Business Routers vs. Home Router

Why should you need to purchase a Business Router for your home?

Your router has an important job to do. This is the piece of hardware that allows your computer to communicate with other computers connected to the internet or another network. Anything you do online requires a reliable router, whether you are scrolling through Facebook, working from home or on a 3-hour video call.

The question is: why would you need a business router in your home?

Most home routers manage the flow of information between the internet sites and your home in a way which is seamless to most of us. But when you are working from home, have you ever been on a video conference call and it drops regularly, or when you struggle to get good Wi-Fi access because everyone else is using it?

Well, this is where the need for a business grade router really comes into play, along with supporting you with any company information you may need to access, or if you are intending to use an office VOIP handset, but want to make sure its all very secure and accessible.

With a Business grade router, you establish a secure and clean link with your office through a virtual private network (VPN). Which most routers state they have – but standard home routers have what is known as a passthrough VPN. This has basic security checks but isn’t a truly secure, business-grade solution that protects your business data and information or offers you all the benefits of your business VOIP telephony solution including voice and data traffic management.

 

Business Routers vs. Home Routers

Both business routers and home routers perform the same basic functions. But be aware – they are not the same and do not provide the same service. Home routers are efficient in giving you standard access to the internet, along with basic security features that can help to keep your home network safe from prying eyes.

However, a business-grade router goes above and beyond the basic functions of a consumer-grade router. Because business needs are more demanding and security becomes even more of a priority, any type of professional work will benefit from a business router and will support the normal activity and traffic your home requires.

 

What are the Main Advantages of a Business-Grade Router?

Business routers are more feature-rich than consumer-grade routers. This is due to businesses tending to have different needs than the casual internet user. These routers offer advanced settings for security, device management, traffic flow, VPN access and traffic prioritisation, among other needs. They are designed to be high-performing devices within a larger network, whereas home routers are all-in-one solutions that offer simplicity and basic features.

Some of the features of a business router include:

A stronger VPN (virtual private network)

Business-grade routers can handle more users within a VPN. Companies that request employees to work from home know this feature is normally non-negotiable, and in some cases will supply their own approved business router for full security across their networked teams.

Virtual networks (VLANs)

This feature is referred to as a guest network on a consumer-grade router, but the functionality is more powerful on a business router. This allows the business to separate network traffic so that specific data sets stay within the network (e.g. all HR or accounting data could be isolated from all other data and voice traffic).

Enhanced Unified Communications

In some cases having a business router in your home, improves the Unified Communications services such as secure instant messaging, email, VoIP and video collaboration from the same provider that enables you to take advantage of all the telephony services such as hunt groups, transferring of calls across fixed and mobiles services.

Robust security

Business routers and VPNs allow users to access company systems remotely, which calls for beefed up security. Business routers offer robust security and SSL encryption.

Greater Longevity

Most consumer routers are made to last only a few years. This is reflected in their shorter warranties. Business routers, however, usually last much longer, have longer warranties and in some cases can be part of a wider business service level agreement, which in some cases reflects a higher purchase cost for the business router.

 

Are Business Routers More Secure than Consumer Routers?

As a general rule, business routers prioritise security over just about any other feature. That is because you’re not just buying the hardware, but also business-grade software that makes the router work harder. Businesses can use the router to control different types of traffic, keep sensitive data within a specific network in the company, and support secure remote access via VPN – thus ensuring the business traffic over the router gives the best and most effective performance.

In addition, business routers require a different way of connecting devices to the network since there are no external ports or WPS buttons. This helps to strengthen the security of the network and eliminate security holes that could exist in some home router networks.

What’s the Cost Difference Between a Business Router and a Consumer Router?

Because business routers offer more functionality and last longer than a basic consumer router, you can expect to pay a little more for them. Entry-level business router costs begin around the same price point as the most top-of-the-line consumer-grade models.

However, consider that the longer life span and more powerful security and remote access features easily make the investment worthwhile for any business. For a little more cost – businesses are getting greater security, a router less likely to fail and overall, the confidence that their data is not unsuspectingly being shared with anyone else.

 

Bottom Line: Is a Business Router Right for You?

At a time when many businesses have shifted to remote home working, the need for a business router has never been greater.

Business-grade routers promote scalability, security, and ongoing access and productivity to allow a business to keep going. It also has greater productivity features where your work telephony handset can be fully integrated with your work VOIP and Unified communications services such as one number, internal calling, group pick up and many more services that enable you to be much more efficient whilst working from home.

Plus, it means not having to compete with video streaming or gaming consoles for bandwidth when on an important video call.