With security becoming an increasingly paramount topic, especially among businesses, there has never been a better time to take a look and invest in some of the best VPN routers on the market. With many businesses adopting work from home, it has become important that the home network be as secure as a small business’ network.
At TechNadu, we have covered a great deal of information about virtual private networks (VPNs), including suggestions on which VPN service providers are worth your hard-earned cash. We suggest going through the articles linked below for further information.
While most conventional routers offer some VPN functionality, they are limited in terms of their tunneling capabilities and how well they can cater to all other connected clients on the network. VPN routers designed for small businesses make sense even for personal use as they can offer multiple tunnels, a much better firewall, content filtering, and other security features.
If you are looking for something to improve your personal or home use, then check out these 10 Best VPN Routers for guaranteed privacy protection.
All these features can often come at a price that can be equal to or lower than consumer routers, with the only trade-offs being a slightly steeper learning curve and somewhat bland aesthetics.
Best VPN Routers for Small Businesses in 2021
With that information, here are the 7 best VPN routers for small businesses to buy in 2021.
1. Linksys LRT224
|Features||OpenVPN support; Dual-WAN load balancing; Integrated firewall; VLAN tagging; WAN failover|
|IPsec VPN throughput||110 Mbps|
|No. of Ethernet / USB Ports||6 / 0|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||7.5 x 5.11 1.57 x in|
Features: The Linksys LRT224 makes for a good VPN router for small to medium businesses that require load-balancing. The LRT224 offers a total of six Gigabit Ethernet ports — one for WAN, one for DMZ/WAN2, and four for LAN. This means if you wish to use link aggregation, you will have to forego the demilitarized zone (DMZ) capability. The LRT224 supports IKE, PPTP, and OpenVPN configurations and offers 45 VPN tunnels. The load-balancing is a neat feature but works only as an equal load-balancer with no option to select other types of load balancing algorithms.
Setup: Setting up the Linksys LRT224 is simple from an IT administration standpoint. The user just needs to log on to the web interface, which offers an intuitive wizard that guides through the basic configuration. The web interface is also well laid-out and offers a decent set of configuration options, including the ability to configure VPN and firewall functionality. The LRT224 also offers decent content filtering options, but there are some limitations, such as not being able to filter from encrypted traffic.
Performance: The performance of the Linksys LRT224 is as expected from an enterprise load-balancing VPN router at this price. The only issue is that the router may not always attain the advertised 110 Mbps IPSec throughput, especially when higher data encryption levels are used.
- Pros: Good VPN router with load-balancing; Intuitive web interface
- Cons: No dedicated DMZ; No additional load-balancing algorithms
Must Read: 11 Best Linksys Routers to Buy in 2021
2. Netgear Insight BR500
|Features||Dual-core 1.7 GHz + dual-core network switching subsystem CPUs; Insight remote access; 256 VLANs; HTTP content filtering; Insight logging|
|IPsec VPN throughput||60 Mbps|
|No. of Ethernet / USB Ports||5 / 0|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||12.36 x 7.38 x 1.72 in|
Features: The Netgear Insight BR500 is designed primarily with the aim of taking the complication out of setting and deploying up VPN routers for small businesses. The BR500 sports a neat design aesthetic that blends well with a modern working environment. A total of five Ethernet ports are available, with one of them serving as the WAN port. The BR500 supports both remote VPN and site-to-site VPN scenarios.
Setup: The Netgear BR500 is mainly designed to work with the company’s Insight Cloud Portal. Insight Cloud allows easy remote setup, management, and additional security to all connected devices. Unlike other VPN solutions, both the server and the client devices connect via the Insight Cloud, which determines how the VPN is established and managed. Insight Cloud is a subscription, but the BR500 can be used without the service as well, albeit at the cost of losing out on the benefits.
Performance: The Netgear BR500 can be connected to multiple devices, both onsite and remote, and it works well for the most part thanks to the presence of not one but two dual-core processors — one for the router itself and the other for network switching. The primary downside is that the BR500 is restricted to just three site-to-site and 10 client VPN connections. While the router offers good LAN-to-WAN throughput, the VPN throughput is somewhat lower, at just about 60 Mbps. Nevertheless, the ease of use and a good feature-set make the Netgear Insight BR500 one of the best VPN routes for small businesses in 2021.
- Pros: Ease of use and deployment; Robust cloud security
- Cons: Insight Cloud requires annual subscription; IPSec throughput on the lower side
3. Synology RT2600ac
|Features||Dual core 1.7 GHz CPU; MU-MIMO; Built-in VPN server; Fall-over and load-balancing; Intelligent parental controls; Built-in security database|
|Max. Data Transfer Speed||2.6 Gbps|
|No. of Ethernet / USB Ports||5 / 2 (1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||11.02 x 6.65 x 3.03 in|
Features: The name Synology is generally associated with some of the best network attached storage devices, but the router offerings are equally robust and functional as well. The Synology RT2600ac offers an excellent feature-set that will appeal to both individuals and businesses alike on the lookout for the best wireless VPN router. The RT2600ac offers a total of one WAN and four LAN ports. Two of the LAN ports can be aggregated to serve as a second WAN port, which can then be configured for fail-over and load-balancing. However, there is no option to aggregate two WAN connections themselves.
Setup: Synology Router Management (SRM) is arguably the best firmware among all the routers on the market. It offers extensive configuration and add-on features while also enabling easy setup for first-timers. A good deal of the functionality can be extended by downloading apps from the Synology store. Synology also offers VPN Plus, which transforms the RT2600sc into a powerful VPN router that supports WebVPN, Synology SSL VPN, and Remote Desktop. With VPN Plus, IT admins get comprehensive traffic monitoring tools. VPN Plus comes with one client VPN access license and a 30-day site-to-site VPN trial. Additional plans can be purchased from the VPN Plus package itself.
Performance: The Synology RT2600ac does not disappoint when it comes to performance, especially on the 5 GHz band at a reasonable distance. The performance on the 2.4 GHz band can improve, however. External storage reads via the USB 3.0 port can go up to 64 MBps, which should be enough for streaming all sorts of multimedia content over the network. Overall, the Synology RT2600ac’s features and extensibility make it one of the best small business VPN routers in 2021.
- Pros: Easy setup and use; SRM firmware offers lots of extensibility
- Cons: 2.4 GHz speeds need improvement
4. D-Link DSR1000AC
|Features||Dual WAN fail-over; load-balancing; 155 IPSec VPN Tunnels; 250 Mbps VPN throughput; 100,000 concurrent sessions|
|Max. Data Transfer Speed||1.3 Gbps|
|No. of Ethernet / USB Ports||7 / 2 (USB 2.0)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||11.02 x 7.08 x 1.73 in|
Features: The D-Link DSR1000AC is aimed at small to medium businesses in need of a robust and highly capable VPN router. The advantage of the DSR1000AC is that it combines the flexibility of a VPN switch with a dual-band wireless AC router functionality.
Setup: The D-Link DSR1000AC offers a robust setup and management interface. The VPN router’s built-in interface offers features such as outbound load-balancing and captive portal capabilities along with a host of VPN functionality, including SSL VPN tunnels, site-to-site VPN over IPSec, PPTP, or L2TP, and more. IT admins can also implement several other authentication mechanisms such as local database, RADIUS, LDAP, Windows Active Directory, and more.
Performance: The D-Link DSR1000AC offers good performance for the price. Compared to many other VPN routers, the DSR1000AC can deliver up to 250 Mbps through VPN, up to 155 IPSec VPN tunnels, and up to 100,000 concurrent sessions, which makes it a great choice for small businesses. The theoretical Wi-Fi throughput is rated at 1.3 Gbps while the LAN throughput is at 950 Mbps, although these values can change depending on the extent of protections applied.
- Pros: Good feature-set; Includes built-in wireless AC
- Cons: Dynamic web content filtering requires subscription
5. Linksys WRT3200ACM
|Features||1.8 GHz dual-core CPU; OpenWRT-ready; MU-MIMO; Tri-stream 160; DFS-certified|
|Max. Data Transfer Speed||3.2 Gbps|
|No. of Ethernet / USB Ports||5 / 2 (1x USB 3.0; 1x USB 2.0-eSATA combo)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||9.68 x 2.04 x 7.63 in|
Features: The Linksys WRT3200ACM is a popular router primarily known for its compatibility with third-party firmware such as OpenWRT. The Linksys WRT3200ACM is powered by a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor that helps keep things flowing smoothly. The VPN router features MU-MIMO support, along with Linksys’s Tri-Stream 160 technology that doubles the 5 GHz 80 MHz channel for faster speeds. Apart from five Gigabit Ethernet ports, there is a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port that also doubles-up as an eSATA port to connect external storage devices.
Setup: The Linksys WRT3200ACM already offers a capable web interface for setup and configuration, but the real strength of this router lies in the ability to install third-party firmware. The WRT3200ACM supports the OpenVPN server, which either comes standard or can be added later depending on the firmware. The OpenVPN feature allows adding up to 25 different profiles, but only five users at a time can connect to the router itself. The settings can then be downloaded as an OVPN file and setup on the client-side.
Performance: The performance of the Linksys WRT3200ACM is great, especially on the 5 GHz band with a theoretical throughput of up to 2.6 Gbps. The 2.4 GHz band, however, leaves a lot to be desired even at a minimal distance. This somewhat limits the performance when the client device is far away from the router. The Linksys WRT3200ACM, thus, not only makes a great VPN router for homes and small businesses but also is among the best pre-configured VPRN routers on the market.
- Pros: Good feature set; Easily flashable to OpenWRT
- Cons: 2.4 GHz performance is weak
6. Asus RT-AX88U AX6000
|Features||Dual-Band (2.4 + 5); 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU; 4 antennas; Built-in Trend-Micro protection; AiMesh; WTFast Gamers VPN|
|Max. Data Transfer Speed||6 Gbps|
|No. of Ethernet / USB Ports||9 / 2 (2x USB 3.1)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||11.46 x 4.72 x 14.88 in|
Features: Most small businesses may not be really rooting for a Wi-Fi 6 router since a good deal of client devices are still on Wi-Fi 5 or wireless AC. But if you are on the lookout for some futureproofing, the Asus RT-AX88U is one of the best Wi-Fi 6 VPN routers for small businesses. Though aimed primarily at gamers, small businesses desiring low latency networking stand to gain a lot by opting for the Asus RT-AX88U. The RT-AX88U offers eight Gigabit LAN Ethernet ports on the back plus two USB 3.1 ports for connecting peripherals and network storage.
Setup: Setting up the Asus RT-AX88U is very easy and can be done either via a mobile app or the feature-rich web interface. One neat feature of the RT-AX88U is that settings from other Asus routers can be imported, saving time in doing all the configuration from scratch. The RT-AX88U can be easily configured to work with VPN servers and provide VPN access to all devices on the network. The router supports PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN protocols, and all you need to do is import an OVPN file from your VPN service provider.
Performance: The Asus RT-AX88U offers a theoretical throughput of up to 6 Gbps, which should be plenty to cater to a local network. The coverage is excellent too, so getting good reception up to 2,000 square feet should not be an issue. Further coverage is possible via AiMesh, wherein another Asus router can be added to form a mesh network. The Asus RT-AX88U may not be the first choice for business users, but a good feature-set and performance combined with built-in VPN server functions make it one of the best VPN routers for SoHo users and small businesses.
- Pros: Wi-Fi 6 support; Extensive UI; Gaming-focused features.
- Cons: WAN port supports only Gigabit Ethernet; USB 3.0 needs to be enabled manually
7. Cisco RV345P
|Features||Dual-core 900 MHz CPU; QoS; Intrusion Prevention System; Cisco Umbrella; Link aggregation; 50 SSL VPN tunnels; 25 PPTP connections; PoE support|
|IPSec VPN throughput||650 Mbps|
|No. of Ethernet / USB Ports||18 /2 (1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||11 x 6.75 x 1.75 in|
Features: Any talk of business routers invariably includes at least one mention of a Cisco product, and the same holds true in the case of VPN routers as well. The Cisco RV345P is a small business VPN router that offers good load-balancing and resiliency features. The router offers 16 LAN ports, out of which eight are power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ports that can deliver up to 30 W of power each, so you can directly connect your mobile devices instead of hunting for a separate outlet.
Setup: The Cisco RV345P uses a Linux-based interface for all administration, which is mostly intuitive, especially if you’ve already used a Cisco router before. The UI allows for several administration features, including setting a precedence for fail-over — you can use a 3G/4G dongle in the USB ports as WAN connections as well. The RV345P supports all common VPN tunnels, including GRE, site-to-site, client-to-site, PPTP, L2TP, and SSL. However, connecting to the RV345P over SSL requires the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client that needs to be renewed annually.
Performance: The Cisco RV345P performs admirably in most situations. WAN-LAN and LAN-LAN speed nearly hit the standard 940 Mbps benchmark. Cisco rates the RV345P to offer up to 650 Mbps throughput in IPSec tunneling, which would, of course, depend on the encryption methods and WAN speed. Mobile devices configured with Cisco AnyConnect can get up to 33 Mbps via Cisco SSL. All in all, the Cisco RV345P is one of the best Cisco VPN routers for small businesses looking for a feature-rich network switch with good overall throughput.
- Pros: 16 LAN ports; PoE; Supports all common VPN protocols
- Cons: Cisco AnyConnect subscription not part of the purchase
So, that was our roundup of the best VPN routers for small businesses to buy in 2021. While deciding on any of the above choices, be sure to keep the present needs of your small business and future scalability in mind. If you are unsure of doing the VPN configuration yourself, it is a good idea to look out for pre-configured VPN routers for plug-and-play connectivity.
Questions, feedback, or recommendations? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.