Buyer's Manual for Purchasing the Best Router

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: July 13, 2011

Purchasing a router for your company doesn’t have to be a difficult task. There are several steps you can take to ease the process and make sure that you get one that can properly support your business.

You’ll want to start the process by determining your company’s needs. If you’re planning to download huge files or use VoIP to make phone calls, you’ll need a powerful router that can support a high level of bandwidth. If your employees will mainly be using the internet to check their email and visit websites, you can probably go with a more standard router.

The next step is to choose the special features that you want. Some of the most popular choices include:

Quality of Service

The router will automatically modify the priority level of applications and users whenever a high level of bandwidth is needed. This can significantly reduce the latency for VoIP communications.

1:1 Network Address Translation

This feature can greatly improve the security of your data network by assigning all the public IP addresses to private IP addresses on a one-to-one basis.

VPN Technology

You can use this feature to safely connect and send information to the data network from a remote location. The VPN automatically blocks packet sniffing and attempts to spoof identities.

You should now take into account a few cost considerations. If you are willing to go with a previous model, you can often get a router at a lower price than normal. Many vendors also offer special rebates that can reduce the cost even further. Just make sure to send them in—studies have shown that many people forget to within the amount of time that is prescribed.

It can be somewhat tricky to evaluate the different vendors. You can visit their websites to find out product information, but most will claim the same thing—that they’re the best, the fastest, and so on. You may want to take a look at industry publications instead and see what they have to say about the product. The writers will generally run the router through a series of stress tests to see how well it performs under pressure.

Another option is to read customer reviews of the different routers. These can provide a look at how the router performs in a business setting and whether it can handle high bandwidth consumption. Keep in mind that the reviews won’t always be objective—the customer may have a personal bias against the vendor or have experienced an issue that will rarely come up for most users.

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