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The best router and network storage should be invisible to users in the office. They simply work, day in, day out, delivering internet connectivity and fast, reliable, local storage of files (and more). Of course, they’re not invisible to the admins who run them, which is why we ask the IT people in charge at the office to rate the brands they use across a number of criteria every year. These are their picks.

Routers for Work

In all the years we’ve been handing out the Business Choice Award for routers in the workplace, Cisco—a company synonymous with workplace routers—only got the award twice, in 2014 and 2013. Technically, its 8.6 score this year, on a scale from one to 10—the company’s highest overall score since it got 8.6 five years ago—puts it in second place. But considering first-place Asus tends to be a more a consumer-leaning company—albeit with high-end routers, in particular a system to turn any of its routers into a mesh system for SMBs—we’re handing out two awards this time. Asus takes it for the small-to-medium business routers, while Cisco’s clearly the winner for enterprise-class routing.

Asus missed a year in the top spot for Business Choice in 2017, but it won last year as handily as it did this year (and in 2016). In fact, Asus’s overall score improved from an 8.6 last year to 8.8 this time around. Its reliability and likelihood to be recommended by colleagues were also up.

Cisco’s new score is a nice improvement over the 8.3 tie it had with Netgear in 2018. Cisco also had gains in reliability (up from 8.7 to 8.9) and the likelihood to be recommended by colleagues (from 8.5 to 8.7). That question is also used to gauge the Net Promoter Score of the brand, which jumped from 47 (out of scale from -100 to +100) to 56.

Netgear and Linksys—arguably the biggest names selling networking equipment—were both also in the mix last year. Their scores have changed little, but enough that Linksys is a step ahead of Netgear in overall satisfaction. That said, their other scores are pretty much in sync, except for satisfaction with tech support, where Linksys is well ahead at 7.9 to Netgear’s 7.1. That’s a big fall from Netgear’s taking the award back in 2017.

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Business Choice seal

SOHO/SMB Routers: Asus
Asus has consistently dazzled readers of PCMag for both home and work use of their equipment for sharing internet connections. This year is no exception. Asus is a router winner across the board, as usual.

Business Choice seal

Enterprise Routers: Cisco
If you thought the Cisco brand was too high-end for your business, or too complicated even for your enterprise, think again. The company’s routers earned huge accolades this year among the IT pros and admins we polled, easily placing Cisco on top of this survey for the first time in years.

Looking for expert opinion? Read our roundup of the Best Wireless Routers and If You Don’t Use a Business-Class VPN Router, Here’s Why You Should.

Servers and NAS Device for Work

We have handed out the server/NAS Business Choice award every year since 2013 (with a break in 2015 for good behavior), and every single time, Synology has crushed the competition to capture the crown. PCMag readers who use Synology love its products in a way usually reserved for more evangelized companies, like Apple.

Synology’s highest ever overall score in Business Choice was a 9.2 in 2017; it dropped a little to 9.0 after that, but is already back up to a 9.1 again. All of which are minor changes to outstanding ratings.

Synology also bumped up that likelihood to be recommended rating from last year’s 9.2 to a 9.3; it didn’t budge the Net Promoter Score, however, which stayed at 77 out of 100—a number any brand would love. In other areas, Synology’s reliability…

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