Teleworking, remote work or work at home is still a reality in many companies and workers, in order to work correctly not only is a good Internet connection of 300Mbps symmetric or more necessary, it is very important to have a router that perfectly complies with the needs of the worker, that does not have problems of WiFi cuts, wireless instability or that it collapses when we have other devices in our home connected.
The most normal thing is to have a single Internet connection and a single router in our home, although there are companies that have put an Internet connection dedicated to their workers, it is not common. We are going to teach you everything that a router should have both at the hardware and software level so that you do not have problems when working, at the end, we will recommend some models that are ideal for these tasks.
Hardware features to work
The hardware that routers have is one of the most important aspects that we must look at to be able to work correctly and without problems, however, teleworking does not cause a large consumption of router resources, therefore, with having mid-range routers- high is more than enough to avoid problems. In other uses such as gaming, it is necessary to have more powerful hardware to avoid problems when playing, but to work it is not necessary as much.
Today most home routers have Gigabit Ethernet ports, for teleworking it is not necessary for these ports to be faster. It is true that there are higher-end routers that incorporate 2.5G Multigigabit ports and even 10GBASE-T ports, but generally these speeds are not needed to work. If you are a professional who is dedicated to videos or works where you need a NAS server at home to quickly transfer files and folders, then it is interesting that the router has a Multigigabit port to save a lot of time when transferring data. Everything will depend on your needs, but you should know that routers with Multigigabit ports are much more expensive compared to routers with only Gigabit Ethernet ports.
It is necessary that the chosen router has at least four LAN portsToday most routers have this number of ports. If you need more LAN ports for your work, you can always buy a switch with 5 or 8 ports, or also directly buy a router with 5, 6 or 8 LAN ports, it all depends on your needs. Generally we will not need more than four ports, unless your house is fully wired, in this case you will need more ports.
Finally, the hardware NAT acceleration It is very important to achieve Internet speeds of over 600Mbps. Today all routers have this functionality, so you should not worry about it.
To work from home, the WiFi connection is very important, generally companies provide their employees with a laptop that connects it to the Internet via WiFi. In order not to have any bandwidth, interference or high latency problems when making video calls, it is very important that the router has simultaneous dual band. In the case of work at home, it does not matter too much that the router is of class WiFi 5 or WiFi 6, because you will not notice too much difference, unless you have to send very large files via WiFi to the local NAS server, in this case we would recommend a minimum AX3000 class WiFi 6 router.
It is absolutely necessary that the routers have two antennas for each frequency band, that is, if they use WiFi 5 it is necessary that they be of class AC1200 or higher, if they use WiFi 6 they can be of class AX1800, although it would be recommended that they have class AX3000 (with 160MHz of channel width in 5GHz). The laptop or PC that you connect via WiFi, it is recommended that you place it in the 5GHz band, this frequency band will provide you with the maximum speed, minimum latency and the best connection stability. If you have a smartphone or tablet to work with, you should also connect them to this frequency band, as long as the device itself supports it.
Although there are higher-end routers that are simultaneous triple band, to work from home it is not at all necessary to have this type of router in our home, except if you are going to make intensive use of the WiFi network transferring dozens of GB in network local or Internet to be able to do your work, for example, YouTube content creators or other similar profession where they handle large videos and photos.
Processor and RAM
The processor for a router that is going to be dedicated to teleworking does not need to be too powerful, yes, it needs to be at least a 1GHz Dual-Core processorTo ensure that we can achieve high Internet speeds without any problem, it would be desirable for it to be a Tri-Core at 1.5GHz, which is the processor that is prevailing in mid-range routers, but with a Dual-Core processor. at 1GHz it is more than enough to be able to work without having problems of any kind.
RAM memory is also a very important aspect, the firmware of the routers have many functionalities such as QoS that consume a lot of RAM memory, today the most recommended for a teleworking router would be 256MB RAM, although if it incorporates 512MB of RAM much better.
Configuration options for teleworking
The firmware in a router to work from home is also very important, it needs to have a QoS to prioritize VoIP calls and video calls. It would be very good if the firmware allows the creation of several subnets to divide the work of the personal use of the router, in this way, when we are working we will connect to a network, and home devices such as IoT, smart TV or the devices of our relatives will be in another totally separate network, and isolated from the work network.
QoS to prioritize VoIP and video calls
The QoS (Quality of Service) allows us to prioritize packages, depending on the firmware, we will have some configuration options or others. One of the most important parts of QoS is the prioritization of the packets, in the case of work from home it is advisable to have a router that has a QoS to prioritize VoIP packets and also video calls, something that is totally necessary when we work . If we do not have this QoS, if other devices are downloading, we will notice cuts in communication, random delays and even that a video call cannot be established correctly. Thanks to QoS we will be able to mitigate all this, giving top priority to work devices or to VoIP packages and video calls.
Another feature closely related to QoS is the bandwidth limiter. This functionality allows us to limit the bandwidth to certain computers so that they do not monopolize all the available bandwidth. If we have a NAS server or a PC downloading content from the Internet, you may be interested in activating this function so that they do not consume all the bandwidth in downloading and / or uploading.
Possibility of creating several wired and WiFi networks
The firmware of some routers allows us to create a new wired and WiFi network, in order to segment the use of both networks by sharing the same Internet connection. For example, routers like ASUS allow us to create several additional WiFi networks to connect work devices there and it is totally isolated from the main home network. In the case of AVM FRITZ! Box routers, it will allow us to create both an additional WiFi network and also create a wired network for “guests”. Thanks to this possibility of creating two networks with two different subnets, we will be able to connect all home devices to one network, and all work devices to the other remaining network.
This aspect is quite important, for security reasons, it would be highly recommended to separate domestic network traffic from professional network traffic, thanks to this functionality we can separate both uses. Although most routers have the “Guest WiFi” option, not all firmwares support the possibility of creating a specific subnet for them.
Recommended routers to work at home
Once we know the minimum requirements to buy a good router to work at home, we are going to recommend a total of five models that are perfect for teleworking, all of them meet all the requirements that we have indicated above. We have ordered them from best to worst, but the “worst” is a very good router, but at the hardware level it is inferior to the others.
The AVM FRITZ! Box 7590 router is one of the best WiFi routers you can buy, it has high-end hardware with AC2600 simultaneous dual band, Gigabit Ethernet ports and a very powerful processor. The best thing about this router is its firmware, we can configure the QoS in an advanced way, we can also create different subnets (home and work) and many more configuration options. AVM updates its firmwares continuously, therefore, they will add new functionalities and solve small bugs that may exist.
If you work from a town where the Internet connection is usually used, this model allows us to put a SIM card to connect to the Internet via 3G or 4G, it is ideal for rural environments where the Internet connection is not by fiber but by ADSL. This router has the same configuration options as the previous model, all AVM routers share the FRITZ! OS firmware, therefore, we will have advanced QoS, we can divide the network into subnets, etc.
This ASUS router is highly recommended for home environments, it has a 1.5GHz Tri-Core processor, it has dual band with AX3000 class WiFi 6 and Gigabit Ethernet ports. The firmware allows us to configure guest WiFi network in an advanced way, it also has advanced QoS with which we can prioritize video calls and VoIP as we wish.
This NETGEAR router is another highly recommended model, it has a latest generation Dual-Core processor, it has simultaneous dual band with WiFi 6 and AX3000 class, Gigabit Ethernet ports and advanced firmware with QoS functionalities to prioritize call traffic and video calls, ideal for remote work environments.
The last router that we are going to recommend is the D-Link DIR-X1860, this model has a medium-high range hardware, with simultaneous dual band WiFi 6 and AX1800 class, Gigabit Ethernet ports and a very easy-to-understand firmware, With which we can prioritize devices such as PC and smartphone over other equipment, in this way, they will have the highest priority. Of course, we can also create an additional WiFi network for “guests” which is where we will connect work or home computers.
We hope that with this complete guide of which characteristics are the most important to choose a router for remote work, you will be able to choose correctly.