Synology RT1900ac: Solid performer
This article first appeared in the December 2016 issue of HWM Malaysia.
Synology’s pedigree is firmly planted in network attached storage (NAS). They make some of the best personal, professional and enterprise NAS systems available in the market today. And so, it was a surprise to us when the company announced late last year that they will be releasing an AC1900 router. Now that we have one in our labs, we were intrigued with what it can do.
Beginning with its design, the RT1900ac has some notable surprises. It can be mounted on the wall, laid flat on a table, elevated on a table, or placed vertically. The latter two options gave the router ample air circulation, but in our tests, an AC1900 router does not get overly warm anyway.
On its side is an SD card reader, another feature we don’t usually see in a router. This, the USB port and the eject button in front of the router will make sense if we keep in mind about Synology’s pedigree.
While setting up the router, it was evident that Synology took all that they have learned from their NAS OS (a.k.a. DiskStation Manager), and applied them to the router’s OS (a.k.a. Synology Router Manager). Getting it up and running took a little time.
Compared to other well-known router’s interface, Synology’s is the most unique. More akin to a desktop, it is sparse but customizable. You don’t get a screen with all your network information summarized for you, but SRM has a feature that puts it above all other router’s interfaces: a search function. With it, locating the settings you need is made easy.
Two features of the RT1900ac stand out: The Package Center and its storage sharing capabilities. Both features stem from the company’s NAS models.
Plugging in a storage device via the router’s USB port or SD card slot essentially turns it into a NAS. With the apps available in the Package Center, you can turn this setup into your media server, download station, or personal cloud backup. With the VPN Plus Server package, you can also turn the RT1900ac into a powerful VPN server.
The router’s performance is solid. However, its 5GHz range is a little lacking. On the 5GHz band at a close range of five meters, it scored a sustained speed of 587Mbps. At 10 meters, it scored 150Mbps and it keeps dropping dramatically the further you go. File transfer speeds, on the other hand, were on the conservative side, especially when compared to the NAS. This is understandable as it uses USB 3.0 at best.
For more Synology Malaysia updates, drop by their official Facebook page.