Gear Of The Year 2017 – SMME business routers

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Our survey of small businesses revealed some interesting information about the routers being used by the sector.

Routers from D-Link claimed the top position with 25.7% of the vote. Routers from this brand are not only widely available but they are also well priced. While hardware from our runner-up – Cisco – is designed with businesses in mind these businesses are often enterprises that can afford customised solutions and most importantly have a team that can correctly configure a router.

There is also a very wide selection of D-Link routers available for purchase at both brick and mortar stores as well as online. Whether a business requires LTE connectivity or fixed line D-Link has a solution.

There is also a more obvious reason for why D-Link is the favoured brand – it’s the brand of router that Telkom includes in fixed line internet installations.

While these routers are fine, often only the minimum is catered for. This means that the base router you receive from your ISP doesn’t support 802.11ac Wifi which means that even if you have a fibre internet connection your Wifi speed would be comparable to that of an older ADSL internet connection.

Security on these sorts of routers can also be problematic as firmware updates are few and far between. If your business is still using a standard router given to you by an ISP we highly recommend updating.

Cisco is the second favourite brand among SMME readers with 15 percent of the vote.

As we mentioned previously Cisco creates solutions specfically for business and the focus on that industry has led to it becoming the first choice in the enterprise environment. With a greater awareness of cybersecurity risks we believe that more businesses are opting for bespoke solutions rather than the easiest solution.

In third position we have a three way tie between Netgear, TP-Link and ASUS, which each received 10.6 percent of votes.

While ASUS routers can be quite pricey you are getting a premium experience. With support for most of the latest technologies including dual-band Wifi for a more stable experience and 802.11ac Wifi for faster speeds there is very little that ASUS routers cannot do.

The same can be said for TP-Link which is not only an affordable router brand but one which – like ASUS – enjoys occupying the space where technology is cutting edge. TP-Link was the first firm to release a router with support for the 802.11ad standard. While it may not be the most ubiquitous standard this sort of innovation might lead buyers to believe that TP-Link is the best choice for future proofing your network.

Our final brand in the three way tie is Netgear. With availability akin to that of D-Link brands and solutions such as switches, wifi range extenders and more Netgear has no shortage of products for South African businesses. It helps that Netgear products are also rather affordable.

Sahil Lala

Sahil Lala

Sahil is a tech and gaming enthusiast that's been a writer, reviewer, advisor and editor at multiple publications