Don't Use a Consumer Router for Your Business Wi-Fi!

Why shouldn’t you just pick up that router off the shelf at Walmart for your office to use? While the cheap price can be tempting and on the outside a consumer router may not look much different than a business router, what’s inside each is very different.

There is a reason that there are different classes of routers, consumer-grade and business-grade. Even though both are designed to provide a wireless connection for users, business Wi-Fi has more robust needs, especially for security, than consumer routers do.

If you try to save money by choosing a consumer router when you really need a business device, it could end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

How Do Business Routers Differ from Consumer Routers?

All routers are definitely not created equal, and that’s especially true when it comes to those designed for home use as compared to those designed to be used in a business.

Here are some of the reasons you never want to use a Wi-Fi router that’s intended for homes for your company needs.

Security Differences

Consumer routers come with basic security, but nowhere near the level that business networks typically need. Companies are dealing with things like data privacy compliance guidelines and sensitive data that’s stored on servers and devices, hence they need stronger protections that can only be found in business-class routers.

Businesses are also under continuous attack from outside forces, through phishing attacks and malware.

Just a single data security incident can cost a small business an average of $200,000.

Manufacturers of business-class routers understand that their equipment needs to meet the most stringent regulatory security requirements and they build in strong safeguards so their routers can be used in any type of industry.

Warranty Differences

Consumer warranties have multiple exclusions, and one of those may be if the router isn’t used for the intended use (i.e. if used in a business network, not a home network.). Typical consumer router warranty exclusions can include if it “fails due to damage from shipment, handling, storage, accident, abuse or misuse, or if it has been used or maintained in a manner not conforming to product manual instructions.” So, you may not be covered at all using a home router for an office.

Business routers typically come with most robust and all-inclusive warranties, such as replacement for any reason for as long as you own the router.

Quality Differences

The adage, “You get what you pay for” is definitely true when it comes to electronics. Consumer routers are cheaper than business routers because they use lower quality parts, which means they will have issues and need replacement sooner.

Routers designed for business use are made to stand up to continual use and the demands that a professional environment has. They’re made with higher quality parts than consumer-grade routers, and thus will last longer.

User Handling Differences

Routers designed for homes are made to host about 4-5 users, so they can quickly get overwhelmed when used for an office of 25 people.

Business routers are designed to handle hundreds of users at a time. Components like CPU, storage, and memory are all designed to support the multiple users that are typical in a business environment, exceeding the standards used for home routers.

Remote Connection Differences

Users rarely need to log in remotely to a home router, so this type of capability typically isn’t built into the design or isn’t easy to do.

On the other hand, business networks often need the capability to both allow and secure remote logins to their network from employees that work remotely or are traveling. Business routers are designed to facilitate this capability and make it easy to configure security protocols for remote access.

Customization Differences

Consumer routers are designed to be purchased and used “off-the-shelf” without many (if any) customizable network features. This lack of additional features helps to keep the price low for the consumer market.

Business networks are much more complex and may include the use of multiple Wi-Fi access points that need to communicate and follow the same security protocols.

You’ll have much more capability to have your Wi-Fi network customized for your needs when working with professional business-grade routers and networking equipment.

Reliability Differences

Due to being made with lower quality parts, consumer routers can have issues with reliability and stability. If used for a business network, where the router is going to be in use a good part of the day, or 24/7, these instabilities are going to be much more pronounced.

Business routers are put through stringent quality control testing to ensure they can function reliably 24/7, meaning less disruption due to network connection issues.

We Offer Wireless Solutions for Any Situation

No matter what your Tri-Cities business network looks like, Unbound Digital can offer a customized solution with equipment that you can depend on for a strong, secure and stable connection wherever you need it.

Contact us today to schedule a free Wi-Fi consultation. Call 423-335-2461 or reach us online.

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