Synology is a well-known brand for their NAS solutions. In 2015, they broadened their portfolio with their first router, the RT1900 ac, that didn’t got released in Europe. The Asian brand will try again with another model that we will be able to find in authorized distributors and comes with a pristine specs sheet. We’ve been testing it during the last few weeks and these are our impressions.
The Synology RT2600ac is a high-end product, aimed to a highly advanced user profile, who wants and knows how to make the most of his network. In fact, it utilizes technologies and functionalities that are also valid for professional environments, such as small offices.
The router is presented in a sober package, accompanied by all of its accessories for its installation. It also includes a quick start guide, but we highly recommend to check out the user manual that can be downloaded online on PDF, if you want to make the most of your device.
Built from high quality plastic and with a black matte finish, the Synology RT2600ac goes for a discrete aesthetic, putting functionality first. On the top, it has vents (heat is a big enemy of routers, designed to work 24/7), while the sides are used for connection ports.
While there are no big surprises related to the number of ports (2 x USB, 4 WAN Gigabit, SD), Synology has included the SmartWan function in two Ethernet ports. This way, one can swap between two internet providers when one of these is failing, the connection is weak or if the load needs balancing, something that can result practical in professional scenarios.
At a technical level, we have a wireless router with dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac support, that can reach transfer rates of up to 800 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 1,833 Mbps on 2.4 GHz. Combined, they can reach 2,530 Mbps, depending on the manufacturer.
On its inside, a 1.7 GHz dual core processor and a 512 MB DDR3 RAM guarantee more than enough hardware to deal with any connectivity issue without stopping.
MU-MIMO technology, or a router to connect them all.
Nowadays it’s relatively simple to find homes where there are more than four devices connected to the internet at the same time. From smartphones refreshing their Instagram feed, to online gaming consoles, to laptops streaming series. Correctly managing that connectivity demand is not an easy task and this tends to be a regular complaint between users that have the internet provider’s free router.
This way, the router identifies each connected device, providing the highest bandwidth available. Besides, it detects the device’s position, directing the signal to that spot, working as efficiently as possible.
All of this means a better experience for the user that just has to enjoy his internet connection, because the router Works automatically, unless a more specific configuration is needed.
The software marks the difference
One of the key aspects of this device is the inclusion of an operating system that is light years ahead from any other router. The SRM is inspired by DSM (used by every NAS in the company) and it will allow us to make the most of the device’s hardware, install apps, create a multimedia server, design our own private cloud and much more.
This way, you just need to plug in an external disc drive to an USB port to have a network unit from which you can access our favorite contents or download torrents, thanks to the built-in app. It also works well with streaming servers (we’ve tested Plex) and it’s fantastic if you’re looking for a simple local backup solution but you don’t want to invest on a NAS. Technical support by the company and constant updates will make sure you have a long lasting router.
Because of how the obtained speeds in these devices can vary depending on where and how they are tested, we’re not friends with including tedious networking analysis tables. However, we can talk about our real experience, connecting the router in a real environment with more than seven simultaneous users and obtaining a great performance under any circumstance.
In terms of speed via Wi-Fi, this RT2600ac is one of the fastest routers we’ve tried this year. From 15 meters, and on the 2.4 GHz band, we measured a 104 Mbps speed, that turn to 500 Mbps when using the 5 GHz band. Obviously, the results vary depending on the device used, the distance, the obstacles in the way and plenty other variables that we’ve commented on various occasions, but, in general terms, we can say that this router’s performance is outstanding.
The Synology RT2600ac turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The brand has found a way to take the excellent experience of their NAS and put it in such a mistreated device in terms of software as a router that, this time around, can become the center of a digital home.
This router can be bought at 270 Euros, a fair price for its quality that competes with similar devices. Synology’s added value is an excellent software, the including of latest generation technologies and an update policy that represents a whole guarantee.
On the flipside, we expect a better visual design for future models (not as much in construction, which is correct, but in details, such as LEDs or the connection panel), as well as an additional USB 3.0 port that allows us to take advantage of its potential. In any case, this router is a great option for anyone looking for a router capable of making the most of its local area and Internet connectivities.