If you buy a wireless router from your Internet service provider, that router will have been tested for compatibility...
with your Internet service. If problems occur, your provider will be on the hook for support or replacement. If firmware updates are issued, your provider will test them and may even install that firmware automatically.
However, the wireless router offered by your Internet provider may not meet your needs. For example, you might prefer to buy your own router instead of leasing one for a monthly fee -- over time, purchase can be less expensive. Or your provider may include a "free" router with your service contract, requiring you to pay a relatively high price if you decide to discontinue service before the contract ends.
More importantly, wireless routers supplied with residential broadband are not business-grade devices. They are usually entry-level routers designed for home networks. A small office or business may have additional requirements that would be better satisfied by another device. For example, perhaps you want to protect your business network with a Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance that provides on-board anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware, intrusion detection, and VPN/firewall capabilities. Or perhaps you need to deliver WLAN coverage with more capacity or range than a single wireless router could deliver.
The bottom line: Don't let the tail wag the dog. Before you even look at your provider's router, decide what your office needs in the way of an Internet firewall or UTM device, and what your office needs in the way of wireless network infrastructure. If those needs don't match up with your provider's router, then buy your own device(s).
For more information:
Learn about Unified Threat Management (UTM) in this technical tip: Network security: Using unified threat management (UTM).
In this tutorial to firewalls you'll understand what they are, how they work, which types exist, which ones to buy and more.
Dig Deeper on WLAN Security
Related Q&A from Lisa Phifer
Need to send an email, check your flight's status or get ready for a presentation? You can do it all on your smartwatch, thanks to a slew of Apple ...continue reading
New and improved management features have made Android devices more suitable for enterprise use, and API and EMM tools can streamline the device ...continue reading
Whether you need a basic open source mobile device management tool for your company's Apple or Android devices, or something more customized, you ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.