When I reviewed Synology’s debut wireless router, the RT1900ac, I gave it high marks because of its 5GHz throughput performance and robust feature set, but thought its 2.4GHz and file transfer speeds could possibly be better. The business’s follow-up router, the RT2600ac ($229.99), offers solid 2.4GHz and 5GHz throughput and adds some new features, including support for MU-MIMO data streaming and dual-WAN connectivity. In addition, it offers comprehensive parental controls, traffic monitoring, and intrusion protection. Having said that, the Editors’ Choice D-Link AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-885L/R) is an improved all-around performer, if you are willing to pay a supplementary $50.

Packed With Features
At 3 by 11 by 6.6 inches (HWD) the RT2600ac can be an average-sized router. It has four removable and adjustable antennas, four gigabit LAN ports, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, a dedicated WAN port, and an Sdcard slot. LAN port number 1 can be utilised as secondary WAN port to aid 2Gbps WAN together with give a failsafe if the key WAN connection is lost. Additionally, the Synology Router Manager (SRM) console permits you to load balance traffic across both WAN connections. The left side of the router includes a WPS button and a Wi-Fi button, and there are Reset and Power buttons around back.

Under the hood certainly are a dual-core 1.7GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 802.11ac circuitry that supports AC2600 dual-band Wi-Fi (800Gbps at 2.4GHz, 1.73Gbps at 5GHz) and the most recent Wave 2 technologies including beamforming, band steering, and MU-MIMO data streaming. Leading of the router houses a number of LED indicators for power, Internet (WAN), all LAN ports, both USB ports, and WPS activity.

Much like the RT1900ac, the RT2600ac could be managed using the windows-like SRM web console or with the DS Router mobile iphone app (iOS and Android). The mobile iphone app offers parental control and traffic-control settings, guest networking, and basic wireless settings, however the web console is better quality. It includes tiles for a Network Center, a Control Panel, a Package Center, and an SRM Help Center. Click on the Network Center tile to see upload and download speeds, visit a set of linked devices, configure wireless settings, and create guest networks, in addition to configure Firewall, Denial of Service (DoS), Port Forwarding, and DHCP server settings. Here you need to use parental controls to block usage of social networking sites and the ones which contain adult content, drug use, malware, and more. Also you can create Access to the internet schedules for every single client. Traffic Control settings permit you to assign bandwidth priority to specific clients, monitor live traffic usage, and view historical consumption reports.

The Control Panel enables you to create attached storage shares with permissions for each and every client, configure Windows, Mac, and FTP file services, add network printers, and configure email, SMS, and push notifications for whenever there are USB storage issues or when system updates can be found. The Package Center offers links to Synology and third-party applications including VPN utilities, cloud file-sharing software, image album sharing software, and more. The Security Advisor application scans your network for potential malware and other cyber threats and will be offering detailed reports and recommended actions.

Easy Setup, Solid Performance
Installing the RT2600ac is without headaches. I linked the router to my host PC and the web, which automatically launched the setup screen in a browser window. I was prompted to create an administrator user name and password and name the network SSID and choose an procedure mode (router or AP). Then i selected AutoIP and was finished.

The RT2600ac delivered good throughput inside our performance tests. Its score of 101Mbps on the two 2.4GHz close-proximity (same room) test is somewhat faster compared to the Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600 MU-MIMO Dual-Band Wireless Gigabit Router NBG6817 (97.2Mbps) and right up there with the Trendnet AC2600 TEW-827 (108Mbps) and the D-Link AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router DIR-885L/R (103Mbps). Far away of 30 feet, the RT2600ac scored 81.5Mbps, beating the Zyzel Z2 (69.9Mbps) and the Trendnet TEW-827 (75.3Mbps), however, not the D-Link DIR-885L/R (85.5Mbps). The RT2600ac’s score of 501Mbps on the 30-foot close-proximity test is fast, however, not quite as fast as the Zyxel Z2 (558Mbps), the Trendnet TEW-827 (590Mbps), or the D-Link DIR-885L/R (572Mbps). However, its score of 298Mbps at 30 feet is second to the D-Link DIR-885L/R (350Mbps) and beat out the Zyxel Z2 (251Mbps) and the Trendnet TEW-827 (260Mbps).

To check the RT2600ac’s MU-MIMO throughput, I used three identical Acer Aspire R13 laptops built with Qualcomm’s QCA61x4A MU-MIMO circuitry. Its score of 173Mbps on the close-proximity test bests the Zyxel Z2 (150Mbsp), but doesn’t keep pace with the Trendnet TEW-827 (238.3Mbps) or the D-Link Dir-885L/R (237Mbps). At 30 feet, the RT2600ac averaged 100Mbps as the Zyxel Z2 scored 72Mbps and the Trendnet TEW-827 scored 127.6Mbps. The D-Link DIR-885L/R leads with 165Mbps.

Its transfer speeds, that i tested by moving a 1.5GB folder containing a variety of music, photos, video, and document files, are mediocre. Its write speed of 32.6MBps and read speed of 34.2MBps are a lttle bit slower compared to the D-Link Dir-885L/R’s speeds (33.2MBps write, 44.1MBps read) and drastically slower than our file transfer leader, the Linksys WRT3200 ACM (74MBps write, 88MBps read). The Zyxel Z2 scored 35.1MBps (read) and 51.2MBps (write), and the Trendnet TEW-827 scored 30.3MBps and 53.7MBps, respectively.

Good Performance With Plenty of Perks
The Synology Router RT2600ac offers a good range of management tools that enable you to filter website content, schedule bandwidth priority, monitor usage, and help to keep your house or small office safe from malicious cyber threats. This is a cinch to install and will be offering the most recent Wave 2 Wi-Fi technologies, including MU-MIMO simultaneous data streaming, computerized band steering, and beamforming (wide-spectrum signal broadcasting). Although the RT2600ac’s throughput performance is solid, our Editors’ Choice for midrange routers, the D-Link AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-885L/R), is drastically faster and offers lots of the same management features, albeit for a cost of $50 more. It generally does not support dual WAN just like the RT2600ac, nonetheless it does accept DD-WRT open source firmware, that provides advanced and customizable management options for optimized performance.