What to Consider When Looking For a 4G Router For Your Business

Your business starts here.

Start-a-Business 101: Learn how to start your own business.

What to Consider When Looking For a 4G Router For Your Business

 

If your business has a 4G router requirement you might struggle to find an impartial buyers guide – many ‘reviews’ simply point you toward the product they’re hoping you’ll buy. Rather than advocate a particular router, we’ll suggest some important questions to ask of any device – and help direct you toward the features your organisation requires.

The benefits of multi-SIM technology

Reliability and speed are usually at the top of the ‘must have’ list for business networking purposes. To ensure you’re getting both from a 4G router you’ll want to make sure it has ‘multi-SIM’ capability – meaning you’re getting two or more cellular data connections. This feature should be high on your list of requirements.

SIM failover vs. multi-SIM

Be careful, not all multi-SIM routers offer multiple data connections. In some instances, a secondary SIM is inserted to provide a failover service should you experience problems with the first data connection. While this can be useful for people who want to use a single data connection, this is not ‘true’ multi-SIM technology.

If you’re looking for a quicker and more robust service you’ll want to make sure you’re getting multi-SIM capability. Ideally, you need to consider the data capacity you’re looking for looking for based on the SIMs you’re using and then aim for a router that offers SIM slots reflecting that capacity. A 6 SIM capacity is normal – although it’s not uncommon to find routers offering 18+ SIM slots if you’re a heavy user.

Bonding vs. load balancing

4G Routers can usually be configured in one of two ways, these are referred to as ‘bonding’ and ‘load balancing’. A router that ‘bonds’ connections will blend the data from all your SIMs into one high-speed and high-reliability connection to your network.
If you’re a multi-user site this is likely to be the configuration you’re going to opt for – especially if you’ve got applications that require a stable connection to your data centre. It’s unlikely you’re going to be running at the full capacity of your data connections, so if there are problems with one or more of your SIM providers, your end-users will often be none-the-wiser, still experiencing a solid connection.

If you opt to configure for load balancing, individual users or applications can be allocated specific data connections. Essentially this means you’re likely to have constantly running failover SIMs – but it also means that any user is limited to the speed of a single cellular connection.

Future proofing your investment

The technical term for current 4G technology standard is ‘Category 4 LTE’ – in very simple terms, this refers to agreed standards to which ‘4G’ termed devices should operate. In the not too distant future, there is an expectation that category 6 LTE standards will be more accessible for home and business users – significantly increasing possible download speeds.

While 6 LTE might not be widely used right now, some routers do support the technology – so if you’re planning on keeping your device for a couple of years or more, it might be worth being slightly ahead of the mobile data curve and looking for ‘Cat 6 LTE’, ‘LTE-Advanced’, ‘LTE-A’ or ‘4G+’ capability on your router – while the terms are slightly different, they tend to be used interchangeably. There’s more about the differences in the technology here.

Traffic prioritisation

If prioritising certain traffic across your network is important, there are routers that offer this function. During configuration, you can prioritise particular application’s traffic, meaning programs that are sensitive to diminished performance will be stable, even if there’s a significant drain on network capability.

If you run real-time applications, managing your traffic at this level can be the difference between a positive and negative end-user or customer experience – therefore this a feature you should look out for.

Reporting

Some routers can offer a reporting service that looks at data connection and usage for the overall network and individual SIMS. If you’ve got an eye on keeping budgets in check then it can be useful to have this function built into the router – as opposed to monitoring directly with carriers.

Is a wireless connection important?

Not all, but some 4G routers can provide WiFi connectivity. This can be very useful for smaller businesses who might not want to set up a wired infrastructure to all devices. Offering WiFi is also helpful when you’re looking to provide a connection for guests and visitors. In some instances, you will be able to configure your router to provide two WiFi connections, meaning your company devices will not be hindered by offering guest or public connections.

Caching

It can sometimes be helpful to have your router cache data. If you have a company intranet system or central data storage solution, caching frequently accessed pages and files can mean a faster process for users – with the added bonus of reducing data usage and cost. The savings might not be huge, but if your router offers it, it’s worth setting up.
Running any low power devices?

If you have devices that use only minimal power – such as IP phones or Wireless Access Points you might find that your router can power them with ‘Power over Ethernet’ technology. Again, this feature is unlikely to be the sole reason you choose a particular router, but if you have the feature it can keep an installation tidy.

Would you like more in depth information?

While this guide offers a brief overview of many 4G router features – there’s a lot more to 4G WAN. If you’d like a more in-depth guide this one, prepared by SAS Global Communications leaves no stone unturned – and explains more about the kind of business problems that can be overcome when using a 4G technology is a possibility.

If you’re delving into the possibility of 4G WAN solutions for the first time, it can be worth having an IT partner on board who is experienced in the sourcing and implementation of the technology. Potential issues you might run into will have been seen countless times before – meaning your 4G router installation will go as smoothly as possible.


Your business starts here.

We will take you step-by-step through every aspect of starting a business.
Start-a-Business 101: Learn how to start your own business.

Watch our videos to learn how to start a successful business.

Watch free previews

Learn from experienced experts
and successful entrepreneurs.

Why be alone on your business adventure? Let Bob Adams, a Harvard MBA and multimillionaire, and his team of highly skilled experts, guide you on your journey to business success.

Bob has founded over a dozen successful businesses and written 16 business books. He has been featured on TV shows including NBC’s Today, The 700 Club and Oprah! Bob has helped millions of entrepreneurs get started with their own businesses.

Bob Adams books and courses have been featured in:

What entrepreneurs are saying about BusinessTown:

“You so inspired me that I started a business and have started receiving orders. Your lecture series about how to pick a business to start really got me going after I followed your steps to a tee. Thanks so much!” Bill Bennett, Business Owner
“I found great value in the BusinessTown courses. The program is comprehensive, covering everything…It’s like having a team of experienced advisors available 24 x 7.” Dan Sterling, Founder of Water Hero
“Having run across your videos was a godsend to me. Your method provides me the structure I need to be successful. I am willing to put in the work to go through your complete course which so far has been incredibly helpful.” Phyllis Marks, Starting an Online Business
“I have researched the marketplace for over a month to identify a viable and comprehensive ‘go to’ guide on how to best launch a small business. This course offering from Bob Adams met more than what I was looking for.” Steve Cox, Experienced Businessperson
“Bob has been a trusted business adviser of mine for years… guiding me through the challenges we all face as entrepreneurs. Hands down Bob is one of the most talented, and successful entrepreneurs I know.” Matt Marshall, Founder of MGM Capital Investments

Get on your road to success with Start-a-Business 101.

1. Start the course.

Click here to start the course Start-a-Business 101. The course is only $19.95. 60-day money-back guarantee.

2. Enjoy immediate access.

Get instant access to all 78 videos and 46 tools (worksheets, etc.). You will learn step-by-step how to start, run and grow a business.

3. Succeed in business.

You will have everything you need to start and grow your business. You will become a smart, confident, and successful entrepreneur, who makes the right decisions.