Routers are a critical part of IT infrastructure for any company. Simply put, the Internet would not be able to function without routers. These devices manage traffic on computer networks and make connections between different networks. For example, they can connect a company’s private network to a public network. One of the most important functions of routers is ensuring that web traffic gets where it needs to go as quickly and efficiently as possible. That being said, choosing the right router is important for businesses.
The router market includes two main types of devices: consumer-grade and business-grade. Business-grade routers are more suitable for companies, offering three main advantages: security, stability, and scalability.
Business-grade routers have much better security features than consumer-grade devices.They include more sophisticated firewalls and better anti-malware protection, and they allow you to have more than one virtual private network (VPN). VPNs provide data pathways between a company’s local network and remote users’ computers. These encrypted pathways protect data.
Organizations with business-grade routers can protect their data with virtual local area networks (VLANs). VLANs make sure that a specific department’s data stays confined to its computers. This can help protect personal data and sensitive data in HR, accounting, IT, and other departments.
In addition to protecting data, business-grade routers can filter Internet content at a granular level. Most consumer-grade routers let you block access to content using web addresses, while business-grade routers let you go a step further. Employers can also block access to certain Internet content based on predetermined keywords. For example, you can allow employees to visit Facebook but prevent them from playing FarmVille. Preventing staff members from accessing content that is not related to their jobs can improve employee productivity.
One option that you will not likely find in business-grade routers is Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), but this isn’t necessarily a downfall. Consumer-grade routers often include this function because it lets users set up wireless networks easily. The downside to this functionality is that the networks are much less secure. It makes it simple for hackers to exploit a vulnerability in WPS and gain access to the networks. With WPS-free routers, you do not have to worry about employees accidentally turning on WPS and putting your company’s wireless network at risk.
Business-grade router manufacturers use high-quality components that are less likely to fail under pressure. They also design their routers to support networks that have many connected devices, as opposed to just a handful of devices. This makes it possible for business-grade routers to handle high workloads while maintaining excellent performance levels.
Consumer-grade routers are not built for high workloads. They have a weaker record when it comes to performance. Because of these issues, users with consumer-grade routers can sometimes lose their connections or suffer from slower speeds. Business-grade routers do not typically have these issues.
Business-grade routers provide security and stability, and they are better equipped to scale with your business as it grows. A common growing pain for small businesses is slow network connections, due to more and more people using the network.
A network’s speed and connection strength depends largely on bandwidth. To increase bandwidth, an organization can set up more web connections through the router’s wide area network (WAN) ports. Business-grade routers offer more WAN ports than consumer-grade routers. This means you can have more web connections, more bandwidth, and faster network connections.
Many businesses need to extend the coverage of wireless local area networks (WLANS) as they grow, which you can do with repeaters. These devices provide more network coverage by extending a wireless signal. Because business-grade routers can use more repeaters than consumer-grade ones, a company with a business-grade router will have no problem increasing its signal range. Organizations looking to expand their offices will find this ability particularly useful.
A Worthwhile Investment
Business-grade routers can help businesses like yours become more secure, stable, and scalable. While business-grade routers are more expensive than their consumer-grade counterparts, the added benefits are definitely worth the higher price tag.
Are you ready to invest in a business-grade router for your company? Contact us today! Our team is here to answer your questions and find the right solution for your business.