Router Shopping & Office Network Guide
The office network is the system of devices and cables that move information between the people within, and to the outside world. This guide is intended to help ensure your office network can support Business Connect.
Wi-Fi allows the use of smartphones without incurring wireless data usage, and it can be a convenient and flexible way to connect computers. Performance will depend on where the user is, compared to where the router (or Wi-Fi access point) is located. It’s location should be chosen similarly to how a light or lamp would be placed.
Investing in Ethernet cables to connect each user’s office location to the router or firewall (usually in the phone panel / demarcation point) will provide the best performance and reliability experience, on top of raising the property’s value.
Compatible Ethernet Cable types:
CAT5E: Most commonly available with electricians and contractors. Supports speeds up to 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) inside the office, adequate for virtually all businesses and applications in 2021
CAT6, CAT7, CAT8: May need to be ordered online, good for future proofing offices (that have PCs.) Required if internet speeds, and the individual need of at least 1 user, both exceed 1000 Mbps
To simplify, network switches can be thought of as splitters for ethernet cables. They help manage cables and the number of connections available by “splitting” one of the cables connected to the router into several ports available on the network switch. This allows many wired devices to connect to the router over just one cable.
Green/Eco-Ethernet switches provide only marginal savings and can cause performance issues with Business Connect. They are not recommended.
Should I buy a router/firewall? Does it have to be a recommended model?
The router/firewall serves as the “internet post office” for all PCs, Smartphones, and Business Connect desk phones in the office. It plays a crucial role in internet performance and reliability
A setup that does not include a router or firewall. For example, connecting devices directly to a Modem or Fibre ONT is not supported.
A double-NAT setup (Connecting 2 routers in series).
Most routers perform adequately with Business Connect. However, if call quality issues arise for office users, upgrading is recommended.
Any router with recommended features & specifications below.
A recommended model.
Asus RT-AX55 (and more RT Series models)
Tested with up to 25 users
Several can be paired to cover more area
Meraki MX Series
Available with Security portion of Workplace as a Service
SPI / Stateful Packet Inspection
Available on almost all routers in the market, in 2021
Alternatively, if IT requirement is to have SPI disabled (rare)
Features to avoid (or turn off)
Deep Packet Inspection
Recommended Feature - QoS
This feature is available on the recommended model ASUS RT-AX55 and allows better congestion proofing for office phones
QoS (Prioritization Rules)
By Application or Port Range (preferred)
By Destination IP (alternate)
By Device (alternate for desk phones, requires more upkeep)
When shopping for a router, the ASUS RT-AX55 should be used as a reference for offices of up to 25 users mostly on cabled devices:
Max Wi-Fi Capacity
Wireless Bands / Frequencies
2.4 Ghz, 5 Ghz
Antennas / Streams
128 MB Flash, 256 MB SDRAM