How to Determine the Best Router for Your Business
Even the smallest modern business requires a router to handle the various connections to the Internet and even local servers. Choosing the right router is usually not simple. There are many factors that matter to your business right now, but you will often be looking forward as well. Will that router I choose today scale to what my needs will be six months from now? With that in mind, let us look at five questions that can help you determine how to choose the best router for your business.
How Much Throughput Do You Need?
Network throughput is a measure of how much data is passed through successfully and usually in terms of bits per second. Evaluating throughput can be tricky because you have to assess what you need now and what you may need before this router is replaced. Be mindful that throughput requirements will generally not lessen over time, so you will want to consider your peaks and not settle for barely enough.
How Many Connections Are Required?
Consider how many simultaneous connections you will need. A router can only handle so many connections regardless of throughput capacity. Note that good home routers can handle 250 connections. If you are buying for a small office, this may be an unnecessary question. But it can be important in environments where many people are using many devices at the same time.
Which Connection Options Are Necessary?
There are at least a dozen connections you may need to consider, and few routers on the market will handle them all. So, you need to determine what your connection needs are and then, buy accordingly. Options include Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet , T2, T3, Bluetooth and so forth.
Will This Router Need to Scale?
Evaluating throughput is all about traffic scaling. But what about infrastructure and hardware? Will your router need to scale in this manner as well? A router with a fixed form factor is certainly less expensive up front. But a router with a modular chassis will be far more scalable down the road.
Will You Need to Secure Internal Resources?
You need to determine how this router will be used. If used primarily for outward-facing purposes, then security is much less of a concern. However, routers provide important security protections. If you will be protecting in-house resources, then you will have to pay much greater attention to integrated firewalls and the other security-related capabilities that the hardware has.
Enterprise-level routers are generally not inexpensive. Such equipment is an investment, and a poor choice can cost you not just financially but in terms of time and compatibility. If your choice is still unclear, it may be worthwhile to hire an expert to help you make that decision.