Working from home (WFH) is now the new normal for most organizations, whether employees are 100% remote, given the option to work from home, or they are offered a hybrid home/in-office work environment.
Regardless of how many employees work from home and how often, they all need to choose the best Wi-Fi router for home office use. While streaming video and browsing the web come with considerable risk, the potential dangers are compounded when you are accessing sensitive material pertaining to your job.
Also, because you likely have to connect more than one device, you will want to investigate the best Wi-Fi router for multiple devices. This empowers you to connect safely, and family members or friends can do the same.
Why Security Is Extremely Important for Work-from-Home Wi-Fi Routers
Security should be the most important consideration when choosing a home router. That is because while connecting to the office or with clients from home, you are introducing a new attack surface. Without adequate security, you can bring in viruses, Trojan horse viruses, worms, ransomware, and other kinds of malware, in addition to opportunistic hackers looking to take advantage of WFH employees.
Even if you have a home router already, you should consider the best Wi-Fi router for long-range connections. This way, you do not have to worry about wandering outside your protected area whether you are upstairs, in the basement, or in your yard.
Types of Wireless Routers for Work from Home
There are two general types of wireless home routers: single-unit and mesh networks. A single-unit router is a single device you plug into your modem, and it broadcasts a signal out to your home from that one location. A mesh setup comes with multiple units, and they all work as Wi-Fi access points that get their signals from a central router.
How To Pick a Work-from-Home Wi-Fi Router
When choosing a home wireless router, you need to consider compatibility, speed, mesh support, and a few technical factors that will impact how well it works for your wireless needs.
Compatibility with Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
One of the most important considerations is whether the router is compatible with your internet service provider (ISP). In this way, you do not have to choose between a router you like and your current internet service.
While all service providers use the same general wireless protocols, you have to match the type of connection with what your ISP provides to ensure you can connect. For instance, you need to know if your ISP is sending your signal via fiber, cable, satellite, or other means. It is best to check with your ISP to be sure the modem and router you get are compatible.
Speed of the Router
A secure wireless network hampered by speed limitations may provide safety but sacrifice performance—to the point of hindering your ability to complete tasks. In some cases, the router you choose has a maximum speed that is less than what your ISP provides. These kinds of Wi-Fi controllers can, for instance, limit your internet speed to 500 Mbps when your ISP is providing you with 1,000 Mbps. It is best to double-check the throughput of your router early in the decision-making process.
Smart Home Integration
To run your smart home, you need a router that can interface with the various devices in your home network. This holds true whether you are trying to set up a lightning-fast 5G network or a more traditional WFH setup. Otherwise, your router may force you to sacrifice comprehensive connectivity.
Support for Mesh Wi-Fi
Even if you start with a single-unit setup, you want to choose a device that can support a mesh network. This gives you the freedom to add more devices later on for better connectivity.
Advanced Quality of Service (QoS)
Quality of Service (QoS) refers to a feature that allows you to control which devices on your network get priority. This is particularly important if you are working from home because you do not want someone’s afternoon gaming session to consume the bandwidth you need to earn income.
Beamforming involves sending a Wi-Fi signal toward a device instead of sending it out randomly in all directions. Therefore, a router with beamforming can provide a more consistent, stronger signal.
Multi-user, Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO)
If you have a MU-MIMO router, it is easier for it to support several wired or wireless connections at the same time, apportioning bandwidth to maximize performance. This feature can provide better service for you and those in your home.
VPN, Antivirus, Firewall, and Other Advanced Features
With advanced security features, you can enjoy both strong connectivity and cyber safety. A router that provides these protections guards not only you but your employer and their network.
How Fortinet Can Help
With Fortinet FortiWiFi 30E, you get consistent connectivity, as well as a selection of security features, including:
- A firewall with 950 Mbps of throughput
- An intrusion prevention system (IPS) with 300 Mbps of throughput
- Next-generation firewall (NGFW) protection with 200 Mbps of throughput
- General threat protection covering 150 Mbps of throughput
These keep your home network, that of your office, and those of your clients and customers safe from threats that could try to use your home network as an access point.
Combining expertise in security and Wi-Fi routers, Fortinet has partnered with Linksys to provide an enterprise-grade security network for home. Linksys HomeWRK | Secured by Fortinet is a secure network solution for the employee’s home office. With Linksys HomeWRK for Business, you will benefit:
- One integrated network system covers both corporate and personal needs
- Fast mash Wi-Fi coverage and seamless roaming at home
- Security protection from Fortinet, including VPN, antivirus, web filtering, intrusion prevention, app control, and botnet protection
- Cloud-based management console for easy setup and real-time connection diagnosis
- Bandwidth prioritization for employees’ video meetings
- Separate personal networks with worker privacy protection
How do you pick a work-from-home (WFH) Wi-Fi router?
To pick a WFH Wi-Fi router, you need to consider how fast it is, whether it is compatible with your internet service provider (ISP), how it integrates with your smart home devices, if it supports a mesh configuration, has advanced quality-of-service (QoS) provisions, beamforming, and MU-MIMO features.
Why do you need a new Wi-Fi router for work from home?
Security should be the most important consideration when choosing a home router because while connecting to the office or with clients from home, you are introducing a new attack surface. Without adequate security, you could introduce viruses, Trojan horse viruses, worms, ransomware, and other kinds of malware, in addition to opportunistic hackers looking to take advantage of WFH employees.
How To Pick a Work-from-Home Wi-Fi Router?
To choose a wireless router for your home office, make a list of the security features you need, such as a next-generation firewall (NGFW) and an intrusion prevention system (IPS). Then, identify one that interfaces with your current ISP’s service and has the connectivity options you need, such as advanced QoS, MU-MIMO, and beamforming.