Wireless routers are required for the operation of a modern business. These enable a single network connection to be effectively split into many and then shared by various users and devices — typically over a Wi-Fi connection. If you're looking for a new Wi-Fi router for your office, there are a few key features to consider.
When you look at any router, you will notice that it supports a variety of network types. The four most common types of wireless protocols are 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. These codes indicate how quickly the router can transfer wireless data, with 802.11ac being the fastest.
The latest Wi-Fi protocol, 802.11ax, is now used by newer routers. This new protocol, also known as Wi-Fi 6 or High-Efficiency Wireless (HEW), improves on 802.11ac technology in the following ways:
- Greater throughput speeds (up to 9.6 Gbps)
- Reduced network congestion and expanded client capacity, thanks to Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA)
- Improved range performance
- Reduced power consumption by network-connected devices, courtesy of Target Wake Time (TWT)
By dividing Wi-Fi channels into sub-channels, OFDMA improves network performance. This allows up to 30 users to use the same channel at the same time.
TWT reduces connected device power consumption by allowing them to control when and how frequently they wake up to begin sending and receiving data. This increases the battery life of smartphones as well as battery-powered internet of things (IoT) home devices like smart thermostats and security cameras.
Throughput in communication networks is the rate at which messages are successfully delivered over a communications channel. The throughput of a router, in particular, is the rate at which the router is expected to transmit data from your connection to users. Look for Mbps to determine the router’s throughput (or Gbps for its cable ethernet connections). It is typically listed as one of the first items on router boxes and specifications.
Remember that if you have a 100 Mbps internet connection but your router can only deliver up to 80 Mbps, your network’s total speed will be the lower figure. As a result, if your internet service provider provides faster connections, it is best to purchase a router with a higher throughput.
Every router’s box will display numbers such as 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. These represent the router’s wireless radios. A dual-band or tri-band router will have both radios, allowing the connection workload to be divided between them.
The 2.4 Ghz radio is adequate for activities that do not necessitate a large amount of network bandwidth, such as web browsing and email replying. Because of its lower frequency band, it can reach farther than 5 Ghz but is more easily blocked by concrete walls.
In contrast, the 5 Ghz band has more power but a shorter broadcast range. You’ll want to use 5 Ghz for video conferencing and online gaming (if permitted by the company after office hours, of course).
Multiple input, Multiple Output
The use of multiple antennas to improve performance and overall throughput is known as MIMO. MIMO-enabled routers allow more devices to connect to a single router while reducing interference.
When it comes to real-world tests, if the antennae are properly configured and aimed, there is often a slight improvement. Purchasing a high-end router with six or more antennae, on the other hand, may be an unnecessary expense for small businesses.
Beamforming is now a standard feature in mid- to high-end routers. It is a type of signal technology that enables higher throughput in areas with weak or dead signals. In other words, it can aid in the improvement of connection quality with devices hidden behind solid walls or in rooms with high levels of signal interference.
Routers can use this technology to detect weak connections and take action to improve them. While this feature is available on routers with a variety of network types, it is really only useful on routers that support 802.11ac or higher. Those who are willing to pay a higher price for improved network performance should consider this feature.
Quality of Service (QoS)
QoS enables the router administrator to restrict specific types of traffic. You can, for example, use a router’s QoS feature to completely block all torrent traffic or limit it so that other users have equal bandwidth. This capability is not available on all routers, but it is a very useful feature for office routers.
When it comes to choosing a router, there is a lot to think about, which is why we recommend you contact us. We can assess your networking requirements and assist you in determining the best network configuration for your company.