5. Linksys WRT3200ACM
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: 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: 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.