In this year, the rise of smartphones has meant that it’s now easy for a technical device-makers to threw away a cheap ARM processor, it leads to the rise of smart gadgets around the entire technical area or you can say beyond that. Smart does not implies that it is equally better– features make them worth paying for. Many makers tried to make their gadgets smart but they miss that hit, most of them near to the best but they aren’t.
The latest company Synology’s gave the ‘smart router’ concept, but while the Taiwanese device-maker has a long and well-respected history with network-attached storage (NAS) boxes, it’s actually fairly new to the router game – the RT2600ac is only its second offering, following up on the RT1900ac that was released back in late 2015.
Synology has been fighting a bit, but its ability in the NAS arena has bought it a lot of good will. There’s a lot of third-party applications that enhance and extend their level that what their NAS devices can do. And Synology has been able to transfer over to its routers.
How does this second ‘smart’ router differ from its forebear?
RT2600ac’s has an extra Wi-Fi antenna, making for a total of four (all of which are removable) to match the internal 1,733Mbps (on 5GHz) and 800Mbps (on 2.4GHz) ‘4×4’ 802.11ac radio setup.
Round the back there’s the same quota of four Gigabit Ethernet ports alongside a Gigabit internet (aka WAN) port – there’s no built-in ADSL, VDSL or cable modem, so you’ll need to BYO in that area.
A USB 3.0 port lives on the left side of the device, around the corner from the front-mounted SD card reader. There’s an eject button for safely removing storage devices from both.
You’ll need to also plug in a USB hard drive. That includes a download program that supports not just HTTP and FTP-based downloading, but also supports BitTorrent and usenet too; Cloud Station, which lets you host your own cloud-storage server (a-la Dropbox or Google Drive) and remotely sync files to Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android devices; and File Station, a file manager that lets you access the contents of any USB-connected drives from directly within the SRM web interface – a blessing that means there’s no clumsy browsing for network shares through your PC’s File Explorer (or Finder for those on Macs). If you want to copy, move or delete files, just open up the browser interface and launch File Station and you can jump right in – you can even drag and drop files between multiple File Station windows, exactly as you would on a PC.
Compared to other similar AC routers, the RT2600ac performed well in most of the benchmarks we ran. In medium-range 5GHz tests with a 3×3 802.11ac adapter in a desktop PC, we managed maximum transfer speeds of around 77MB/s (around 620Mbps), which was a very good deal and faster than similar results from a Netgear R7000 device – the latter’s our resident AC1900 router, and tapped out at 60MB/s transfer speeds.