If you own or manage a small business, you undoubtedly learned long ago that not every product is worth the money, and that you can sometimes find ways to save money in your business without losing an ounce of performance – especially when it comes to technology. Having the newest, the biggest, or the greatest thing isn’t always all that it’s cracked up to be, especially when you factor cost-efficiency into the mix.
Perhaps that’s why so many companies, and especially smaller ones, rely on routers and wireless devices designed for home use to keep their offices connected. But, while this might help them save a few dollars on hardware, it also leads to bottlenecks and performance issues. In other words, when it comes to wireless routers and wireless devices, you really do get your money’s worth when you buy professional-grade.
To help you understand why business-class routers are worth the extra few dollars, consider what you actually gain by upgrading:
Speed and bandwidth. This is a simple benefit, but also an important one. Your home wireless router is designed for home use, meaning that it can only handle so much information at once, and will typically prioritize between one device or another. That means if you have too many different devices (like desktops, printers, mobile devices, etc.) operating at once, speed and performance could drop off quickly. That’s not a big issue in your home, but it can have important bottom-line effects in your office.
Security. Business-class routers use different kinds of security protocols and permission levels than home routers do. In everyday terms, that means that your first line of defense against hackers and thieves is a lot stronger when you’re using the right equipment. That’s especially true when you factor in the firmware and updates that are built into more powerful business-class router processors. If safety is a concern, and it should be, then you need professional equipment for your business.
Range of connectivity. In addition to being faster and more secure, business-class routers extend farther and sometimes operate on different channels. That means fewer conflicts between devices, and better connections throughout your office or facility, especially if you have workstations that are spread out or separated by walls and/or electrical equipment.
It’s never a bad idea to look for ways to save money in your company, but you don’t want to buy the same wireless router you have in your home to run even a small office. The price savings really aren’t that great, and for what you lose in speed, security, and range, it just doesn’t add up.