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Finding a suitable home router is like just another day of shopping online. You go to Amazon and sort by the best ratings. The product with good reviews and fits in the budget lands in your cart. Even your Internet provider can hook you up with a good one by paying a small amount.
On the contrary, as a business, you cannot do the same. The router provided by the ISP is not efficient and cut for handling commercial usage. With privacy and security gaining prominence among businesses, it is crucial to look for routers with provision for VPNs. Most routers allow VPNs, but they fall short with the limited tunneling and connection behavior which restricts the overall connection.
You need a router that accommodates VPN usage while not bogging down the performance of your normal usage on a typical day of work. Look for these pointers while selecting a router.
1. How to Select a Router
1.1 Dual or Tri-Band?
Single bands will sit this one out. See if your router has dual bands or not, which you generally can find by the number of antennae it has. Having two antennas means one is dedicated to 2.4 GHz while the other takes on the 5 GHz band. Having a Tri-band is even better if it fits your budget. This way, two antennas can be dedicated to the 5 GHz band, providing a better Internet change.
Firmware acts as the “operating system” of your router. It defines what functionalities and abilities the router can offer, apart from the hardware limitations. Routers with in-built VPN capabilities are comparatively heavier on the pocket but value for money. When you are on a tight budget, you can settle for a regular router that can have a third-party firmware update, which will bring advanced VPN features to it. Now bear in mind that doing this may void your warranty or brick the device in a worst-case scenario.
1.3 What Connection Speed Do You Want?
This is equally important. Choosing a good VPN router also involves ascertaining the speed you want over the ethernet and Wi-Fi. Some routers offer comparatively slower speeds and can really hamper your entire work. Pair a slow router with a VPN, and you have yourself an Internet explorer level Internet snooze-fest.
Ethernet will mostly be fine as most routers are equipped with a Gigabit connection, but Wi-Fi can be a drag unless the older standards. Aim for 802.11ac, and all your bases will be covered.
1.4 Number of LAN required
The more is always better when it comes to these. LAN(Local Area Network) is of two types, wired and wireless, known as WLAN. The LAN ports allow you to connect with different devices, such as a smartphone with the router, which provides Internet. Here the thumb rule for protons would be four or more would be good. You can also expand the number of ports by attaching a network switch.
1.5 Wi-Fi Protection
Some of your devices will rely on the Wi-Fi network to access the Internet. Using a VPN will be a step in the direction of security, but that is not enough these days. Your Wi-Fi network is vulnerable to DDoS attacks, hacking, and other nefarious activities. Choose a router with WPA(Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption which is a robust layer of security for the network. Consider going for routers with WPA, WPA2, or even the WPA3(if available).
1.6 Mobile Internet Backup
Imagine a scenario when your wire broadband goes down abruptly, halting all the ongoing work. You cannot just sit back and wait for the ISP to fix the issue because the urgent work waits for none. Many routers offer a USB interface that supports attaching an HSDPA modem or a SIM card directly with an in-built port. Then you can provide mobile Internet to all the connected workstations, devices. Let the broadband get fixed in the background while the workflow continues at the standard pace.
2. Best VPN Routers for Small Businesses 2023
|Ethernet Ports||Wi-Fi Standard||Combined Speed|
|Linksys LRT224||OpenVPN||6||N/A||900 Mbps|
|Asus RT-AX88U AX6000||PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP||8||Wi-Fi 6||6000 Mbps|
|Synology RT2600ac||SSTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP||5||Wi-Fi 5||2500 Mbps|
|Netgear Insight BR500||OpenVPN and IPSec||5||Wi-Fi 5||1000 Mbps|
|TP-Link AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router||OpenVPN and PPTP||6||Wi-Fi 6||5400 Mbps|
|D-Link DSR-1000AC||PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSL, GRE, OpenVPN||6||Wi-Fi 5||900 Mbps|
|ASUS RT-AX3000||OpenVPN, PPTP, IPSec, and L2TP||5||Wi-Fi 6||3000 Mbps|
2.1 Linksys LRT224
|No. of Ethernet/USB Ports||6/0|
|Features||Dual-Load WAN Load balancing, 802.1q VLAN, In-built Firewall, 50 IPsec tunnels|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||8.6 x 5.5 x 2.3 inches|
Starting strong with Linksys router, there is no looking back when buying this VPN router for business purposes. The heavy-duty router comes with an in-built advanced firewall that can block java, cookies and protect against DDoS attacks powered by SPI.
Moving on to the ports, the LRT224 has 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports which feel more than enough. You can always add more ports through a network switch if the need arises. Being a VPN router, it has direct OpenVPN support, a widely used VPN protocol across the web. Furthermore, the Linksys VPN router also offers Dual-WAN load balancing, which distributes the load between two connections for achieving a higher bandwidth. It helps provide better performance than what a single connection could achieve.
Security and privacy have become of prime importance, and this router provides 50 IPsec (client to client, client to site VPN) tunnels that can accommodate all your business traffic. That is not all; their in-built firewall allows up to 900 Mbps through the secured layer (110 Mbps through IPsec tunnels), which will ensure that the operations never lose their flow.
- User-friendly administration interface
- Feature-rich in-built firewall
- Dual WAN load-balancing support
- Organized VLAN tagging and inter-VLAN routing
- Support for 5 OpenVPN tunnels (Android and iOS)
- Wi-Fi capabilities need an external adapter
- WAN2 and DMZ ports cannot be used together
2.2 Asus RT-AX88U AX6000 (Dual Band)
|No. of Ethernet/USB Ports||8/2 (USB 3.0)|
|VPN Protocol||PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP|
|Features||Multiple VPN Protocols, Next-Gen Wi-Fi 6 standard, Four Antennas, Smart Home Ready, Quad-core CPU for efficient performance handling|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||11.46 x 4.72 x 14.88 inches|
ASUS comes in strong with its high-performance router that is suitable for both business and gaming. The Asus RT-AX880U is laced with the newer WiFI 6 (802.11ax) standard, which provides a combined speed of 6000 Mbps, consisting of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. It also features OFDMA technology that ensures division into smaller channels enabling the data to travel at up to 80% more speed. Pair it with Alexa and bring it on the smart devices channel, controlling it using IoT.
This router supports multiple VPN protocols – OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP, which allows you a wide range of VPN service options offering the following protocols. A VPN can be set up quickly through the panel itself without going through a sea of complex settings. A worthy feature worth mentioning is the ability to import settings from another ASUS router. This will help save both time and energy, which can be spent on other productive things.
The ASUS RT-AX88U offers a combined speed of 6 Gbps on a Wi-Fi network (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands) that can handle any nature of heavy traffic without a sweat. Both the bands are capable of handling 1 Gbps individually when all the equipment involved supports 802.3ad standard.
- Four antennas for a wider range
- Next-gen WiFi 6 standard
- Three VPN protocols supported
- Up to 6 Gbps connection speed
- Smart Home Compatible – Alexa
- USB 3.0 needs to be enabled manually
- 5 GHz not enabled by default in smart connect mode
2.3 Synology RT2600ac
|No. of Ethernet/USB Ports||5/2 (1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0)|
|VPN Protocol||SSTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP|
|Features||2.4 GHz Dual-core processor, coverage area of 3,000 sqft. , 4×4 802.11ac wave 2 radios, 2.53 Gbps breakthrough wireless speed, seven layers monitoring and protection of traffic|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||6 x 11.01 x 3.03 inches|
You don’t often get 4×4 dual-band Gigabit Wi-Fi routers in this price segment. Synology has brought the RT2600ac for catering to small businesses and big houses. A bouquet of software-based features helps it stand tall amongst the crowd in this niche. Take advantage of different ISPs using the dual WAN, which can provide a combined speed of 2 Gbps.
As for the Wi-Fi network, the RT200ac supports 800 Mbps and 1733 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, respectively. The latest 802.11ac Wave 2 standard helps in reaching the speeds along with MU-MIMO and Beamforming. Let’s talk about the software side of things here for a second. With the elaborate interface, get detailed Internet usage reports for each user. Manage different user profiles assigning devices, networks, and guest Wi-Fi profiles to take care of the unspecific devices.
A total of 5 different VPN protocols are supported on the router. They also provide Synology’s SSL VPN and WebVPN to help you start setting up your subscribed VPN services.
- Mobile App for Management
- Supports five VPN protocols
- Dual WAN
- Seven layers of monitoring and security
- Custom user profiles for usage
- Inconsistent USB connection
- Lacks business-centric tools
2.4 Netgear Insight BR500
|No. of Ethernet/USB Ports||5/0|
|VPN Protocol||OpenVPN and IPSec|
|Features||Instant VPN, NAT filtering, Private VPN tagging, Dynamic DNS, UPnP|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||7.38 x 1.72 x 12.36 inches|
Netgear has been their name in the networking equipment industry by providing some fine products over the years. This time around, their sleek design-based router has hit it out of the park. Beginning with the setup, they provide a one-month trial of Insight premium, which allows you the easy configuration of the router. On top of that, the router can be managed from a web browser, which is powered on the Insight Cloud.
We get two different VPN protocols – OpenVPN and IPsec, with the former set up on the router from the manufacturer. It can be changed from the settings without a problem. Once configured, it can be instantly turned on using a single click or touch the mobile app. The one-step VPN is handy for businesses that bank on saving seconds for gardening productivity and saving company time. That is not all; you can connect up to 10 VPN clients at a time.
In the power department, Netgear leaves nothing behind. A powerful router generally houses a dual-core processor, which seems enough. Here you get two dual-core processors to divide the workload of router and network switching.
- One-step VPN
- Two dual-core processors
- Easy to use admin UI
- Dynamic DNS and UPnP
- Remote Management (using Insight Premium)
- Inconsistent log capturing
- Need to subscribe to the expensive Insight Premium for using all features
2.5 TP-Link AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router (Archer AX73)
|No. of Ethernet/USB Ports||5/1 (USB 3.0)|
|VPN Protocol||OpenVPN and PPTP|
|Features||Connect 200+ Devices, Wi-Fi 6, Triple Core CPU, Six Antennas, TP-Link’s HomeShield Protection|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||10.7 × 5.8 × 1.9 inches|
The Archer AX73 by TP-Link packs six antennas on the router, powered by the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard. The newest standard of a wireless network is far from wide adaptability, but many newer devices are offering it. Gigabit Dual-band plays a primary role in extending the Wi-Fi range here.
Beginning with the setup, it can be done within minutes using the Tether app. We get up to 5.4 Gbps of speed on the Wi-Fi, on which 4.8 Gbps is available on the 5 GHz band. This includes multiple streams on the same band, which provides greater fault tolerance. For strengthening security, the VPN is supported along with compatibility for two protocols – OpenVPN and PTPP- easy to configure.
You only get a single USB port which is, of course, 3.0, which supports NTFS, exFAT, HFS+, FAT32 partition formats. The router stays cool with the heat dissipation rectangular vent that is present on the top.
- Triple core processor
- USB with wide partitions format support
- Quick setup through the mobile app
- Wi-Fi 6 standard
- Beamforming antennas along with OFDMA and QoS
- Sporadic heating issues
- Administration UI stops responding at times
TP-Link AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router (Archer AX73)
2.7 D-Link DSR-1000AC
|No. of Ethernet/USB Ports||6/2 (USB 2.0)|
|VPN Protocol||PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSL, GRE, OpenVPN|
|Features||Six VPN protocols, Dual WAN load balancing, Inter-VLAN router, Route Failover, 3G/4G Redundancy|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||10.7 × 5.8 × 1.9 inches|
D-Link routers offer high-performance network solutions for small and medium businesses. The AX5400 offers dual-WAN Gigabit ports with outbound balancing that helps balance the load, increasing the performance of business applications.
Offering support for the most number of VPN protocols, we can use up to 155 tunnels in the following manner:
- 70 IPsec tunnels 20 SSL / TLS tunnels
- 25 PPTP / L2TP tunnels
- 20 GRE tunnels
- 20 OpenVPN tunnels
This comes with a limit of 100 users for offices, large businesses, etc.
A secured VPN offers up to 250 Mbps, protected by 3DES encryption. Whereas concerning firewalls, you can expect up to 950 Mbps of speed.
Apart from that, the default firmware allows configuration for VLANs on two separate WAN ports.
Supporting 3G/4G modems through USB, it can be used as a third Internet connection WAN. The same USB port also allows firmware update directly without involving the PC.
- Default 3G/4G modem support through USB
- Individual VLANs for WAN ports
- Up to 155 VPN tunnels
- Dual WAN load balancing (outbound)
- Update firmware directly using USB
- Lower speed on VPNs
- Larger learning for NAT configuration
2.7 ASUS Wi-Fi 6 Router (RT-AX3000)
|No. of Ethernet/USB Ports||5/1 (USB 3.1)|
|VPN Protocol||OpenVPN (after firmware upgrade), PPTP, IPSec, and L2TP|
|Features||Triple Core CPU, Wi-Fi 6 standard, MU-MIMO plus OFDMA, ASUS AiMesh Wi FI System, WPA3 security|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||8.82 x 6.06 x 6.3 inches|
ASUS makes an appearance on the post again with its RT-AX3000. A reliable VPN router for smaller businesses that require features of different verticals on its network equipment. To facilitate security, there is an in-built interface for VPNs that makes the configuration a walk in the park.
Swerving straight into the network department, the WPA3 for Wi-Fi provides a higher level of wireless security. The OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) along with Beamforming helps in boosting wireless speeds, powered by a mighty 160 MHz bandwidth. This specification is corroborated by the 545 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 2402 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. All of this is powered by a triple-core processor that keeps the router on its toes for providing consistent performance.
ASUS also provides commercial-grade security with AiProtection Pro, which protects all the connected devices along with a web content filter. It can also manage web usage, patterns, and reports can be generated accordingly.
- Ai AiMesh
- WPA3 Security
- Up to 160 MHz bandwidth on Wi-Fi
- USB 3.1 port
- Full-fledged mobile app support
- Instability with DHCP connections
- Reduced available RAM on the router
ASUS Wi-Fi 6 Router (RT-AX3000)
3. VPN Router FAQ
3.1 Which is the best VPN protocol to use?
The support for VPN protocols on different routers. Therefore, you have to keep in mind that while zeroing in on a VPN router. Most routers support OpenVPN and IPsec, which is more than enough on most VPN services. You can go with OpenVPN, a widely used and trusted protocol that would be your best bet to get started. On other occasions, IPsec will provide similar performance.
3.2 Which router company offers better customer support?
This is a subjective question, given the variation of customer support quality in various parts of the world. However, ASUS and Netgear have shown promise in Europe and developing countries with their excellent after-sale support.
3.3 Does more antennas help in the Wi-Fi range?
On paper, more antennas are always better on a Wi-Fi router, which is also a sign of MIMO being used for greater range. Having more antennas will not increase coverage distance after a point but provide better coverage in that distance. It also depends on the mechanism of how the bandwidth is transmitted. Few of the routers we mentioned above rely on dividing the packets into smaller units to boost speed.
3.4 How many LAN/WAN ports are necessary on a business router?
This is your call here. How many of your devices or computers per se will be connected using an ethernet cable will determine the number of ports needed. Generally, routers come with 4-6 ports, which can further be extended using a standard network switch.
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