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Choosing a wireless router for your business

Which router is best for you?

We live and work in a new wired world where people now demand the ability to work anytime, anywhere, and your small business is no different. As your company grows and your workforce becomes more mobile, you may be interested in adding wireless capabilities to your network to allow your workforce to communicate with customers and colleagues easily and efficiently, from the airport to the office to remote locations.

But when it comes to choosing a wireless router that's right for your business, wading through technical specifications can be confusing, and the options can seem overwhelming, especially if you're a non- technical type. It's easy to get bogged down in all of the numbers--802.11N, N900, AC1750--when trying to compare features to make the right decision.

As hardware devices that provide the basic infrastructure for a small office network, wireless routers offer a convenient way to connect wired and wireless devices (wifi) with a broadband Internet service to share data files and stream media.

Here are a few general guidelines to keep in mind as you make this important decision:

The new standard: dual-band 802.11N WiFi router.

It's generally agreed that the next-generation Wi-Fi router for business wireless networking today is the 802.11n, which supports much faster wireless connections over much longer distances than previous generations. If you're interested in a router that's "future-ready," choose an 802.11n router like Verizon's Fios Quantum™ Gateway.

When you're doing your router research, chances are you'll also see a lot of references to "bands." The 2.4 and 5 GHz bands refer to the frequencies in which wireless communications currently operate. A single-band router refers to one that works on only one frequency, while a dual-band router like the Fios Quantum™ Gateway supports and uses both. This allows you the freedom to check e-mail and browse the Internet using the 2.4GHz band while video conferencing or using other high-bandwidth applications on the 5GHz band.

The Fios Gateway's next-generation wireless technology enables devices to run at wireless speeds up to 155 Mbps for 2.4GHz and up to 800 Mbps*. That's up to 5x faster than the speeds available with other routers. Another big plus of wireless-N routers is that they're backwards-compatible, so that they are able to connect with earlier wireless standards like Wireless-G, -B, and -A. (However, even a wireless N router may not achieve maximum performance if your PC or other devices operate on a previous standard).

*Speed and range tested in lab conditions using latest generation wireless devices.

Three essentials: speed, security, flexibility.

For the fastest transmission rates of high-bandwidth applications like video and voice, look for a router that offers a Gigabit Wired Ethernet port. Another important consideration for any small business network is security. Choose a small business wireless router that supports the advanced security encryption technology, like WPA2. If you're using the router for your small business, look for the ability to create Guest Access and multiple SSIDs, so you can separate your network between guests and trusted users. Also, it's a good idea to choose one with dual WAN ports for critical backup access if needed.

Keep in mind, though, that while a fast wireless router will improve the performance of your internal network, it can't go any faster than your Internet connection allows. That speed is set by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), which is why choosing the right partner is so critical to the success of your business network. Just as not all routers are the same, not all ISPs can provide the reliability, speed, and next-generation technology you need to take your business to the next level.

High-bandwidth capability = future-ready business.

As the small business owner's best choice for broadband, Verizon's Fios® Business Internet plans offer blazing-fast Internet speeds up to 940 Mbps, which help save time and increase productivity when performing high-bandwidth activities like video conferencing, sending large files, and backing up large data to the cloud.

With a 100% fiber-optic connection straight to your business, Fios delivers consistently fast speeds, 24-hour reliability, and a future-ready Internet, with the massive bandwidth that tomorrow's new devices and big files will require.

With 24/7 business tech support, 2-year price guarantee with a term contract, and a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, Verizon delivers comprehensive, cost-effective solutions and peace of mind, so customers can get back to focusing on what's really important: running their businesses.

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