A router connects to your modem and provides you with wireless internet. It is an essential piece of hardware for keeping your company’s laptops, smartphones, and tablets online. We looked at the 25 best small business routers and narrowed it down to best overall products based on cost, speed, management utility, and more.
Top 6 Small Business Routers 2019
|Synology RT2600ac||(Best Overall) Companies looking for the best combination of affordability and features|
|Linksys AC1900||Organizations that need to stream video meetings, presentations, and other content often.|
|Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000||Businesses looking to offer free Wi-Fi to customers and associates.|
|Asus RT-AC88U||Companies that want to connect many wired devices via ethernet cable.|
|Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router||Large offices needing to wirelessly connect many devices.|
|Jetstream AC3000||Smaller businesses looking for an effective short-range low-cost option.|
How We Evaluated Small Business Routers
In order to be considered appropriate for office use, business routers need to be fast enough and have enough radio bands to accommodate your smartphones, laptops, or whatever other devices you use during the day. Additionally, a business router needs to have intuitive administrative console for changing your password and updating settings. They should also be affordable enough for the average small team.
For this reason, the criteria we used to evaluate the best include:
- Price: We examined the overall cost of each device.
- Speed: Your network speed will largely depend on the speed of your router, as well as the speed of your internet service package.
- Frequency Bands: The best routers will have at least two radio bands to accommodate all of your devices. Some even offer three to handle even more connected devices.
- Wireless Standard: The wireless standard of each router should be compatible with laptops, smartphones, and other devices.
- Wide Area Network (WAN) Support: Small business routers should be able to accommodate WAN functionality, especially for large spaces.
- Wired Local Area Network (LAN) Ports: We looked at the number of Ethernet ports available on each device.
- Security Measures: We looked at what sort of security measures are available in each router.
- Management Console: Routers should provide an intuitive management interface for setup and configuration.
- Administrative Content Controls: These features can be helpful for blocking not-safe-for-work (NSFW) content on your business network. This is commonly referred to as “parental controls.”
Based on the above, we find that the Synology RT2600ac provides the best balance of functionality, as well as affordability, for most small businesses. It is easy to set up, offers fast speeds, and can even act as a local storage server when connected to an external hard drive. It even offers content controls that can block inappropriate websites on your network.
Best Overall Router for Small Businesses: Synology RT2600ac
The Synology RT2600ac is a wireless router that offers four Ethernet ports, administrative controls to keep not-safe-for-work (NSFW) content out of your network, and speeds of up to 1.73 gigabits per-second (Gbps). At $199.99, it’s a powerful device that is still affordable enough for most small companies. That, added with the fact that it is easy to set up, makes it a great fit for most general business users.
Synology RT2600ac Pricing
The Synology RT2600ac costs $199.99. It also comes included with management software and a quick setup guide. This price makes RT2600ac one of the more moderately priced wireless routers on the market.
Synology RT2600ac Features
The Synology RT2600ac will have plenty of helpful features for the average small business. It’s extremely fast, offers strong security measures, and can even be used as a local storage server if you choose to connect an external hard drive to the device. That, along with strong administrative controls, make it a solid choice for any use case.
Synology RT2600ac features include:
The Synology RT2600ac is a dual-band router that offers incredibly fast speeds for such a moderately priced router. It offers speeds of up to 800 megabits-per-second (Mbps) on its 2.64 GHz band, 1.73 Gbps on its 5 GHz network. This is more than twice as fast as the lower band. If you have an extremely fast connection, then this router will help you get better performance out of your internet package.
Setting up the Synology RT2600ac is very easy thanks to its intuitive management software. When you connect the router to your modem, simply connect a PC to the router, and the setup wizard will automatically launch. From there, you will be asked to set up a network name and password. You can also configure all your settings, like administrative controls, in this menu. This works in a similar fashion to most other routers.
Synology provides plenty of options for blocking NSFW content on your company network. You can choose to block users from accessing adult sites, and even social media websites on your network. You can also have user groups that have different privileges from other users. This is great for companies with social media marketing staff who want to provide Facebook, Twitter, and other access only for those users.
The Synology RT2600ac has a sturdy plastic construction and runs smoothly over long periods of time. The device itself does not get hot during use, which means that it is not likely to overheat. Overall, the RT2600ac has some of the best build quality we’ve seen in a small business router.
What Synology RT2600ac Is Missing
The Synology RT2600ac has enough speed, security, and management options to satisfy the needs of most small businesses. However, it lacks the specialized management features for hosting wireless guests that the Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000 provides. It also lacks the three bands offered by the Jetstream AC3000, which means it offers fewer networks than that device.
What Users Think About Synology RT2600ac
By most accounts, users are pleased with the Synology RT2600ac. Many find that the device has boosted their overall network speed, it has a long range, and they had no trouble setting up and deploying the device in their office. However, some users have complained that their router stops working temporarily after a firmware update.
Best Router for Video Streaming: Linksys AC1900
The Linksys AC1900, which costs $157.48, is a wireless router providing speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps as well as four Ethernet ports and administrative content controls. However, what makes the AC1900 stand out is that it uses unique Multi-User multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology that can effectively deliver Wi-Fi to multiple devices at once without delay. This makes it ideal for teams that need to frequently stream webinars and other video content.
Linksys AC1900 Pricing
The Linksys AC1900 costs $157.48 at most retailers. With that said, there are frequent sales on this device on most web retailers, so you could find it for even less. This makes it one of the more affordable small business routers available, especially considering the speed of the device.
Linksys AC1900 Features
The LinksysAC1900 uses unique Multi-User MIMO technology to deliver internet to all devices in your network at once. This essentially means that if all of your employees log on to the same webinar, they will all be viewing it at the same time with very little delay. On top of that, the AC1900 offers respectable speeds, an intuitive management console, and adequate security for small businesses.
Linksys AC1900 features include:
The Linksys AC1900 is a dual band router that supports up to 600 Mbps on its 2.4 GHz band and up to 1.3 Gbps on its 5 GHz band. This makes it one of the fastest, most reliable devices that we looked at. However, it is still not as fast as the Synology 2600ac, which supports speeds of up to 1.73 Gbps. Still, the Linksys AC1900 is fast enough to meet the needs of most small businesses.
When the Linksys AC1900 is connected to the internet and a PC, all you need to do is connect an Ethernet cable from a computer to one of the router’s LAN ports and open a web browser to configure your network name, password, and configure administrative control settings. The setup wizard is very novice-friendly, making it a good fit for companies without dedicated IT staff to set up the router for them.
Administrative Content Controls
The AC1900’s administrative controls allows you to block adult websites that are registered in the company’s database. You can also manually enter websites that you want blocked, such as Facebook, Reddit, or anything else that could be a distraction from work. While this is helpful, it’s not as robust as the Synology 2600ac’s controls, which can automatically block out all social media and also let you create user groups with unique content permissions.
One major complaint from AC1900 customers is that the device gets very hot to the touch during use. This suggests that the router might overheat after running for several months at a time. This is disappointing, as the device is very fast and easy to use otherwise.
What Linksys AC1900 Is Missing
While it has a powerful set of features and comes at a fair price, the heat of the device does not inspire confidence in its ability to last more than a few years. Additionally, the AC1900 lacks the wealth of administrative control options of the Synology 2600ac and other competitors.
What Users Think About Linksys AC1900
Many online reviews suggest that the AC1900’s setup wizard fails to launch when you first set up the device. The fact that it takes several tries before finally connecting is highly frustrating. Still, many users find that the router is fast and easy to maintain once it is successfully deployed.
Best Router for Guest Access: Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000
The Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000 is what the company describes as a “Business Mesh Wi-Fi system.” This bundle of devices, which costs $393.19, consists of multiple routers that you place in different spots around your office. The device also comes with a specialized wizard for setting up separate guest networks for your visiting customers and associates. That, along with fast speeds and administrative controls, make this ideal for those who want to deploy guest Wi-Fi.
Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000 Pricing
The Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000 costs $393.19 and comes with two wireless router devices that can be placed anywhere. You can purchase another bundle, or other Orbi-branded routers, and extend your Wi-Fi range even further. Because you need at least two devices, this is one of the more expensive router products we compared.
Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000 Features
The Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000 is designed to help you deploy not only a network for your employees, but also a guest network that your visitors can log on to without disrupting your staff. This is made possible by its Tri-Band technology that allows for speeds of up to 1.73 Gbps. The devices also come with a management console, three dedicated Ethernet ports, and administrative controls to block out unwanted websites.
Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000 features include:
The Orbi Pro AC3000’s tri-band technology allows you to have three networks: a 2.4 GHz supporting up to 500 Mbps, and two 5 GHz bands that offer speeds of up to 1.73 Gbps. This is among the fastest small business routers on the market, which makes it ideal for companies with lots of connected users.
Setup and management of the system is done entirely through the Netgear Insight app, which is available on both iOS and Android devices. Connect your device to the network and the app’s setup wizard will guide you through the deployment process. A mobile management console is rare in a router, and this is very helpful for administrators that need to walk around the office and check on devices during setup.
Administrative Content Controls
One disappointing aspect of the Orbi Pro AC3000 system is that it does not come with any sort of content blocking controls. This is disappointing, because there are many environments, like coffee shops and restaurants, where you would want to discourage visitors who want to look at adult content in public. This product is best for companies that do not want such controls, or are fine with buying a separate application for content permissions.
The Orbi Pro AC3000 is reliable and offers exceptional build quality. Speeds seldom drop, and the construction of the hardware is second to none thanks to thick, durable plastic components. If you adopt these routers, you can expect to keep them around for many years to come.
What Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000 Is Missing
The Netgear Orbi Pro AC300 lacks the administrative content controls that are found on most other business routers. While this may not be a deal breaker for some, it is frustrating for business owners that want to keep their staff off social media and adult websites.
What Users Think About Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000
Small businesses enjoy the fact that the Orbi Pro AC3000 offers the ability to set up a dedicated guest network for visitors. However, there are many online complaints about Netgears customer service. When there is a problem, users report suffering from long wait times and unhelpful support staff.
Best Small Business Router for Ethernet Support: Asus RT-AC88U
The Asus RT-AC88U, which costs $215.99, is a dual-band wireless router that offers eight Ethernet LAN ports for all of your wired network devices. While it is marketed as a “gaming” router, it is fast enough for mainstream business use while also including a fantastic web management utility. This device is great for teams with stationary desktops and printers that need to connect a lot of devices via Ethernet cable.
Asus RT-AC88U Pricing
The Asus RT-AC88U costs $215.99 at most online retailers. This makes it a great value considering that it offers speeds up to 2.1 Gbps and comes with more Ethernet ports than most of its competitors.
Asus RT-AC88U Features
The Asus RT-AC88U offers fast speeds, dual-band functionality, parental controls, and a mobile app to manage your router settings. Between that and its ability to connect to an external HD for local network storage, it has most of the features you’d want in a small business router.
Asus RT-AC88U features include:
The Asus RT-AC88U offers two bands. On the 2.4 GHz band, you get speeds of up to 1 Gbps, which is among the best we’ve seen in a lower-powered band. On the 5 GHz supports connections of up to 2.1 Gbps. While most connections are nowhere near this fast, this is ideal for companies that have a top-of-the-line internet package and want to get the most of it.
You have two options when it comes to setting up your RT-AC88U. You can either do so by connecting a computer to the router and launching its web-based setup wizard, or you can download the Asus Router app for iOS or Android devices and use that app to set up and deploy your network. Both interfaces make it very easy to change network settings and configure your parental controls. It’s similar to Netgear’s Orbi app in that respect.
Administrative Content Controls
The Asus RT-AC88U’s management console makes it very easy to control what sort of content your employees can see on your network. You can automatically block adult content, and also block social media and streaming entertainment sites so that your team stays on tasks. This about matches the content controls of the Synology 2600ac.
While the RT-AC88U provides some of the best speeds on the market, it does have some reliability issues. The device is known to drop its wireless signal on the 2.4 GHz on a frequent basis, and the fact that the router can feel hot to the touch raises questions about how long it can last before needing to be replaced.
What the Asus RT-AC88U Is Missing
The RT-AC88U has a wealth of functionality, but it all comes at a high cost. Also, the management software comes with many features that prioritize online gaming performance, such as prioritizing game-related traffic over the network. This could be a turn-off for administrators that are simply looking to deploy the network and occasionally change the Wi-Fi password.
What Users Think About the Asus RT-AC88U
Users are thrilled with the high speeds offered by the RT-AC88U. Many reviews mention the fact that the generous amount of Ethernet ports is helpful for offices with lots of desktop tower PCs that need to be online at all times. With that said, there are many customers frustrated with the frequent outages that the 2.4 GHz band suffers from.
Best Business Router For Large Offices: Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router
The Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router is a business router capable of speeds of up to 4 Gbps. It also comes with six Ethernet ports, an intuitive management console, and an optional parental controls feature for $359.99. With high speeds and a long range according to reviews, which makes it a great system for larger offices with lots of different devices that all need a fast, stable internet connection.
Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router Pricing
The Nighthawk X10 AD7200 is a top-shelf option, and it is priced accordingly. While, at $359.99, this is one of the more expensive routers you can buy, it also boasts incredibly high speeds. Therefore, it can still be considered a value for businesses that demand the highest network performance.
Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router Features
The Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 comes with some of the fastest speeds available in a modern small business router. Additionally, it offers an intuitive management console and build quality to satisfy most customers. It offers granular parental control options, but that is only available as an extra subscription.
Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router Features include:
The Nighthawk X10 AD7200 is the fastest router in our guide. This tri-band router is capable of reaching speeds of up to 4 Gbps on its 60 GHz band. It also accommodates internet speeds of up to 1.73 Gbps on its 5 GHz band, and 800 Gbps on its 2.4 GHz band. Few routers offer three bands, and even fewer offer speeds this fast. The Nighthawk X10 AD7200 is a good fit for companies seeking the end-all be-all in wireless speed.
All you need to do to set up the Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 is connect the router to your modem and a PC, and then log on to www.routerlogin.net and follow the setup wizard from there. While it doesn’t offer a mobile management app like the Asus RT-AC88U or the Netgear Orbi Pro AC3000, it is still a simple enough process for users of all skill levels to understand.
Administrative Content Controls
Despite its standing as a high-end product, the Nighthawk X10 AD7200 is missing most of the administrative content controls found in less expensive routers. In packaged materials, Netgear promotes the option of buying a Circle device, but that costs an additional $129. It’s a shame that these features are effectively locked behind a paywall.
If you buy the Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router, you can expect reliable network performance and hardware durability. The device is of exceptional build quality and online reviews suggest that the router maintains a fast connection even when a lot of devices are signed in at once.
What Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Is Missing
For such an expensive product, it’s confusing that the Nighthawk X10 AD7200 doesn’t come with any sort of bundled-in administrative content controls. If you want to control what your employees have access to, then we recommend looking at the Synology RT2600ac, which offers fast speeds and granular parental controls.
What Users Think About Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router
Online reviews laud the Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router as an incredibly fast and reliable device. They also say the device has a very long range. Many users appreciate the quick setup process and the fact that it offers three different wireless bands to handle all of their devices. However, many are frustrated at the router’s lack of parental control options.
“We use the Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 at our office. We run a protected Wi-Fi network, one for internal use, and another network for guest Wi-Fi. The distance is amazing, and we don’t even need a signal extender to reach all of our employees.”
― Jeff Byer, President, Byer Co.
Best Low-Cost Router: Jetstream AC3000
The Jetstream AC3000 is a tri-band wireless router that provides speeds of up to 1.73 Gbps, four Ethernet ports, and a mobile app for device management. It does not have parental controls and does not offer the range of competing devices like more expensive routers, according to the reviews. But at just $89, it is an ideal fit for small teams looking for a simple, no-frills option.
Jetstream AC3000 Pricing
At $89, the Jetstream AC3000 is one of the more affordable business router options on the market. It’s a good value especially considering the fact that it offers three high-speed bands and a mobile management utility.
Jetstream AC3000 Features
The Jetstream AC300 provides speeds of up to 1.73 Gbps, three bands, four Ethernet ports for your wired devices, and a mobile app to set up and configure your router options. Customers say that the antennas do not provide as much range as other solutions, so it is best suited for those working in smaller physical spaces.
Jetstream AC300 features include:
For such an affordable device, the Jetstream AC3000 offers impressive wireless speeds. On its 2.4 GHz band it offers speeds of up to 400 Mbps. Each of its 5 GHz support speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps each. This rivals the speed performance of the more expensive Linksys AC1900. This is a great option for smaller teams in confined spaces who still want fast wireless speeds.
The Jetstream AC300 uses a web-based setup wizard that walks you through setting your network’s name and password. It can also be installed via an iOS or Mobile app. You can also use this console to change your password and view data on network speed. It’s a very simple management utility for a system of this kind.
There are no parental control options available in the Jetstream AC3000. You will not be able to control what sites your employees have access to like you can with the Linksys AC1900. This is best suited for business owners that trust their staff to stay on task and not look at inappropriate content at work.
The Jetstream AC3000 is extremely reliable. Signal drops are few and far between, and the device keeps stable connection speeds on a consistent basis. The device itself has a good build quality, although the plastic construction feels flimsier than the Synology 2600ac.
What Jetstream AC3000 Is Missing
The Jetstream AC3000 is a budget device. As such, it lacks the administrative control options found in competing devices. Additionally, there are many complaints online that the connection loses its strength if you walk even 30 feet away from the device. If you work in a large physical space, we recommend looking at the other products in our guide.
What Users Think About Jetstream AC3000
Small office users and solopreneurs have few complaints about the Jetstream AC3000. They enjoy the fast speeds provided by the service, and they also like the simple setup process. With that said, some customers say that Jetstream’s customer service can be very unhelpful in the event that something does go wrong.
A wireless router should be a device that you can set up once, set your login credentials, and not have to think about for a long time. It should provide fast enough speeds and enough bands to accommodate all of the devices that employees connect to a network. Other extras, like administrative content controls and guest Wi-Fi options, can also make your company’s internet operations more effective.
We find that the Synology 2600ac is the best wireless router for most small businesses. It is fast, reliable, and even comes with the ability to control the online content that users have access to. To learn more about this device, click the link below.