to start your search!

Best Overall:
Netgear Nighthawk X10 R9000

NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 802.11ac/ad Quad-Stream WiFi Router, 1.7GHz Quad-core Processor, Plex Media Server, Compatible with Amazon Alexa (R9000)

PROS

  • Tri-band capability
  • Built-in USB connectivity
  • Amazon Alexa compatible
  • Offers extremely fast speeds
  • Easy to manage with the Nighthawk app

CONS

  • A bit pricey and hard to find
  • Prone to signal dropping issues

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that this WiFi router is fantastic when it works! However, this model can occasionally fall prey to signal to drop issues that give some customers a hard time. However, this issue is an easy fix - simply restart the router to fix the problem. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The standout qualities of this router center around speed and convenience. You can access the router's settings via an app on your phone, making customizing it a piece of cake after you set it up. 

Not only is it fast, but with three signal bands and support for up to 45 devices, it can handle your business' needs no matter how many customers sit in your waiting room daily. 

Bottom Line

Essentially, if you need a fast, convenient, and viable router that can handle many customers, this one should be on your list. However, if you depend on constant internet access or need more than one WAN port, you may want to consider other options.

Runner-up:
ASUS RT-AX86U

ASUS AX5700 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX86U) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, 2.5G Port, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security

PROS

  • Priority "gaming" port
  • Natively mesh network compatible
  • WiFi 6 compatibility for blazing-fast speeds
  • Customize and monitor with the mobile app
  • Comes with ASUS AiProtection Pro for optional extra security

CONS

  • Data collection concerns
  • Prone to throughput drops

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report that this relatively new router offers breakneck speeds - you probably won't be able to reach these levels with any other model here. This is the only WiFi 6 router on this list, after all. However, some buyers have concerns about how the free lifetime security through Trend Micro might be collecting your data. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Obviously, this router stands out because it offers unparalleled speed. However, it also shines because it has two WAN ports, an uncommon feature in home routers. While it's as expensive as you might expect, it might be worth that price to some because of the performance it offers.

While you're unlikely to use all of the "gaming" features it offers for gaming, those same features can benefit you in many business-related ways, too. The free built-in security is a nice feature, also, for those who feel comfortable using it.

Bottom Line

While this router has some issues, the bottom line is that nothing else will be able to match it in speed. The mobile app support and mesh connectivity make it great for businesses, both big and small. 

Best for the Money:
TP-Link TL-R600VPN

TP-Link Safestream Multi WAN VPN Router | 1 Gigabit WAN+3 Gigabit WAN/LAN+1 Gigabit LAN Port | IPsec/L2TP/PPTP VPN Supported| SPI Firewall | DoS Defense | Lightning Protection(TL-R600VPN)

PROS

  • Four WAN ports
  • Loads of professional safety features
  • Great for small businesses on a budget
  • Available in various sizes for any size business
  • Supports VPN tunneling for multiple branches

CONS

  • No longer receiving firmware upgrades
  • Some features can cause connectivity issues

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that while this is a secure and reliable router, it may be a pain for some people to set up. If you're not tech-savvy, it may be best to stay away from this router.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The standout feature of this router is, of course, its price. However, it's also notable because of the plentiful security features that come standard with it. Not only does this model support VPN connections by default, but it also supports DoS defense, domain name filtering, an SPI firewall, and much more. 

This router has two downsides: firstly, it doesn't offer WiFi connectivity, so you can only connect Ethernet-capable devices to it. That means no waiting room WiFi for your customers unless you purchase a second router. Secondly, since it's no longer receiving firmware upgrades from TP-Link, it may eventually fall prone to security concerns. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line for this router is that it's a competent, secure, and inexpensive unit. It comes in several sizes to match any size business office, too. However, that's about all that's special about it. 

Best Wireless Router for Small Business:
Synology RT2600AC

Synology RT2600ac – 4x4 dual-band Gigabit Wi-Fi router, MU-MIMO, powerful parental controls, Threat Prevention, bandwidth management, VPN, expandable coverage with mesh Wi-Fi

PROS

  • Dual-WAN capable
  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Feature-rich for the price
  • Available as a single router or a mesh setup
  • VPN server and VPN pass-through capability

CONS

  • Privacy policy concerns
  • Not as robust as other models

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that this router is incredibly easy to set up, even for the technologically illiterate. However, some buyers are concerned about the privacy policy that you must accept before using this device, which allows Synology to monitor your data.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Synology router stands out to us because it combines all of the business-related features you would want into one small, attractive, affordable package. It ticks every box, including a reasonable price, dual-VPN functionality, accessibility for those who aren't tech-savvy, and multi-WAN capability to boot.

The reliability of this router stands out to us a lot, too. Very few buyers report signal dropping issues or connectivity issues with this model. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line for this router is that, as long as you can accept the security concerns (or work around them by using your own VPN), it's a nearly-perfect package. However, note that it might not offer the same speeds as other models since it's slightly older.

Best Cisco Router for Small Business:
Cisco RV340

Cisco RV340 VPN Router, 4 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Ports, Dual WAN, Limited Lifetime Protection (RV340-K9-NA)

PROS

  • Four Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Supports multiple VPN types
  • Lots of small business security features
  • Mobile device support makes setup easy
  • Multi-WAN support is ideal for branch offices

CONS

  • Pricey, despite being an older model
  • Some settings can be iffy - you may need to fiddle with them to get it to work the way you want

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that when this router works, it works quite well. However, because it has so many high-level security settings, it can sometimes take some time to find the configuration that works best.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Everything else aside, this router is attractive because it does what it's supposed to do. For some, it will be better than most network switches because it has mobile app connectivity - a feature that's rare in routers that don't support WiFi.

While this is a slightly older model, buyers will be relieved to know that it still receives active firmware upgrades, so you won't need to worry about an outdated VPN or firewall.

Bottom Line

In the end, this router doesn't stand out from the others much, and it seems overpriced. However, if you're willing to spend some time tweaking the firmware to your needs, it's a tank that will last for many years to come. 

Best Dual WAN Router for Small Business:
Linksys LRT224

Linksys Business Dual WAN Gigabit VPN Router (LRT224)

PROS

  • Dual-WAN connectivity
  • Compatible with both IPv4 and IPv6
  • Supports site-to-site and site-to-client VPN
  • Comes with an integrated 900Mbps firewall
  • Customizable via an easy-to-use web interface

CONS

  • Expensive for its age
  • Older, slower, and more prone to failures

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers say that this router is still surprisingly viable despite being more than seven years old. However, it seems like the old router might have issues with newer firmware updates, especially with the firewall. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

If this router is still being manufactured (and bought) after seven years on the market, then there's something good going on with it. This unit doesn't support WiFi, but it's overall stood the test of time.

Unfortunately, it's strange that the price hasn't fallen more, but that's a testament to its function more than anything. This unit supports VPN tunneling between branches, comes with a built-in firewall, and supports IPv6 protocols, the primary security protocols you need to function as a small business. 

Bottom Line

While this router is expensive as far as routers go, it's cheaper than a lot of network switches on the market today. If you need a quick-and-dirty router and don't need to worry about WiFi capability, then this one might just fulfill what you need. 

Can Any Router Be Used For Small Business? 

Can you head over to the electronics store and buy the cheapest router model? The answer to this question is yes, but with limitations depending on what resources your small business uses.

For example, if you have a small office or waiting room that only ever has a handful of people on the internet at any given time, you don't need a super fancy router that can achieve top speeds. However, if you have a high-capacity waiting room or a lot of computers in your office, then you'll want to invest in a more expensive model.

ASUS RT-AX86U

How to Choose a Small Business Router

When buying a small business router, keep an eye out for some of the following features, as they'll help set the best small business routers apart from the rest. 

Security

With any router that will be accessible to the public, you should worry about your internet security. Without the most current security standards, a vengeful hacker may be able to access the files of any device connected to your network. You should look for, at minimum, these three security features in your small business router:

  1. WPA protection

  2. A built-in firewall

  3. Private and public access

Speed

You should be careful to choose a WiFi router that's fast enough to suit your business' needs. If possible, get a router that's slightly better than what you need - that'll future-proof your network for a few more years and help offset company growth.

Number of Ports

The number of ports on your prospective router is essential to consider, too. The more ports you have, the more devices you can hard-wire into your network. If you don't plan to connect many devices via Ethernet, this isn't a huge concern, though. 

What Kind of Security Features to Look for in a Small Business Wireless Router? 

We started discussing important router security features up above, but we'll dive a bit deeper into the reasons they're important here. 

WPA Protection

WiFi Protected Access (also known as WPA, WPA2, and WPA3) is a feature that encrypts your network traffic and also allows you to set a password to protect your router. WPA3 is the best and most current protocol, but as long as you at least have WPA, that's an excellent start. 

Built-in Firewall

As the name suggests, a built-in firewall protects your WiFi router internally without you having to lift a finger. Most routers have a firewall nowadays, but it's a good idea to check it off the list before making your purchase.

Private and Public Access

Most WiFi routers allow you to separate your channels into a public "guest" option and a private business option. By keeping your public and private traffic entirely separate, you can further protect yourself and your network from tampering. 

Perks of Getting a New Small Business Router 

The perks of having a router are great, but what's wrong with purchasing an older, cheaper WiFi router? While you might save some money, the peaks of a new model far outweigh the cost savings of an old one. 

Speed

The most significant and most obvious benefit of a new router is speed. As technology grows and evolves, newer generations of routers continue to improve upon the swiftness of predecessors. Even if you upgrade to the cheapest new model available, the chances are you'll see some kind of speed increase.

Security

Security is an essential part of upgrading to a new router. The longer a WiFi router model exists on the market, the more time hackers and malicious individuals have to find exploits in its software. By upgrading to a newer model, you'll get access to more current and better security protocols, too. 

Reliability

As WiFi routers age, not only do their internal parts wear out and age over time, but much of their firmware falls out of date, too. WiFi router producers eventually stop supporting or updating firmware for old models. Not only will this mean a slower, potentially buggy router, but it can be a huge security concern, too. A brand-new router, on the other hand, will receive firmware upgrades frequently. 

Best Types of Routers for Small Business

Choosing the best WiFi router for your small business can be difficult because of how many different router types exist on the market. We'll examine a few of these types below. 

Multi-WAN Router

A multi-WAN (Wide Area Network) router is designed to connect to multiple networks simultaneously. If your business can't afford to go down because of an internet outage, then a multi-WAN router can help mitigate that risk by connecting to two ISPs simultaneously. You can also connect a multi-WAN router to a business-wide network to easily and safely communicate with other branches. 

Single-WAN Router

A single-WAN router, as you might expect, is the opposite of a multi-WAN router. Single-WAN routers aren't designed for businesses like multi-WAN routers are. However, they can often be cheaper, and they usually come with more user features, such as Alexa integration or parental controls

VPN Router

A VPN router is a particular type of router (many multi-WAN routers also tend to be VPN routers) designed to connect to and maintain a VPN. VPN access can be a huge security boon for your business since all of your network data is encrypted.

How Does a Small Business Router Compare?

How does a small business router compare to a router designed for home use? What about a router designed for a high-end consumer? We'll investigate this in the sections below. 

Small Business Router vs Home Router

The first difference between a small business router and a home router is that small business routers usually can support more than one network. Homeowners rarely need to access more than one network or ISP.

Similarly, small business routers tend to have more business-related security features. VPN access is one excellent example of this. While more and more home routers that support VPN use are coming on the market, many still do not. 

Small Business Router vs High-End Consumer

A small business router and a high-end consumer router are very similar. The main difference between the two is the ability to support multiple WANs. While more high-end consumer routers will support WANs than home routers, there are still far fewer overall than business routers. 

How to Customize and Secure a Router for Small Business

Nowadays, setting up a WiFi router is pretty simple - all you need is a computer (and your new router, of course). However, customizing your settings to make it ready for your small business is a bit more complicated. A few of the settings you'll want to check on your router might include:

  • Guest network
  • Security protocol
  • Network name and password

Guest Network

We've already gone over the benefits of a guest network, but you'll most likely notice that it's not enabled on your router by default. By browsing through your router's settings, you should be able to find the guest network, turn it on, change the network name, change the password, and more.

Security Protocol

Your new small business router may not come with every security aspect that you want to be enabled by default. For example, you may need to opt into or set up a VPN for VPN-enabled routers. Make sure to navigate to your router's security settings and enable whichever settings you like best for your business.

Network Name and Password

One of the most important things to do after you enable your WiFi router is to change the name of your WiFi network and customize the password for security reasons. Change the network name to something your guests and employees will recognize and connect to easily. 

Conclusion 

In the end, no matter which model you decide is the best small business router for you, the most important thing is that it serves your business' needs. The bottom line is that virtually any router will work to connect you to the internet, but the question is how well it will do the job. 

People Also Ask

Do you still have questions that we didn't answer above? If so, check the FAQs below for a potential answer.

How Do I Create a Small Business Network?

Small business networks are often as easy to create as any home network. You can even create a small business WAN with multiple routers if you have several different branch locations. All you need to do is purchase a router, set it up, and customize it to your business' needs. 

How Many Routers Do I Need for a Small Business?

How many routers you need depends on the size of your small business. For example, if you have multiple branches in different locations, you'll need more than one router if you want to connect them. However, you should only need one router if your small business has only one location.

Why Are Small Business Routers Better?

Small business routers tend to be better for some businesses because they focus on the features that companies need. While a home router will accomplish the same thing, it might not offer the VPN protection or multi-WAN compatibility that some business owners want or need.

Why Would a Small Business Not Use a Router?

If you're very concerned about your small business's security, it's possible that you could skip using a router altogether and just use a network switch. By doing this, you can avoid setting up a WiFi hotspot that could be prone to hacking or other security issues.

Which GHz for Small Business Router?

WiFi routers tend to use two different "bands" to connect devices: the 2.4GHz band and the 5GHz band. The 2.4GHz band tends to be slower, but it has a better range. The 5GHz band is faster but works best when you're close to the router. 

What is a Firewall Router?

A firewall router is a WiFi router with a firewall built into it already - no need to worry about installing one on your computers or devices. While no firewall is perfect, a firewall router will help protect you from malicious traffic. 



Austin

When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.