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Everyone has spent time at the local electronics or local business supply store trying to find the right router. Whether it is for home or for business the choice is very important. A business router, however, is very different and it’s not something you can generally find in the local store. There are some very distinct types of routers that you need to be aware of so that you can not only accommodate different connectivity types but enhance your overall business productivity.

Routers are essential to running a secure, sophisticated infrastructure and you should always consider future expansion as part of your router selection process. Regardless of your line of business, there are basic connectivity needs and technologies that if accounted for, can enhance your business. To determine the size and type of router required, please take a moment to review your network requirements. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my throughput requirements?
  • Will I need to be able to scale?
  • What technologies will I need to be able to support?
  • How many users and environments will need to be connected?

Routers are a long-term investment, so your selection will need to last and remain consistent as your business grows over time. Ensure that the models you’re considering are designed to withstand the traffic you currently have as well as what you plan to reach in the future. Throughput likely won’t go down, so don’t settle for something that’s too small. Many new technologies leverage the internet, and the unforeseen costs of any connectivity is bandwidth. Other questions to consider are:

  • What is the total number of users on the network?
  • What is the type of applications you will be utilizing and how will you be securing that environment?

Those questions will often “weed-out” some products but will shed light on technologies that could really enhance your day-to-day operations.

There are three common router options. Wired (Enterprise), Branch routers and Hybrid (Wireless) routers.

Wired / Enterprise Routers

Wired enterprise routers are designed to be deployed at your network’s edge and can deliver quality services while also generating high-level security for your network. They’re a viable deployment option for data centers, medium to large size companies and branch offices. Voice, video, data, and mobile needs often turn to wired enterprise routers.

Wired enterprise routers are the powerhouse for transporting IP traffic in either static or dynamic options. These routers sit at the point where a LAN or WAN connects to external networks. Look for options that are multi-layer so that they can support a greater number of connections and duties. Layer 3 routing is a must-have, but if you can securely add in voice over IP or video technologies, the switching architecture of a Layer 2 or encryption capabilities, then you’ll be in better shape with your investment.

Regardless of the technology, always focus on security. Routers are the interaction point between your own, trusted enterprise network and other outside networks and you must make sure the security protocols are reliable. You will have multiple security options, but today you can securely facilitate VPN tunnels, provide state-based inspections and use intrusion detection signature matching protocols, which not only enhance connectivity but give you a great deal of control over your environment.

Branch Routers

Branch routers are designed to optimize the branch services you offer on a single platform, enhancing overall availability. These are the tools used when running services and applications at a high level continuously. They’re your bread-and-butter at remote locations.

Branch routers typically don’t worry about edge requirements and instead deliver functionality that you need in the core network. Branch routers will sit on the far end of your WAN and serve as a connection point for your enterprise routers and remote locations, delivering a greater number of connection options.

Common branch router functions that differ from edge routers may include wireless, voice, mobile and typically vary based upon the size of the network. Today’s branch routers are not only allowing higher forms of connectivity, but manufacturers are also brazenly making them with spam filters, smart encryption, traffic shaping, content-dependent controls and much more.

For deploying a branch service, the router is key. Consider the full range of media services engines and service-ready engines that allow you to run applications from the manufacturers themselves — like a voice on a Cisco unified communications technology platform — as well as some units that are specifically designed for industrial networks where there is a greater level of ambient radio frequency interference or to accommodate for difficult environmental conditions.

Hybrid (Wireless) Routers

Hybrid routers are designed to generally support a small network. These routers tend to offer basic connectivity options and generally include wireless as an expanded service. Many of these routers are reliable but typically do not scale as well as their enterprise partners. They may be limited in functionality, which can be a good fit for a small network with limited connections to other locations, etc.

My Final Thoughts:

What makes your environment unique? What customer demand or existing problem are you trying to solve? Thinking about how your network is used, where its faults could be and where it’s projected to grow in the next five years will get you started on the right path to ensuring you choose the right WAN technology.

Today, the big consideration is software-defined networking because SD-WAN architecture is becoming more available and is providing significant improvements in operational efficiency as well as network profitability. As always, if you have any questions or need assistance with obtaining the right router for your organization, give us a call. I'm happy to speak with you to optimize your network!

Routing is a protocol in computer networking that involves the process of forwarding data packets between different networks or network segments. It is responsible for determining the best path for data to travel from the source to the destination based on various factors such as network topology, traffic conditions, and routing policies. Routing protocols are the set of rules and algorithms used by routers to exchange routing information and make informed decisions about packet forwarding. Let's explore the basics of routing and some commonly used routing protocols.

Routing Basics:

In a computer network, data is divided into packets before transmission. Each packet contains the source and destination addresses, along with the actual data. When a packet needs to be sent from one network to another, routing comes into play. Routers are network devices that connect different networks and make decisions about the path a packet should take to reach its destination.

Routing involves three main components:

  1. Routing Table: A routing table is a data structure maintained by routers, which contains information about various networks and the paths to reach them. It typically includes network addresses, next-hop routers, and metrics that indicate the cost or  preference associated with each route.

 2.  Routing Algorithms: Routing algorithms are mathematical algorithms used by   
      routers to determine the best path for packet forwarding based on the information in  
      the routing table. These algorithms consider factors like network congestion, link
      reliability, and administrative preferences to calculate the optimal route.

 3.  Routing Protocols: Routing protocols are a set of rules and procedures that routers
      use to exchange routing information with each other and maintain consistent routing
      tables across the network. These protocols ensure that routers have up-to-date
      knowledge of the network topology and can adapt to changes dynamically.

Common Routing Protocols:

There are various routing protocols used in computer networks, each designed for specific network environments and requirements. With the implementation of faster transport mediums and new IP addressing, these routing protocols are being updated regularly. Here are some of the commonly used routing protocols:

Routing Information Protocol (RIP): RIP is one of the oldest distance-vector routing protocols. It uses hop count as the metric to determine the best path. RIP has a maximum hop count limit, which restricts its usage in larger networks.

Open Shortest Path First (OSPF): OSPF is a link-state routing protocol that calculates the shortest path based on the link cost. It is widely used in large enterprise networks due to its scalability and fast convergence.

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP): BGP is the protocol used to exchange routing information between different autonomous systems (AS) in the Internet. It is a path-vector protocol that makes routing decisions based on policies, allowing network administrators to have fine-grained control over the path selection.

Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP): EIGRP is a Cisco proprietary routing protocol that combines the features of both distance-vector and link-state protocols. It provides fast convergence, scalability, and supports multiple routing metrics.

Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS): IS-IS is a link-state routing protocol used in larger networks, particularly in service provider environments. It is based on the same principles as OSPF and supports hierarchical network design.

These are just a few examples of routing protocols, and there are many more, each with its own strengths and suitable use cases. The choice of routing protocol depends on factors such as network size, scalability requirements, administrative control, and compatibility with existing infrastructure. Need help choosing the right protocol for you network? Give our sales team a call and we will get you in touch with one of our expert Engineers. We look forward to hearing from you!

304-201-7485 or email

When it comes to selecting a router for business purposes, there are several types available, each with its own features, capabilities, and suitability for specific network requirements. Here are some common types of routers used in business environments:

Enterprise Routers: Enterprise routers are designed for large-scale networks and are typically used in corporate environments.


Small Business Routers: are geared towards smaller organizations or branch offices that require reliable connectivity but may not have the same scalability or complex network requirements as larger enterprises.

Branch office routers: are specifically designed for connecting remote branch locations to a central network.

Integrated Service Router (ISR) is a versatile networking device that combines the functionality of a traditional router with various integrated services, allowing businesses to consolidate their networking infrastructure and simplify management.

Virtual Router: is a software-based router that operates on a virtualized platform, typically running on a virtual machine or a container. It provides routing

When selecting a router for your business, it's important to consider factors such as your network size, anticipated traffic volume, security requirements, scalability needs, budget, and future growth plans. Give us a call to consult with our network specialists who can help you choose the most suitable router for your specific business needs.

304-201-7485 or email




Welcome to the team, Lauren!

As part of the onboarding process we have asked Lauren a set of questions so you can get to know her. Provided are her responses:

In your own words, explain your position with Alpha Technologies: I'm an Accountant assisting with Accounts Payable.

Why did you take this position with Alpha Technologies: To transition back in the private sector (since I came from government) and I've worked with Drew and DJ in the past. I wanted the opportunity to learn from them.

Mind telling us about your education history prior to Alpha Technologies?: BBA in accounting from Marshall University. Graduated in 2016. My work history is an accounting firm, coal company, and state government.

Do you have any family members, pets, etc. you would like to brag about?: My husband, Sam and I have two amazing dogs: Cleopatra and Blue. They are our world.

How do you spend your free time? Hobbies? Special Interests?: Taking dogs to the dog park and antique shopping. I love antiques shopping.




Alpha friends, today marks a significant milestone as our esteemed colleague, Sherry Chapman, is retiring from her role at our company.

Sherry has been an invaluable asset to our team, contributing her exceptional skills and dedication throughout her tenure, adding to the growth of Alpha Technologies.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Sherry for her significant contributions and wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement. Sherry has been working since she was 16 years old, so this is long overdue!

Thank you, Sherry! - Alpha Technologies



Recognizing the growing importance of staying informed and up to date in today’s evolving IT landscape, we have invested in establishing a platform that provides clients with a wealth of helpful resources. Welcome to the new Alpha blog: Alpha-Bits! Alpha-Bits serves as a hub for informative articles, tutorials, industry trends, and best practices, covering a wide range of IT-related topics from our very own employees. By leveraging the power of our blog, you can empower your organization with the knowledge and expertise needed when it concerns your technology and cybersecurity. These will be available on our website under the Media section soon!  Click the images below to head over to the Alpha Technologies Blog Pages!


Doug Tate

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Account Manager


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Sales Manager


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Inside Sales Account Executive


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