I've been a big fan of the Synology router line since it was first debuted. I had to go way back in my photos to find the CES 2016 award winning RT1900ac.
The RT1900ac had a nice spot in our home for a long time. It was incredibly popular since it ran a version of Synology's popular management software, Synology Router Manager. SRM was also manageable via smartphone app for on the go needs.
Then came the RT2600ac. It had more capabilities and a lot of throughput. SRM improved and Synology added a mesh router add-on to the mix. It also had a healthy lifespan in HSS HQ. I literally told thousands of people how good the wifi was on this device. It had reach further than any access point I ever tested. If not for my sprawling HQ it would have handled all my devices perfectly. The parental controls were perfect for my family and easy to adjust on the fly for those late night sleepovers when kids "need" wifi.
All good things must come to end though. Much like my Def Leppard, Pyromania cassette in the 80's, the RT2600ac was worn completely out. It served as the home router and went with us when we travelled for extended periods. It was even packed up and used as the backbone for a few of the famous "Home Server Show Meetups." Many a packet flowed through its veins until it could no longer keep up. Through no fault of its own mind you. It took a few tumbles along the way!
Here is the 2600ac getting threatened with the "RESET" device. Meet the newest addition to the Synology family, the RT6600ax.
Built around the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, the RT6600ax tri-band router can deliver up to 6.6 Gbps in combined wireless throughput.1 The three radios work in tandem with the configurable 2.5GbE WAN/LAN port to ensure the maximum connection speed for each device. Powered by our constantly evolving Synology Router Manager operating system, the RT6600ax is designed to make securing and managing your network simple.
• Supercharged Performance Expanded 5.9 GHz spectrum support enables additional high-speed 80 and 160 MHz channels
• Built for Fast Networking 2.5GbE port enables support for the fastest ISPs and can optionally be configured as a LAN port
• Secure Network Foundation Create and define up to 5 separate networks to segregate and contain vulnerable devices
• Granular Management Tools Parental controls, web filtering, traffic control, and threat prevention put you in control over your network
• Simple Remote Access Comprehensive VPN server solution with remote desktop and site-to-site tunneling provides flexible and secure remote connectivity
I'm also happy to see it still has the Wi-Fi "on/off" switch on the box in case you just want to use the router capabilities. That seems so simple but many devices on the market don't have this option. Some don't let you turn the wifi off at all! Readers of HSS and enthusiasts alike are thankful to have the choice and provide their own wifi gear.
Connectivity for the Internet of Tomorrow The RT6600ax is engineered to deliver state-of-the-art performance for both wireless and wired devices.
• The quad-core 1.8 GHz processor ensures everything stays fast even when more devices are connected and additional filtering plus management features are fully utilized
• Tri-band Wi-Fi (2.4 + 5 + 5 GHz) provides more bandwidth for different devices, especially when combined with Smart Connect to automatically optimize each device’s connection for range or speed
• Expanded 5.9 GHz band support provides additional interference-free 80 and 160 MHz channel support to support higher connection speeds • A flexible 2.5GbE port can be configured for WAN or LAN use for high-speed ISP plans, or connecting high-speed desktops or NAS
A Solid Network Foundation to Support All Your Devices Powered by the Synology Router Manager (SRM) operating system, the RT6600ax and other Synology routers are built with the same security and reliability focus as our NAS/SAN systems. SRM's suite of management solutions is designed from the ground up to help admins harden their networks.
• Create up to 5 separate networks to group and separate devices based on their role and purpose, and map up to 15 wireless SSIDs2 to each network
• Define individual networks and the devices on them with network-wide or independent sets of firewall rules, access policies, traffic control, parental controls, web filtering, and more
• Each configurable network supports VLAN tagging and fits into any existing 802.1q compliant network across all usage modes — router, AP, and in a mesh setup (with multiple Wi-Fi points connected)
• Advanced network administrators can configure the Threat Prevention engine to perform network inspection at the packet level to find and drop potentially malicious traffic
Granular Access Controls and Web Filtering SRM features powerful access and content administration capabilities that enable parents or network admins to set up clear access rules and define allowed or blocked content.
• Access and web filters can be defined by profiles that can be applied to all devices by default or only to specific devices
• Set browsing schedules and maximum daily internet access time, configurable per individual user and day of the week
• Set web filtering based on 18 common categories of websites for each user profile and optionally add separate allow or blocklists. Web filtering can also be activated on a scheduled basis
• Set up safe search filtering per profile with integrated support for YouTube, Google, and Bing platforms
• Enable network-wide automatic blocking of known malicious traffic using the constantly updated DNS/IP Threat Intelligence Database • Keep track of different user profiles’ browsing habits to analyse network use or protect your environment and children
Secure Remote Access for Hybrid or Remote Work RT6600ax includes powerful VPN server capabilities to enable simple, but secure remote access into your network. The free Synology VPN Plus solution includes comprehensive connectivity options to fit different needs.
• Synology SSL VPN is a high-performance option leveraging dedicated clients for PC, mac, and mobile platforms that enables the broadest support for any protocol, such as file access over SMB, iSCSI, Windows RDP, SSH, and more
• WebVPN is a lightweight client-free option that provides direct access to internal websites directly from the browser
• Remote Desktop enables easy remote access to Windows, macOS, and RDP or VNC compatible devices on your network directly through your browser
• Site-to-Site VPN bridges remote locations together to enable easier collaboration without requiring each client device to initiate their own VPN connections
• Set per-user permissions, or connect to existing Active Directory or LDAP directory services to simplify deployment and setup
With all that gushing about a box I have never touched, I'll remind you of the "brutal honesty" policy here at HSS. When I get my hands on this router I'll let you know what I think. The Synology track record tells me that it will be good. Real good.
Stay tuned for pricing and general availability. Also, comment below if you have questions or comments.