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How to choose the right router for your business

Whether you’ve just set up a new company or you’re looking at upgrading your existing IT system, deciding which router to use can feel like a minefield. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as doing a quick search in Google and choosing the one with the best reviews because every business operates differently and has individual needs.

Discussing your business needs with a reputable company like Cogent Distribution should help answer any questions you have.

However, to help you in the first instance we have put together a helpful guide to help you choose the right router for your organisation.

How big is the company?
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The first thing that will affect the type of router you should be using is the size of the company.

If you only need to support a few computers and Wi-Fi devices, a simple consumer or small business wireless router should be more than enough. Routers like this typically provide enough coverage for up to 2,000 square foot, two-storey office spaces and allow you to add other components such as printers, network storage and additional wireless access points should you need more Wi-Fi coverage.

If you’re a larger organisation or security is crucial to the operation of your business, you will need something more than a simple wireless router.

A VPN router/firewall has an integrated virtual private network (VPN) server and sometimes also offers more advanced features such as VLAN support and multiple SSIDs. Alternatively, you can also opt for a UTM (Unified Threat Management) gateway or firewall. These routers include advanced features and as well as serving as your router and Internet gateway, they usually include virus and malware protection, content filtering, an anti-spam function and intrusion detection and prevention.

What connectivity options do you need?

It’s crucial to look at your network when deciding which router is right for your business. Connectivity differs by router location, network strength, customer requirements and many other factors.

You’re better off matching the router’s capabilities with what you need right now. Saying that, it also doesn’t hurt to aim a little higher if you think you’ll be building a stronger network or making a shift to technology like FTTH in the near future. Watch this YouTube video for more details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iilaiuf7qVU

Connectivity methods you should consider when choosing a router include:

  • Gigabit Ethernet copper
  • Gigabit Ethernet over fiber
  • T2 and T3 connections
  • Legacy TDM T1 connections
  • 10 Gigabit Ethernet fiber handoffs
  • Radio networks
  • Mobile backend and overhaul connectivity

If your system is consistently changing or you’re expecting a significant shift, look for a router that supports multiple connection types. This will provide you with an investment which can be used today and in the future.

shutterstock_294013589How secure do you need your router to be?

Wireless connectivity can present a real challenge for security-conscious businesses – especially those whose reputations rely on protecting personal customer information. Traditionally, most consumer routers have used relatively insecure VPNs, making it hard to secure and protect sensitive business data.

As hacking has become a big problem in recent years, fortunately, most business routers have adapted and now have data protection at the forefront of their design. No matter what the size of your organisation however, ensure that you always choose a router which secures your virtual networks with a type of encryption known as SSL. This ensures that anyone attempting to access your office network will have to navigate through a secure webpage gateway – requiring user login and password authentication.

For more information about safeguarding yourself against online hackers, read this article by The Guardian where industry experts share their top tips:

https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2016/dec/05/how-to-protect-business-cybercrime-advice-experts