Businesses that want to gain a competitive edge rely on the internet for efficiency, marketing, and sales. That helps them reach the 4 billion internet users around the world.
In order for your business to be at its most productive, you have to have the right things in place. You need the right technology and the right systems in place.
Business routers tend to create a lot of confusion for many business owners. They know they need one, but they don’t know why.
Not to mention that there are hundreds of options out there. Look up business routers on Amazon or any online retailer. It’s easy to pick up one and be done with it. However, that business router might be the wrong one for your business.
Read on to find out how business routers work and how to choose the right one for your office.
What Does a Router Do?
The internet is a neat mystery. In an instant, you can get any type of information, order a product, or send a message. How does that happen so quickly?
You access the internet using a web browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. When you click on a link or a button, you send a request to another device somewhere in the world.
Your request is comprised of data packets that travel along ethernet wires or wirelessly to a modem. The packets are sent across the internet to your internet service provider, which then routes your information to the server that you’re sending the request to.
The server responds with data packets that travel through the internet to your internet service provider, which then routes the data to your modem.
Your modem passes that information to the router. The router then routes the data packet to the right device in your network.
Again, that all happens within a split second. It’s pretty miraculous when you think about it.
It’s the job of the router to assign IP addresses to each device on the network and make sure that the right device gets the information it requested.
Think of it as each device as a telephone with its own number or extension. That’s how IP addresses work with the different devices on your network.
Understanding Business Router Features
Routers seem like simple devices because they have a single function. The truth is that they’re as complex as a telephone switch. They have to keep track of the devices on the network and pass information along quickly.
Routers are often a bottleneck for a slow internet connection. Let’s take a look at the different features of a business router to learn more.
It’s very possible to have a lightning-fast internet connection through your service provider but never experience it in your office.
That’s because routers are capable of handling so much information. If a router has a limited speed capacity, your entire network will slow down because of the connection.
Quality of Service
This is an important feature that lets you prioritize certain types of internet data. For example, you can make video meetings and voice calls a priority over streaming video.
That ensures that client communications are prioritized over playing around on social media.
Choosing a Business Router
With all of this in mind, how do you choose a business router? There are a handful of things to look for in a business router that can meet all of your business needs. Check out these tips.
1. How Do You Use Your Network?
The biggest consideration is how you use your network. You need to figure out how many devices connect to the network and the type of data that accesses the internet.
Do you have a need for voice-over IP calls or video calls? Do you need to stream video?
All of these things need to be planned out so you can get the router with the right capacity.
2. Secure Connections
Internet security is a major issue for businesses. Routers have a large role to play in keeping your network and devices on the network secure.
Look for routers that have features that let you use a virtual private network (VPN) and restrict certain applications and control the amount of bandwidth employees use.
Routers can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars for small to mid-sized businesses. There are enterprise-level routers that can cost more than $30,000.
You want to keep your budget in mind while you search for the router that best meets your needs.
4. Connectivity Options
How will your business connect to the internet? You can find this out through your internet service provider.
Many businesses will connect with a T1 line, even though the technology has been in use for over 20 years. This is still used by a lot of small businesses.
You’ll find that fiber-optic networks and ethernet networks are more common. You need to make sure that your router has your connection type.
If you plan on changing your network soon, then get a router that can handle multiple connection types.
5. Finding the Right Vendor
As you probably figured out by now, there are countless business router manufacturers out there. Cisco and Nokia are among the top names in the business.
There are a few that you might not have heard of that still offer high-quality business modems. This site reviews some of the top vendors and their top models.
Get the Best Business Router
Do you understand why business routers are important? They form the backbone of your connection to the internet. A business router can impact your connection’s quality and speed. That can affect everything from client calls to data entry tasks.
This article showed you how routers work and what features are the most important. You can take that and assess your own business needs to choose the right vendor.
How would you like to learn more business and lifestyle tips? Check out the most recent lifestyle posts on this site.