When it comes to fundamental networking components, few devices are as important as your router. The router connects your business to the rest of the world, linking your local network to the vast resources on the Internet. It allows everyone in your office to share a single connection to the Internet, and it may also help protect your business from online threats, as well as give employees remote access to your network. Before you can choose the best router for your small business, you need to know what you want it to do for your network. Now that the Internet has become crucial to most companies’ day-to-day business operations, you need to know how your company uses its Internet connection. Here are some questions to consider:
- Are employees asking to access business applications or other network resources when they’re working from home or on the road?
- Do employees send and receive large files via email or an FTP website?
- Do you offer streaming videos for customers?
- Do you plan to install an IP-based voice system?
- Do you want to beef up your network security?
The right small business router can help you get the most out of your Internet connection. And, if it’s made for a small business, the router should also be easy to install and work right out of the box. Cisco’s line of RV Series Routers meets these criteria. The latest in Cisco’s Small Business RV Series Routers, the Cisco RV180 VPN Router and the RV180W Multifunction VPN Router , are affordable, secure, high-performance routers that support even advanced features that your business can grow into.
Built for business Both of the RV180 models are designed to meet a range of small business connectivity needs. The RV180W is a multipurpose wireless router with an integrated high-speed Wireless-N access point that can also act as either a repeater or a bridge in your wireless network.
As the name implies, the RV180 routers have a built-in secure VPN. It’s an Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) VPN that can connect both individual users and multiple offices to your local network. It uses enterprise-class encryption and authentication and supports IPSec and Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) VPN client connections, as well as IPSec gateway-to-gateway VPN tunnels. The RV180 routers can support as many as 10 VPN connections at once. Employees should use the Cisco QuickVPN client to securely connect to the office network through the router.
Other security features include an integrated firewall to block dangerous traffic from entering your network and content filtering to block objectionable websites, keywords, and applications. The RV180W supports Wi-Fi security standards, too. You can also use the RV180 models to create separate VLANs, either to create a safe way for guests to access the Internet separate from the rest of your network, or to control employees’ access to sensitive data or particular applications.
In addition, these routers have a built-in 4-port Gigabit Ethernet managed switch that delivers fast data transfer for bandwidth-intensive applications. It includes quality-of-service (QoS) features that let you give critical applications, like voice and video, enough bandwidth to always run at optimal speeds.
Like all new Cisco network hardware, the RV180 routers also have native support for IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol. You can use this router to begin establishing a presence on the IPv6-based Internet today, or use it in the future when new IPv6-based networking applications come out.
No matter what you need from your Internet connection, an advanced small business router like the RV180 or the RV180W can help you meet those goals. These routers offer out-of-the-box reliable connectivity and secure access to both local and remote employees, and they let you expand at the pace that’s right for your business.
What do you need from your router and Internet connection?