As high-bandwidth activities like online gaming and video streaming become more popular, it’s important to ensure you have hardware that is capable of handling the ever-increasing demand for high speed internet. Small business WiFi networks can quickly become bogged down with a large number of connected devices from both employees and customers, therefore in order to provide a reliable connection you must invest in a premium wireless router. When deciding on which router to purchase you should focus on three main factors: performance, security, and the overall ease of use and support from the router’s manufacturer. We’ve highlighted our top small business WiFi routers for 2015 and outlined the benefits of each.
Linksys has been known for developing powerful hardware and the WRT 1900AC is no exception. Although it is one of the more expensive options on the market, commanding a price tag just over $200, it will prove to be both speedy and reliable for you and your customers.
The Linksys WRT 1900AC is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor that can handle large amounts of data, easily supporting multiple online users and digital devices all at once. It also contains four antennas with dual-band coverage (operates at both 2.5 GHz and 5GHz simultaneously) so signal dilution is minimal when multiple users are connected and streaming media. The 1900AC has 4 Ethernet ports so you can connect more devices to it such as your Point-of-sale hardware, kitchen and receipt printers, and much more.
Performance wasn’t the only factor that was considered when designing the WRT 1900AC. The security features are also above and beyond what you would expect from a premium router. It includes a WiFi protected setup (WPS) as well as a WPA2 encryption, which is the most secure encryption standard on the market. The 1900AC also includes dual firewall (SPI and NAT) protection and the ability to set up a guest network to prevent customers from accessing your business network.
Ease of Use and Support:
Setting up the router is very simple and user friendly. All you need to do to set up your WRT 1900AC is plug in the power supply and connect it to your modem using an Ethernet cable. From there it guides you through a few simple steps to set up your custom network name(s) and password(s). The WRT 1900AC is also open-source ready, so tech-savvy users can customize the router settings such as device or activity prioritization. The router comes with a 1 year warranty, which includes telephone, email and online support via instant messaging.[/vc_column_text]
The Asus RT-AC68U is both powerful and stylish, making it land in our top 3 routers of 2015. We’re also currently using one in the Boomtown office! It uses the latest WiFi technology and will consistently provide a fast connection for you and your customers try this web-site. With a price tag of $184, it is one of the more affordable premium routers and the cheapest on our list.
Like the other premium routers on our list, the RT-AC68U uses 802.11ac technology, which is the fastest WiFi standard currently available. It’s a dual-band router with 4 Ethernet ports, so it’s ready to easily connect all your devices. It also contains a powerful Dual-core processor for a fast and responsive connection across all devices, and is roughly 33% faster than its predecessor
The RT-AC68U offers a ton of security tools and features that rival most other wireless routers of its kind. With the WPS button, devices are easily and securely set up within minutes. Like the WRT1900AC, the RT-AC68U also uses a dual firewall (SPI and NAT) and the latest WPA2 encryption method to ensure your network is always secure. It also allows for a guest network so you can prevent network congestion and your customers from accessing your business network.
Ease of Use and Support:
The only downfall to this router seems to be the lack of a preconfigured network, which makes the set up process a little more difficult for the less savvy user. However, once the router is set up you’ll be able to access a large number of adjustment options which make this router extremely customizable. Asus also backs this router with a 2 year warranty and provides telephone, email and instant message support.
The Netgear Nighthawk X6 is more than just a cool name and a Batman-esque design, it’s also an extremely powerful router that provides high bandwidth users a lag-free experience. With the most expensive price tag of the other premium routers on this list (Just under $280), we expect the Nighthawk X6 to have all the bells and whistles – and it doesn’t disappoint!
The Nighthawk X6 boasts a 1GHz processor and a tri-band network, segmenting slower devices to prevent network congestion. Although it has a slightly slower processor than both the Linksys and Asus routers, it has the same speed capabilities. It also uses the latest 802.11ac technology and runs one 2.4 GHz band and two 5GHz bands for faster devices. The X6 consists of 4 Ethernet ports for easy device connection. The unique 6 antenna design allows for optimal signal distribution in large spaces and prevents “dead spots”, or areas with low signals.
Again, like the WRT1900ac and RT-AC68U, the Nighthawk X6 protects against web-based attacks by ways of a dual firewall (SPI and NAT). It also utilizes the most up-to-date encryption standards, consisting of both WPA2 and WPA2 enterprise. The X6 allows for a guest network which isolates your business network from your customer WiFi network, and lets the administrator set time allowances for individual internet usage. As expected with premium routers like the Nighthawk X6, a number or customizable security options are available for the more savvy users.
Ease of Use and Support:
Because the X6 comes with a preconfigured network, setup is extremely simple. With the use of the Netgear Genie application, users can access the routers large amount of advanced features. Netgear provides extensive support for the X6, including a comprehensive support page, telephone, email and chat support. The X6 also comes with a 1 year warranty.
If you’re interested in having the best possible WiFi in your business, but don’t want the hassle of researching routers and installing and managing it, you should consider looking into managed router services. With Boomtown’s managed router service, you’ll gain access to our network of certified local technicians that will come onsite and install it for you. You’ll also receive 24/7 network monitoring and support to ensure you and your customers are provided with the fastest, most secure experience possible.
If you’d like to learn more about Boomtown’s managed router service, call us at 844-800-2666 or fill out the information below and we’ll have a representative reach out.