Introduction

IoT (Internet of Things) routers are specialized routers designed to manage the networking needs of smart homes and businesses. They are responsible for connecting a wide range of smart devices to the internet, such as security cameras, thermostats, smart locks, and more.

There are several brands of routers in the market, and this makes it hard to make a choice. This article compares the top IoT routers in the market to make this easier for you. It highlights their features, compatibility and concludes with a cost comparison of these routers.Internet of things router

Let’s get into it!

Top IoT Routers in the Market

As mentioned earlier, there are several internets of things routers in the market.  In order to make the right choice, you need to compare these top routers and figure the best option for you. Here are some of the top routers for your homes and business, their features, benefits, and compatibility.

1.   Sierra Wireless AirLink RX55:

The AirLink RX55 is a rugged IoT router that is designed for industrial and mission-critical applications. It supports 4G LTE connectivity, has a range of up to 5000 square feet, and comes with advanced features such as GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. It also has a high level of security and remote management capabilities.

While it may be more expensive than consumer-grade routers, its advanced security features, carrier redundancy, and remote management capabilities make it an excellent choice for industrial and enterprise applications.

Features

  • Supports 4G LTE connectivity with optional 5G upgradeability
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet
  • GNSS
  • IP64 Rated
  • Rugged and compact design with a built-in mounting bracket for easy installation
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity for asset tracking and remote management
  • Advanced security features (secure boot, secure firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates, and cloud-based device management)
  • Dual SIM support
  • Remote management and configuration using AirLink Management Service (ALMS)

Pros

  • Rugged design that can withstand harsh environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures, humidity, and vibration
  • It can connect to a diverse range of devices, from video equipment to low-power IoT devices.
  • Its compact size makes installation easier
  • Advanced security features for secure and reliable connectivity
  • Easy to install and manage with cloud-based device management and remote configuration
  • Dual SIM support for carrier redundancy and flexibility

Cons

  • Higher cost compared to consumer-grade routers
  • May require specialized knowledge for installation and configuration
  • Limited Wi-Fi range compared to other routers in the market

2.   Cisco Catalyst IR1100:

The Catalyst IR1100 is a compact and robust IoT router that provides reliable connectivity for critical applications. It supports 4G LTE connectivity, has a range of up to 2500 square feet, and comes with advanced features such as VPN, firewall, and quality of service. It also has a modular design that allows for easy expansion and scalability.

Features

  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
  • Smart grid-compliant.
  • Provides high-quality video and voice services with its advanced QoS capabilities
  • Comes with built-in firewall and VPN capabilities for secure remote access
  • Supports advanced routing protocols such as OSPF, BGP, and VRF for flexible network design
  • It has a modular design that allows for easy expansion and scalability
  • Software Defined WAN (SDWAN) capable
  • Provides real-time analytics and network visibility with Cisco DNA Center

Pros

  • Lightweight, compact, modular, and ruggedized design
  • You can easily add an extension module without needing a second power source
  • Comes with multi[le mounting options
  • Advanced security features such as firewall and VPN for secure remote access

Cons

  • Relatively expensive compared to other IoT routers in the market
  • Limited range of up to 2500 square feet, which may not be sufficient for large-scale deployments
  • Limited compatibility with non-Cisco devices and software

3.   Cradlepoint IBR600C IoT Router:

The Cradlepoint IBR600C IoT Router is a compact and reliable router designed for use in industrial and commercial applications. It provides high-speed LTE connectivity, advanced Wi-Fi capabilities, and advanced security features.

Features

  • 4G LTE and 3G fallback connectivity for reliable and fast internet access
  • FirstNet Router
  • Cat 4 LTE with SIM-based Auto-Carrier Selection.
  • Dual-modem support with optional COR Extensibility Dock.
  • Extensibility with GPIOs, Router SDK and NCM API for custom solutions.
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO for high-performance wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS for location tracking and geofencing
  • Advanced security features, including firewall, VPN, and intrusion prevention system (IPS)
  • Cloud-based management for remote configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting
  • Small form factor and flexible mounting options for easy deployment

Pros

  • Provides strong and dependable connectivity for crucial applications.
  • Rugged for harsh environments MIL-STD-810G shock vibration and humidity.
  • Offers advanced security features.
  • Possesses a compact size and versatile mounting options for easy installation.

Cons

  • Limited Wi-Fi range compared to other routers in its class
  • No support for Wi-Fi 6 or 5G connectivity

4.   Robustel r5020 IoT Router:

The R5020 router from Robustel is their first router that supports global 5G, 4G, and 3G bands in a compact industrial form factor. This router allows for the rapid deployment of high-speed IoT applications in various verticals, such as transportation, enterprise connectivity, and digital signage. It's a rugged device that offers state-of-the-art connectivity and is specifically designed to ensure seamless connectivity to Internet of Things applications.

 

The router uses the RobustOS operating system, which is based on Linux and is optimized for Robustel devices. With its pre-configured network functions and protocols, the R5020 provides excellent user comfort to customers.

Features

  • Global 5G/4G/3G cellular connections
  • Free cloud management platform – RCMS
  • Fully programmable Operating System with well-documented SDK
  • Multiple VPN options available including DMVPN & IPSEC
  • GNSS, ignition sense & E-mark make R5020 ideal for vehicles
  • Very cost-effective industrial 5G router solution
  • Robust metal enclosure with small footprint – DIN-rail + wall mount options
  • Supports Ethernet, Wifi and 4G/5G internet with auto-failover

Pros

  • High-speed 5G connectivity allows for fast data transmission and low latency, improving overall network performance.
  • Advanced features such as VPN and firewall ensure secure and reliable network management.
  • Multiple connectivity options provide flexibility in network deployment.
  • Rugged design makes it suitable for use in harsh environments.

Cons

  • The cost may be higher compared to other routers in the market.
  • It may require technical expertise to set up and manage.
  • The range may be limited depending on the specific deployment scenario.

5.   Cradlepoint IBR200 router:

The Cradlepoint IBR200 is a wireless router that is designed for use in IoT and M2M applications. Its compact and semi-rugged design makes it ideal for use in challenging environments. Additionally, the router comes with integrated secure, cloud-managed networking that ensures the safety of your data.

The embedded Category 1 (Cat 1) modem allows you to use low-cost data plans from cellular carriers and operators, making it a cost-effective option for your connectivity needs.

Features

  • Fast Ethernet (10/100TX), IEEE 802.11b/g/n WiFi, GPS, and GPIO (1 input, 1 output) interfaces
  • Category 1 (10 Mbps download / 5 Mbps upload) LTE speed
  • 1 SIM card
  • 24 x 7 support
  • Optional Cradlepoint approved antennas for mobile and industrial locations
  • Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint support
  • USB for future IoT device support
  • NetCloud Perimeter and advanced security for PCI compliance
  • Economical IoT router with NetCloud management

Pros

  • The IoT router offers industry-leading security features at a low cost.
  • Cost-effective connectivity is provided by the embedded Category 1 modem.
  • It is semi-ruggedized, allowing for wider deployment options.
  • Business-critical applications are supported with comprehensive 24x7 assistance.
  • It offers extensibility for custom solutions through GPIOs and NetCloud SDK and API.

Cons

  • Limited range compared to larger routers
  • Only supports up to 25 connected devices, which may be insufficient for some deployments
  • May require additional antennas or signal boosters to improve connectivity in weak signal areas

6.   Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex R500:

The ZoneFlex R500 router combines Ruckus-patented RF technology with the latest IEEE 802.11ac standard to deliver exceptional WiFi performance, making it the best-performing 2x2 802.11ac indoor WLAN access point in the business.

Features

  • Two-stream MIMO 2x2:2
  • Concurrent Dual-Band (5GHz/2.4GHz) Support
  • Capable of supporting up to 500 clients with limited throughput
  • Powered over Ethernet (PoE)
  • 867 Mbps (5 GHz) and 300 Mbps (2.4 GHz) of user throughput

Pros

  • Stunning WIFI performance
  • Automate Optimal Throughput
  • Multiple management options
  • Better mesh Networking

Cons

  • No documentation on how to upgrade the firmware
  • Users cannot combine the two transceivers into one dual band
  • A bit pricey

Price and Compatibility Comparison of The Top IoT Routers

 

IoT Router

Price

Compatibility

Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex R500

$250

Compatible with a wide range of IoT devices and applications, including sensors, cameras, and other IoT devices.

Cradlepoint IBR200 router

$340

Compatible with a wide range of IoT devices and applications, including sensors, cameras, and other IoT devices.

 

It is also compatible with a range of carriers and can be used with most SIM cards.

Robustel r5020 IoT Router

$995

Compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

 

It also supports various communication protocols, such as TCP/IP, HTTP, and MQTT, making it easy to integrate with different IoT devices and platforms.

Sierra Wireless AirLink RX55

$759 - $949 ( cost varies depending on the specific configuration and deployment needs.)

Compatible with a wide range of applications and devices, including sensors, cameras, and other IoT devices

 

Compatible with multiple carriers and networks, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile

 

Cisco Catalyst IR1100

$1537

Compatible with a wide range of Cisco networking products and services, including Cisco DNA Center, Cisco IOS, and Cisco Umbrella.

 

It also supports third-party network management tools through its RESTful API.

Cradlepoint IBR600C IoT Router

$580

Compatible with a wide range of devices and applications, including:

 

●      IoT devices such as sensors, cameras, and smart home appliances

●      PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones

●      Cloud-based applications and services

Conclusion

IoT routers are essential in both smart homes and businesses as they provide a reliable and secure connection for smart devices. In order to make the perfect router, go through this review and select the router that meets your purpose. Don't forget to consider your  budget when making your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should I consider when choosing an IoT router?

The key factors to consider when choosing an IoT router include speed, range, compatibility with your existing devices, security features, ease of setup and use, and additional features such as parental controls or QoS.

How is an IoT router different from a regular router?

IoT routers are designed to handle the unique demands of IoT devices, such as low power consumption and data transmission rates, as well as increased security features to protect IoT devices from cyber threats.

How important are security features when choosing an IoT router?

Security features are very important when choosing an IoT router, as IoT devices can be vulnerable to hacking and other security threats. Look for routers with features such as WPA3 encryption, firewalls, and automatic firmware updates to help keep your devices and network secure.

Can I set up an IoT router myself?

Most IoT routers can be set up by the user, using a simple setup process that typically involves connecting the router to your modem and following the on-screen instructions. However, if you are not comfortable with technology or need assistance, professional installation may be available from the manufacturer or a third-party service provider.

What is the maximum speed of an IoT router?

The maximum speed of an IoT router depends on the router's specifications and the internet service provider (ISP) speed available in your area. Some of the best IoT routers available can deliver speeds up to 1.2 Gbps or more.

How can I determine which IoT router is right for me?

The right IoT router for you will depend on your specific needs and the devices you want to connect. Consider your budget, the size of your home or office, the number of devices you want to connect, and any specific features you may need when making your decision. It can also be helpful to read reviews like this one and compare specifications to make an informed choice.

References:

 

Nick has 15 years of experience working within the critical communications industry and has a proven track record of success in providing solutions to public safety communications professionals. Nick is an avid writer who has been frequently published on numerous industry-specific websites. Below is a sample of Nick's writing portfolio: Nick regularly attends critical communication-centric conferences including the International Wireless Conference, APCO Conference, and International Police Chiefs Conference. Mr. Hohman has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore. During his free time, Nick enjoys playing cards, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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