Best WiFi Routers For Small Business: 2020 Reviews of Our Top Picks
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Every small business needs to have a reliable and smooth internet connection. Whether you’re running a small bookshop, a cafe, or an accounting agency, you’ll need a secure network and a fast internet connection that has the capacity to support multiple users – including employees, clients, and guests. In a nutshell, you’ll need the best WiFi router for your small business.
To help you in your search, we’ve scoured the market and come up with the four best WiFi routers for a small business. All of our picks support fast internet, multiple simultaneous users, and commercial-grade security. Depending on the type of business you’re running, you’ll be able to choose the router with the right features for your needs.
For instance, you may be looking for a router that supports a VPN (Virtual Private Network) if you are dealing with sensitive and confidential data. If you’re running a retail shop or a restaurant, you may need a router that comes with support for multiple networks (separate networks for admins, employees, and a public WiFi network for guests). Or – if you have a large office – you’ll need a router or a mesh network system that has a long-range wireless coverage.
In any case, no matter what your particular needs and budget are, you’ll be able to find the ideal match right here. Our top picks are equipped with all the security you need, they run on the fastest and smoothest WiFi frequencies available, and are ready to handle multiple devices and heavy internet traffic!
Best WiFi Routers for a Small Business
Don’t have time? Here’s a quick overview of our favorite routers for a small business:
Overall Best: TP-Link Archer AX6000
Features: supports WiFi 6, dual-band, high internet speed (6,000Mbps), features OFDMA and MU-MIMO, 8 Gigabit LAN ports, two 3.0 USB ports for storage, strong signal.
Runner-Up: Synology RT2600ac
Features: useful tools for offices like VPN server support to allow remote workers to access the office network, device updates and file sharing, can be used as a centralized file hub, features MU-MIMO.
Best Mesh Network System: NETGEAR Orbi Pro
Features: supports WiFi extenders for greater wireless coverage, great speed and security, comes with 3 pre-set networks for admins, employees, and guests.
Best Value-for-Money Asus RT-AC86U
Features: has adaptive QoS for intelligent traffic prioritization, VPN client-friendly, great security features, 5,000 square feet wireless range.
And now, let’s dive into our in-depth reviews of the best WiFi Router for small business.
Overall Best: TP-Link Archer AX6000
Our overall favorite WiFi router for a small business is the TP-Link Archer AX6000. It will provide you with a high capacity WiFi network equipped with fast internet routing capabilities that can simultaneously support multiple devices, and has a broad coverage area for the WiFi signal.
The Archer AX6000 comes with a lot of useful features for efficient bandwidth distribution and security, which are necessary in a business environment. Plus, the Archer AX6000 supports WiFi 6, for the fastest and smoothest of internet connections.
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is ready to tackle the needs of a high internet traffic office. This dual-band router can support wireless internet speeds of up to 4,804Mbps on the 5GHz band, and an incredible 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band – which is quite impressive for a 2.4GHz band.
You can use the 5GHz frequency for bandwidth-heavy internet activity such as downloading, and the 2.4GHz frequency for lighter work and devices placed further away from the router. Plus, the Archer AX6000 supports WiFi 6 (wireless network standard 802.11ax), which allows networks to use the maximum possible internet speeds.
This router is ideal for an office because it can support plenty of smart devices at the same time. It features OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) technology, which increases the average throughout fourfold in comparison to standard WiFi 5 (802.11ac) routers. OFDMA, paired with the BSS color technology, also help to create greater efficiency in your network as they optimize the packet delivery, thus reducing interference and waiting time. They also allow for greater channel usage.
Another reason this router is great for multiple-device usage is the featured MU-MIMO (multi-user multiple-input multiple-output) technology, which allows for streaming from multiple devices simultaneously. Although you may not want your employees streaming at the office (unless it’s a training video)b, this feature is also useful for other bandwidth-heavy tasks, like video conferencing. Additionally, the router comes with beamforming technology which concentrates the bands’ frequencies directly to devices that are connected to the network. This means that it doesn’t just broadcast the frequencies all over and doesn’t result in a diluted wireless connection.
The router also has one 2.5Gbps WAN port and 8 Gigabit LAN ports, which will be useful for connecting multiple devices directly to the router. Plus, it has two USB 3.0 ports for storage.
Time is money – and this is true of any business, big or small. The Archer AX6000 can help you out here, too, as it features a powerful 1.8GHz quad-core processing CPU and two additional co-processors that help eradicate latency and lags. This will provide you with a dependable and smooth wireless Internet performance. Plus, the featured Intelligent Connection Band Steering directs clients to bands that are less congested by internet traffic, while AirTime Fairness optimizes the time usage of every connected device.
The other thing that every business needs is good security – and the Archer AX6000’s has you covered here, as well. The router has a built-in security system with an advanced antimalware service which comes with an antivirus. It also has parental control options, which you can use to limit the websites which are visited in your office – great for blocking sites like Facebook and Amazon, if they’re not relevant to the business.
This router also has a broad wireless coverage range. This will allow you to use it in both small and medium-sized office spaces. It comes with 8 high-gain antennas that are backed by a RangeBoost to increase coverage.
Lastly, it comes with an incredible warranty of 2 years, and 24/7 tech support!
The router is limited to a single primary network and a single guest network. If you need to create more networks with a single router, this might not be your best choice.
Runner-Up: Synology RT2600ac
The Synology RT2600ac dual-band router may not be as fast as the Archer 6000AX, but it still offers great speed and excellent security. The Synology also comes with lots of nifty features that make it ideal for an office environment – such as a centralized multimedia hub along with a file sharing and backup system. It also supports multiple devices running on high internet speeds, and can be transformed to suit the needs of remote workers. This router is designed with an office in mind!
The Synology is designed to support the needs of the multiple employees of your business. It features MU-MIMO technology for simultaneous bandwidth-heavy usage by multiple devices. Plus, it offers a powerful wireless range and a smooth connection within that range – which is about 3,000 square feet.
Before we get into all the great things about this router, keep in mind that it’s easy to set up and easy to adjust (so all the features you’ll be able to take advantage of won’t leave you swearing off technology for good). You’ll find the interface and settings super easy for monitoring the traffic and controlling the data flow within your network!
We love this router for small businesses or offices, because it comes with several features that provide a centralized file bank. It has multimedia add-ons which will allow you to use the RT2600ac as a centralized media server. You can store media files on the SD and USB storage ports of the router, and make them available for everyone in your office.
The RT2600ac also allows for easy file sharing, as you can use it as a private cloud server. You will have advanced file management authority to upload, synchronize, and share files across devices, as well as do multi-device back ups. This is great for sharing files with your co-workers as well as with clients.
If some, or all, of your employees work remotely, the RT2600ac has a solution for that. It features a comprehensive VPN server called VPN Plus which allows you to use the router as a VPN server, providing secure access and dependable connections. You can use this VPN to set up a secure “virtual office” that is adaptable to the flexible working schedules of your remote workers.
Last but certainly not least, the Synology RT2600ac is equipped with security tools that will keep your network safe. These include intrusion prevention, denial-of-service protection, as well as firewall management features. The router gets regular firmware updates from Synology, so that it’s always ready to keep your network safe from the latest online threats.
This router can cover a range of up to 3,000 square feet – so if your office is any bigger than this, you may need a wireless network extender or another router model.
Best WiFi Mesh Network System for Busy Offices: NETGEAR Orbi Pro
Our favorite mesh network router is the NETGEAR Orbi Pro. If you’re dealing with a medium to large office space, lots of connected devices, and a number of employees as well as clients, the Orbi Pro is a great solution. It comes with three pre-defined networks including a guest portal, multiple ethernet ports, fast internet, and adjustable range. While the single router covers 2,500 square feet by itself, each additional mesh extender offers another 2,500 square feet of wireless coverage.
One of the best things about choosing a mesh network over a single router is that you can increase the wireless range according to your needs. Depending on the size of your office, you can add as many mesh extenders as you need to. This will help eliminate any dead zones in your space. If you ever need to move from one end of your office to the other, or even continue a conference call in a different room, you’ll be able to do that without worrying about the signal dropping.
The Orbi Pro mesh system is a great choice for busy offices because it has three pre-defined networks, which will allow you to control the internet traffic and assign bandwidth to each network according to its needs. The pre-defined networks offer dedicated portals for admins, employees, and guests. This is quite useful for offices that get visits from clients, or for the customers of small establishments like cafes or bookshops. In the case of guests at a coffee shop, you can use the guest network as a public network. The guest portal is also customizable, so you can set up a guest sign-in page with terms and conditions, as well as establish time limits on internet usage.
The Orbi Pro offers a fast and dependable internet connection. It’s a tri-band router, but one of the bands is dedicated to connecting the router to the satellite extenders. The other two bands allow for a total maximum speed of 3,000Mbps for all other devices, which is quite fast and useful for everything from work online to large file downloads.
All in all, this mesh network system is a great choice for multi-device usage, as it can support more than 40 devices simultaneously. In addition to its high-speed capacity and three networks, the router also comes with 7 ethernet ports for wired connections. It also features MU-MIMO, for multi-device simultaneous streaming, and beamforming technology for a concentrated signal that will follow your device anywhere within the range.
The Orbi Pro is also quite easy to set up and mount in your office. You can set up the wireless network and adjust its settings from the Orbi app. In terms of physical installation, the ergonomic design will allow you to mount the router and satellite extenders on walls or ceilings.
In terms of security, the Orbi Pro is loaded with features to keep your network safe. It supports WPA2 wireless security protocols, comes with a VPN, DoS, and a firewall to protect you from potential network threats.
One of the drawbacks of the mesh network system is that it’s a pricier choice than the other alternatives.
Additionally, some customers have found the Orbi app a bit tricky to use and manage.
Best Value-for-Money: Asus RT-AC86U
The Asus RT-AC86U offers a fast and dependable connection along with a broad wireless range for a decent price. If you have a medium-to-large office and don’t want to spend as much money on a mesh network system, the RT-AC86U is a great choice, as it has a network area coverage of about 5,000 square feet. Although it’s marketed as a gaming router, the features of the RT-AC86U make it suitable for a reliable connection for multiple users and devices.
The RT-AC86U will allow you to prioritize traffic for devices and activities based on your needs. It comes with an adaptive QoS that features intelligent traffic prioritization. This means that whenever you need a certain device or task to take up the lion’s share of the bandwidth, you’ll be able to adjust your router to prioritize it. If, for instance, you’re making some heavy file transfers, backups, or updates, you’ll be able to make sure that other connected devices don’t cause lags in the process.
The RT-AC86U offers a fast and reliable internet connection. It has a total maximum internet speed of 2,900Mbps shared between two bands. The 2.4GHz goes up to 750Mbps, while the 5GHz band goes all the way up to 2,167Mbps. The 2.4GHz frequency will allow you to connect to the internet from areas furthest away from your router, and it’s ideal for browsing, online work, and voice calls. The 5GHz band is best used when you’re near the router, and ideal for data-heavy online usage, like downloads, 4K streaming, and, well, gaming – if that’s what you want to do during breaks.
Another reason why the RT-AC86U is a great choice for small businesses is that it can support multiple devices at the same time. It features MU-MIMO technology for simultaneous data-heavy online tasks from multiple users and devices.
Additionally, this router comes with four Gigabit LAN ports, one USB 2.0 port, and one USB 3.0 port. This will allow you to also use the router for storage and sharing of files within your business network. If you have a NAS (network-attached storage) device, you can connect it to one of the dedicated ports, and use the router as a storage hub for all your employees and clients.
The RT-AC86U is also equipped with great security features. The featured ASUS AiProtection will keep your network safe from potential threats, even if the individual devices don’t have antivirus software themselves. This router’s firmware also supports VPN client mode.
Lastly, using the ASUSWRT app, the RT-AC86U is easy to set up and adjust. The installation process takes a few minutes and only three steps, and you can assign traffic prioritization, monitor data usage, and get security notifications from the app.
One possible drawback of this router is its design, which only allows for a vertical mount. Another issue is that Asus doesn’t seem to have the best customer support.
Our overall best pick goes to the TP-Link Archer AX6000 for its high internet speed and multi-user support. This router is a great choice for small businesses that experience heavy internet traffic, as the featured WiFi 6 technology provides a smooth and fast connection. The OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology will help optimize the bandwidth usage across devices. Plus, the 8 LAN ports will allow you to plug in devices for a reliable connection, while the multiple USB ports are great for using the router as a small office storage or backup space.
Our runner-up is the Synology RT2600ac. Although it’s not as fast as the Archer AX6000, it still has decent internet speeds and a reliable connection. In fact, most businesses that don’t deal with multiple video conference calls or video streaming, won’t even need that many Mbps of internet speed. We love the Synology router as it comes equipped with some super useful tools for an office. You can turn it into a VPN server for increased security, you can use it to provide remote workers with access to your local network, you can use it for file storage that everyone in your business space can access… basically, it’s the ideal router for multiple users and shared file transfers!
Our favorite router for a busy office or establishment – such as a cafe or retail shop – is, in fact, a wireless mesh network system, the NETGEAR Orbi Pro. It’s great for busy businesses with multiple users because it comes with 3 pre-defined networks – one for admins, one for employees, and one public WiFi network for guests. Plus, you can choose how many satellite extenders to buy depending on the size of your business. No more wireless dead zones!
Lastly, our favorite value-for-money choice is the Asus RT-AC86U. It has the same area coverage of 5,000 square feet as the other Asus model, but it has a slower maximum internet speed. However, for the price, this router has some excellent features. It supports VPN clients, and comes with the security tools necessary to keep your network safe. It also has intelligent traffic prioritization, so even when multiple devices are connected to the router, you can choose which device or task gets the most consistent bandwidth.
How To Choose the Best Router For Your Small Business
Alright – now you know what the best routers for a small business have to offer. But which option is the best choice for your small business? Each small business is different, so the needs of each business will vary. Let’s take a look at the main factors you should consider when choosing the best option for your establishment.
What’s the Size of Your Space?
Which router is best for you will change depending on the physical size of your business. Whether it’s just two offices or a three-story shop makes all the difference.
If you’re dealing with small office space, you can settle on any of our favorite routers – they all have wireless coverage of at least 2,500 square feet. However, if your office or store is larger than that, then a router with longer-range wireless will be a better choice.
For spaces up to 5,000 square feet, you can go for the Asus model. For larger spaces, you can go for the Orbi Pro mesh network system, which will allow you to add a network extender for each additional 2,500 square feet in your establishment. The mesh system is also a great idea for multi-story buildings, as they can be mounted on the ceilings for optimized wireless area coverage.
What Type of Business are You Running?
Depending on the type of business you’re running, you’ll need to look out for specific sets of features. However, it’s always a good idea to look for routers with MU-MIMO and OFDMA technology, which optimize routers for efficient bandwidth distribution in busy networks, providing multiple users and devices with a smooth and fast internet experience. Another feature that every small business router will need is good security tools.
Other than that, if your small business deals with a lot of data (like an accountant or law firm), you might want a router that can serve as a shared storage space and allow for file transfers across connected devices. If you need to have remote workers access the network from their homes, you’ll need a router that can serve as a VPN.
Now, if you’re running a coffee shop or restaurant, you’ll need a router that can supply multiple networks. That way, you’ll be able to keep your co-workers and your guests on separate networks, with different internet bandwidth and user settings. You don’t want guests eating up all your data, after all.
For businesses that deal with heavy data transfers (downloads, streaming, video conferencing), it’s important to have a router that supports fast internet speeds. While all our recommendations do this, the WiFi 6 options also offer the highest maximum speeds.
What’s the Estimated Number of Users?
Make sure that the router you choose can support the number of users and devices in your business.
Keep in mind that even if you’re running an office that doesn’t frequently have guests, you may have clients showing up more frequently than you initially assumed. So try to calculate the maximum possible number of devices that will need to use your router’s wireless network simultaneously, and then make sure to find a router that can handle that number.
Additionally, some useful features to look out for for multiple users are MU-MIMO and beamforming. MU-MIMO supplies each device with sufficient bandwidth for simultaneous data-heavy tasks, while beamforming focuses the signals to the connected devices, rather than broadcasting them all over.
Lastly, consider how many smart devices in your business will need to be hardwired to the router. If you have more devices that require a dependable connection, make sure your router of choice has enough Ethernet ports, otherwise you’ll need to buy a network switch as well to have enough ports available.
What’s Your Budget?
Consider how much money you’re able or willing to spend on a new router for your business. Even if you have money to spare, be smart with your money! Try to avoid buying the Cadillac of routers if you don’t actually need it.
Now, the best-priced routers on our list are the Synology and the Asus RT-AC86U, priced at $199.99 and $189.99 respectively. Keep in mind that the Synology is our runner-up for best router – even though it’s one of the most budget-friendly options!
Our overall top pick, the TP-Link Archer AX6000 costs a bit more, with a price of $395.99. Although it’s costlier, it does offer faster internet speeds.
The priciest router on our list of favorites is the NETGEAR Orbi Pro mesh system, which costs $329.99. Each additional extender can cost anywhere between $140 and $200, depending on whether you purchase in bulk. Prices last updated on September 24, 2020.
All in all, all these routers are great! If you don’t need top speed, don’t pay top dollar.
Q: How many routers do I need for a small business?
A: How many routers you need for a small business depends on several factors. First of all, you need to consider how many devices will be in your network. The router connects devices with each other into a single network, but it also connects them to the internet.
If you have too many devices using the internet from a single router, traffic may get congested, and the connection slow. So if you’re expecting more than 50 devices and users, you will need more than one router. In fact, think of it as one router per 50 devices or users.
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of your business establishment. If you’re using a large space, or one which stretches over multiple stories, you can either get multiple routers, install a mesh network system, or get wireless extenders. Keep in mind, however, that extenders will not perform as well as a hard wired router or a mesh system. So for the fastest, smoothest internet connection, a device has to be connected directly to the router.
A Few Words Before You Go…
Hopefully, you were able to find the best router for your small business amongst our favorites. At the very least, we hope that our guide was helpful in your search!
In case you need it, here’s a reminder of our top picks:
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Last updated on September 24, 2020. Pricing Information and Product Images obtained from Amazon Product Advertising API.
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