Having secure remote access to your company can be beneficial to you being able to work on the road, on vacation, at home or at a customer or client’s location and enter data remotely.  The key thing to concentrate on is secure access through a proven firewall router… not a consumer grade unit but a commercial router. They’re different.  When you’re first considering how to get off to a good start with remote access, it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff.  In our experience, it all starts with your choice of a proven commercial firewall router.

Can I use my home router for business?

Old Style Photo. 3d Modern WiFi Router on the table

Old Style Photo. 3d Modern WiFi Router on the table

 

 In some cases you can use your home router for business, but there are critical differences between commercial and residential routers that are important to know. It’s not always easy to figure out which one is best for you because routers can look a lot alike.  There are underlying differences between home and business routers that go beyond their appearance.

A significant distinction to note is that consumer routers prioritize speed, media streaming and security, while business routers prioritize security, remote access and scalability. (Michael Brown, What Separates Business Routers from Consumer Routers?, June 12, 2012 http://www.pcworld.com/article/256683/what_separates_business_routers_from_consumer_routers_.html?page=2).  To reiterate, commercial grade routers prioritize “security” while consumer grade ones “speed” and “media streaming.”  In this era of “Russian hackers” and Ransomware, security must be ones first priority (For more information on Ransomware, see our previous blog post, http://rbsmn.com/blog/page/2/).

So what are the distinctions between business and consumer grade firewall routers?

Selecting the right router is like shopping for the right car.  Just as all routers have antennas and ports, all cars have a chassis and four wheels. Manufacturing and assembly processes are similar for most brands. The differences all boil down to why you need the car.   Many business owners we work with don’t know what they need in a commercial grade router.  RB’s Computer Service can help you determine this.

Home routers are attractive due to price and availability. The features you gain from a number of manufacturers whose names you may recognize makes it seem you get a lot of bang for the buck.

Network cables RJ45 connected to a switch

Network cables RJ45 connected to a switch

As tempting as it is to use your home router for remote business access, keep in mind that business use needs differ a lot from home use.

Why commercial grade firewall routers are different from consumer routers.

While there is some overlap on features, the drawbacks of consumer grade firewall routers versus commercial grade ones include:

•  Prioritizing speed over security regardless of the value of the information

•  No failover to another line if broadband service goes down

•  Inability to scale will cost you more if you have to restructure your network vs. simply adding capacity

How to select the best commercial grade firewall router for your business?

•  Consider long-term business goals

•  Understand the types of equipment available, along with standard uses and features

•  Determine flexibility requirements

(Eric Geier, How to Choose a Router for Your Business, February 14, 2012 http://www.pcworld.com/article/249954/how_to_choose_a_router_for_your_business.html)

In addition to helping select the right type of commercial grade router, RB’s Computer Service can help you determine the best options that meet your long term business goals.   To get the inside scoop on the most current and effective commercial grade remote access practices, contact me today via phone or email: 763-441-3884, randy@rbsmn.com.  RB’s Computer Service sells the best commercial grade routers, best laptop computers, best desktop computers, business computers, computer parts and computer monitors.  We also provide managed IT services, computer repair, iPhone and smartphone repair and tablet repairs to customers and clients throughout central Minnesota and St. Cloud.