Best small business routers (January 2023): top routers for work

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Best small business routers

If you're looking for the best small business routers money can buy, you've come to the right place. This guide looks at the best routers for small and medium-sized businesses. Any of them are also perfect for home offices as well.

When looking for the best small business router for your needs, you don't have to worry about it being able to handle vast amounts of network traffic. However, you'll still need something that has enough power to handle several employees and devices accessing the network 24/7.

Modern routers often come with dual or even triple-band connectivity, as well as a slew of other features usually found on far more expensive enterprise-grade models while costing considerably less. Some even allow you to create your own cloud storage, which is good enough for most SMBs but not a viable alternative to one of our best cloud storage services.

The complexity and requirements of running a wireless network these days mean that the best small business routers now have a much more varied feature set, including hardware often found in computers.

The best small business routers should be quick to set up and easy to use and maintain, which means you won't need a dedicated IT team or administrator, which is good news for smaller businesses. All the powerful features found on this list of best small business routers will be easily accessible through an easy-to-use user interface accessed through a PC or mobile device.

The best small business routers on this list have all been carefully picked by us and compared across aspects like security, support, remote access, business VPN, WAN redundancy, connectivity options, and scalability features, which are more critical to business users than things like raw speed, value or QoS features.


The best small business routers of 2023 in full

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best small business routers

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1. Asus BRT-AC828 router

High-end small business router for power users

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac: 1734Mbps, 802.11n: 800Mbps
Connectivity: 8 x Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x M.2 SATA
Features: Hardware security, Dual WAN, RADIUS support

Reasons to buy

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8 Gigabit Ethernet ports
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Impressive expansion capabilities

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive

Asus has a reputation for manufacturing great consumer products, and the Taiwanese firm – known for its laptops and motherboards – has been trying its hand at wireless products. The BRT-AC828 (opens in new tab) is its only business router, and the device ticks many boxes, even for small businesses looking for more than ten simultaneous connections.

Granted, it is excruciatingly expensive but packs the sort of features you’d never expect from a router, like an M.2 slot to plug in an SSD to convert it into a mini-NAS. There’s a lot more here, including RADIUS support, the ability to aggregate four 1Gb Ethernet ports into a virtual 4Gb one (it has a mighty eight Gigabit Ethernet ports in all), and even support for LTE as a backup connection to improve resilience – the router already has two 1Gbps WAN ports that can be aggregated or used independently.

As you’d expect from a top-of-the-range router, it offers 4x4 MU-MIMO and theoretical speeds of up to 2.6Gbps with open plan coverage up to 100m (albeit on the 2.4GHz band). Asus has partnered with Trend Micro to offer a built-in security package called AIProtection.

Best small business routers: Netgear Orbi Pro overview

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Great mesh router for the office

Specifications

Speed: 802.11AC 3Gbps
Connectivity: 1 x Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN
Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, easy setup, traffic separation

Reasons to buy

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Easy to deploy
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Fantastic performance

Reasons to avoid

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Very expensive

If you work in an office and are ready to bring your networking into the modern age with one of the best routers for businesses, you seriously need to check out the Netgear Orbi Pro. It's a modular Wi-Fi mesh system, but it makes some design and performance changes that cater to the business user. 

The Netgear SRK60 pack is a solution that has a router-designated module and a single satellite-labeled part. The router and satellite combo is designed to cover a building of up to 5,000 square feet. Netgear also sells a larger pack with two satellites that cover 7,500 square feet, in case you need even more coverage. 

It’s not cheap, but if you run a business where you can’t afford anyone slowing down due to slow Wi-Fi, it’s worth every penny.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro

Netgear Orbi WiFi 6

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Speedy Wi-Fi 6 mesh router for small businesses

Specifications

Speed: WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) tri-band with 1x 2.4GHz (1200Mbps), 2x 5GHz (2400Mbps)
Connectivity: 2.5Gbps WAN, 4x Gigabit Ethernet; satellite - 4x Gigabit Ethernet
Features: Beamforming implicit and explicit for 2.4GHz/5GHz bands

Reasons to buy

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Excellent Wi-Fi range and speed
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Simple set-up, and easy-to-use app

Reasons to avoid

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Seriously expensive
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Little support for Wi-Fi 6 right now

If your small business is ready to jump on the Wi-Fi 6 bandwagon, the Orbi WiFi 6 is your best bet. It’s not by any means a casual purchase, with its steep price tag, but if you’re looking to upgrade to a faster and more reliable router to cover a massive space – like which makes it ideal for medium size businesses or any business that has a large office full of internet-connected devices – then this one’s worth the money. 

Plus, it’s easy and straightforward to set up, making it great for people who don’t have too much experience with Wi-Fi networks. During setup, the app simply creates a single network name and uses its own judgment to assign your devices to the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands automatically.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi WiFi 6

Asus RT-AX88U

Asus RT-AX88U has 8 LAN ports. (Image credit: Asus)

4. Asus RT-AX88U

A feature-packed Wi-Fi 6 small business router

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac (5GHz) : up to 4333 Mbps, 802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 1148 Mbps, 802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 4804 Mbps
Connectivity: 1 Gbps WAN x1, 1 Gbps LAN x8
Features: Link Aggregation, MU-MIMO, Adaptive QoS, WTFast Gamers Private Network, Traffic Analyzer

Reasons to buy

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Affordable
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Plenty of LAN ports

Reasons to avoid

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Gamer aesthetic

The Asus RT-AX88U has all the bells and whistles you could want from a small business router, including Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. 

And, it’s because it offers so much while resting on the lower end of the current Wi-Fi 6 router price range, it makes it one of the best small business routers money can buy right now. 

One advantage of this router for small businesses is that it has 8 LAN ports. At twice the amount that most other routers carry, the RT-AX88U can save you from having to buy an Ethernet switch.

The RT-AX88U has a companion mobile app and a sophisticated web app that displays connected clients, USB devices, and security status. There are also settings to adjust guest networking, analyze traffic, and tweak options for a better gaming experience.

Best small business routers: Netgear Nighthawk X10

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5. Netgear Nighthawk X10 router

An overpowered small business router

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac: 1734Mbps, 802.11n: 800Mbps
Connectivity: 7 x Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB 3.0
Features: 10G LAN SPF, 802.11ad, bundled Amazon Cloud Drive

Reasons to buy

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10G LAN SPF connectivity
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802.11ad supported

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive
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802.11ad still isn’t mainstream

Technically speaking, the Nighthawk X10 is a consumer router, but like the Asus model above, it offers features you will usually find on business routers. As technically advanced as most routers on this list, it is rated at 2600Mbps using 4x4 MU-MIMO and has plenty of LAN ports – seven Gigabit ones, in fact. You can aggregate a pair of them to reach 2Gbps, and there’s even a 10G LAN SPF+ connector for NAS access (assuming you’ve got a device that supports this technology).

Add in a pair of USB 3.0 ports and some powerful hardware (quad-core ARM processor clocked at 1.7GHz, 1GB RAM, and 512MB storage), and you can see why this Netgear router will appeal to businesses as well as enthusiast-level consumers.

Its most intriguing feature, though, has to be support for 802.11ad, which is short-range, high-speed connectivity that requires a line of sight to work correctly. Also known as WiGig, it operates in the 60GHz spectrum and aims to replace wires altogether.

One unexpected goodie included with the router is a 6-month subscription to Amazon Cloud Drive (double check which one, though, as Amazon killed the ‘unlimited’ tier mentioned in the marketing literature), and that’s an excellent bonus for backup purposes.

Best small business routers

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A NAS that thinks it’s a small business router (or vice versa)

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac: 1733Mbps, 802.11n: 800Mbps
Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x SD card reader
Features: 1.7GHz dual-core processor, MU-MIMO, beam-forming, 512MB RAM, 4GB flash storage

Reasons to buy

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Easy-to-use web interface
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Great hardware extras

Reasons to avoid

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Pricier than other AC2600 routers
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Not the fastest 802.11ac router

The Synology RT2600ac (opens in new tab) is what you get when you fuse a traditional wireless router with a network-attached storage device or NAS (well, it gives you a bit more besides, too). The company is known chiefly for its NAS boxes, and while the modem doesn’t boast the beefiest specs or even a conventionally attractive shell like most of the competition, the RT2600ac packs a ton of features (like built-in VPN and the ability to aggregate two WAN ports) that make it worth your while.

While it only has 4GB of storage built-in, you can connect an external hard drive and configure your own cloud service similar to Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. You can even download several NAS-grade apps like a VPN client and server. Unfortunately, the app selection is sparse at the moment, and the ecosystem needs better community support – hopefully, it’ll get going forward.

Though it’s not precisely foolproof in terms of its setup process and its more complex functions, the Synology RT2600ac is much more accessible than most NAS devices. Remember that this is only Synology’s second attempt at devising a router of its own, so despite some shortcomings here, there’s plenty of room to improve.

Read the full review: Synology RT2600ac


How to choose the best small business routers for you?

When choosing the best small business routers, start with assessing the size of your office. If you have a large office space, it'll help to have a wide-range router.

Check the number of internet-connected devices you have. If you have smart lights, TVs, speakers, or other appliances that need internet access to function, you'll want to consider those too. 

If your office space is large and has multiple floors, you'll enjoy better connectivity with a mesh router. 

Make sure to check how many communication bands the router has. If it's a single band-router, your internet traffic may get congested with too many devices on the network. But if you have a dual-band router that provides 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands, then you could separate the internet traffic and enjoy better speeds. 

Importantly, you'll want to check what speeds the router offers, how easy the setup process is, and whether there's a useful companion app with the router. 

The best small business routers: How we test

To test the best small business routers, we compared them across plenty of points, like their speeds, coverage area, communication bands, and router type. 

We looked at what size offices the routers would be best suited for, and the range of devices they could handle comfortably. We included both mesh and traditional routers options that'd be suitable for different kinds of spaces. 

We evaluated their companion apps and consoles to see how easy their setup was, how simple they were to use, and whether they offered advanced tweaking options for pro users. 

We also considered the communication bands the routers offered, the Wi-Fi standard, connectivity options, and the pricing, among other things. 

Collin Probst
B2B Hardware Editor, TechRadar Pro

Collin is the B2B Hardware Editor for TechRadar Pro. He has been in journalism for years with experience in both small and large markets including Gearadical, DailyBeast, FutureNet and more.


With contributions from