We think that you already know how to choose router to home applications. However in case of small companies, requirements are different. Luckily new devices have improved performance and more features. Therefore at first you should consider what you expect from the router and for what purpose it will be used. The basic task is Internet connection sharing, but you can also use this router for something more…
Routers for small companies are very often equipped in many WAN interfaces. In most cases this are Ethernet interfaces which provides 10/100/1000 Mbps speeds. Unfortunately in case of cheaper devices, only a single WAN interface is present. Therefore in case of most advanced solutions it is better to invest in the second WAN interface, even for redundancy purpose only. You will appreciate this feature during the first Internet connection failure in your company network 🙂
Performance, stability, security
In our opinion these three categories are the most important for routers dedicated for business application. You can not allow to any connection breaks, packet losses, long delays etc. Also very important are security features, because you do not want to endanger corporate computers. Therefore you should buy a router which will allow you to configure the firewall manually and has also implement protection mechanism against Denial of Service attacks. In some companies also features which will allow to block selected webpages or Internet applications (e.g. Instant Messengers) will be appreciated (by management).
Nowadays laptops are very popular, even in companies, because employees can take they computer to home and work remotely. Therefore it is expected to have WiFi network in the office. In our opinion in this case you have to buy a device which supports 802.11n standard, because 802.11g is too slow. We think that it is not worth to invest in 5 GHz standard, because 2.4 GHz devices are much more popular.
Virtual Private Network
If you want to isolate from each other some computers (i.e. personal computer from servers) then you should use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). It is much simpler and cheaper solution than using separated router for each network.
If your company uses VoIP solution then you have to consider router with QoS (Quality of Service) functions. It will allow you to configure the highest priority for VoIP packets, so you will not have users complaining about the poor quality of calls.