Residing With the Synology RT6600ax Wi-Fi 6 Router

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Synology is finest identified for its NAS (Community-Hooked up Storage) units, however over the previous few years, it’s expanded into promoting routers and entry factors. I’ve been happy with my present Synology router. However recently, I’ve been in search of extra throughput now that I’ve a gigabit cable pace in addition to an rising reliance on lively intrusion detection. So, I upgraded my house workplace router, a Synology RT2200ac, to the brand new Synology RT6600ax Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router shortly after it got here out. It has an MSRP of $299, but it surely’s at the moment $399 on Amazon.

As with its NAS models, a part of the enchantment is Synology’s easy-to-use and well-supported software program. That is very true for many who are already conversant in Synology’s NAS OS or its DiskStation Supervisor (DSM). Should you’ve skilled these, its router OS, Synology Router Supervisor (SRM), might be completely acquainted.

I’ve waited to write down a overview till Synology up to date SRM to permit me to make use of the brand new router with my outdated router and MR2200ac entry factors, so I may consider its mesh routing efficiency. General, the brand new router is a large improve and a really aggressive providing.

Synology RT6600ax by the Numbers

The 6600 upgrades the dual-core 1.7GHz CPU of the 2600 to a quad-core 1.8GHz mannequin. Extra cores do appear to make the system extra responsive and able to dealing with extra purposes on the identical time. There are additionally two extra antennas, and one of many ethernet ports can deal with as much as 2.5Gbps.

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The SD card reader is gone, however there’s a USB 3 port for exterior storage. You’ll want that for sure purposes like intrusion detection. Its prime pace is elevated to 4.8Gbps utilizing 802.11ax. It’s additionally considerably bigger and heavier than its predecessor, however that shouldn’t make a distinction in most use circumstances. The 6600 comes with the identical two-year guarantee and has about the identical 11-watt energy consumption when lively.

So far as theoretical whole throughput goes, the RT6600ax is a tri-band AX6600 router, rated for speeds of as much as 600Mbps on the two.4GHz band, 4.8Gbps on its first 5GHz band, and 1.2Gbps on its different 5GHz band, for a possible whole of 6.6Gbps. It helps the 5.9GHz band, giving it some additional channels. It doesn’t help Wi-Fi 6e, though the 5.9GHz band provides you most of the identical benefits when you have {hardware} that helps its 160MHz channels.

Positioned subsequent to the 6600ax (the highest 4 Wi-Fi assessments), I used to be in a position to get double the throughput I may get from the identical system when it was subsequent to our older 2600ac (backside Wi-Fi check). My pace did drop off pretty quickly with distance. For extra detailed assessments, the lab at our sister publication, PC Journal, was used of their overview.

A couple of different specs have been bumped up which will make the router extra thrilling for classy customers—together with the addition of VLAN help. Within the case of our house + workplace, now we have near 50 units on our LAN, about 30 of which relate to IoT of some sort. It’d make numerous sense to maneuver these to their very own VLAN given how prevalent safety points are for low-level units.

There are some elevated Secure Entry and Parental Management choices, however I haven’t had time to experiment with both of these. There are additionally loads of different packages you’ll be able to set up if you wish to do extra tweaking of the router’s performance, by including a DNS or VPN server, for instance. Synology’s packages are primarily curated variations of Linux apps with a easy interface for putting in and updating them.

Synology’s SRM router OS gives a fully-windowed person interface that could be a shut cousin to its DSM NAS interface.

Synology SRM 1.3 Software program

DS Router application screen

Synology’s Router app

As somebody who spends an inordinate period of time coping with obtuse router, change, and ATA configurations to get my work achieved, I admire Synology’s capacity to supply a easy, mostly-clickable, interface to the performance of its units in contrast with the command-line instruments many others require. It’s not good, although. Specifically, discovering its record of DHCP shoppers at all times appears elusive. Nonetheless, SRM’s Search characteristic is nice for locating instructions and settings, and the screens are well-designed, with good suggestions while you make a change, or when a change is incompatible. There are additionally loads of choices for the way and while you wish to get upgrades for each packages and the OS, and I’ve at all times discovered the improve course of seamless.

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Mesh Routing Utilizing the RT6600ax

One motive I’ve waited to publish this overview is that mesh routing wasn’t absolutely supported till not too long ago. With SRM 1.3.1, you should use your RT2600ac and MT2200ac units as Wi-Fi connection factors. The interface is similar to that of the older mannequin, and allows you to add Wi-Fi entry factors both wired or over Wi-Fi. I obtained confused at first as a result of the assistance file says to reset the entry factors earlier than you add them, but it surely additionally says they should be upgraded to the newest OS model. Given my assumption {that a} reset would reset the OS, I went round in circles a bit till Synology help helped me out by saying I may improve after which reset with out dropping the brand new OS.

6600ax rear panel

Synology makes it straightforward to create a mesh Wi-Fi community utilizing its routers. My present MR2200ac units labored properly, with good efficiency. Surprisingly, my outdated RT2200ac didn’t carry out properly as a mesh entry level.

The one situation I’ve had with the mesh answer thus far is that if I place two entry factors and the router in a triangle, then units can generally get dropped. I believed it is likely to be as a result of one of many APs adjustments from getting fed by the router to getting its backhaul from the opposite AP. I locked that down in settings (a pleasant characteristic), however that wasn’t the reply. In the end, I simply moved the APs to be in additional of a “line” out from the router.

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Excessive-performance Risk Prevention

One situation I’ve discovered with many routers is that despite the fact that they could provide an possibility for intrusion and risk safety, that possibility significantly diminished the system’s throughput. With the RT6600ax, I used to be pleasantly stunned to seek out that I may run Synology’s Lively Risk Prevention and nonetheless get almost 1Gbps from our cable supplier via to related units. On the 2600ac router, activating its equal package deal precipitated a efficiency hit, even at decrease speeds.

Synology Updates and Assist

In my expertise, Synology’s software program updates and help are highlights of the corporate’s choices. Each product I’ve examined has an easy interface that means that you can test for, obtain, and set up updates. Newer releases allow you to set these as much as occur mechanically. That’s particularly helpful when you have some “equipment” NAS models for video surveillance or different low-level features that you just aren’t spending time actively managing. All of the releases even have complete launch notes. Synology help has additionally been fairly responsive, at all times with higher than a 24-hour turnaround in my expertise.

Worth and Availability

At its MSRP of $299, the Synology RT6600ax is a bit more costly than some fashions with comparable specs, however you get a wonderful set of pre-packaged purposes, a simple interface for including and managing new packages, and a well-tested router OS. Nonetheless, proper now it’s exhausting to seek out one for that worth, for some motive. Hopefully, that may change quickly.

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