|At a glance|
|Product||Synology AC2600 Router (RT2600ac) [Website]|
|Summary||Qualcomm-based AC2600 class app-based router with Gigabit Ethernet ports, USB 2.0 / 3.0 storage and printer sharing and MU-MIMO support.|
|Pros||• Features expandable via add-in apps|
• Good Wi-Fi performance
• Supports some DFS channels
• MU-MIMO works well
|Cons||• No Wireless bridge support|
• Still a relative newcomer to a highly competitive market
Typical Price: $210 Shop Amazon
Update 2/10/17 - Various Wi-Fi feature updates
Synology apparently thinks the Wi-Fi router market is worth pursuing, because it's back with more grist for the mill. This time, it's a Qualcomm-based 4x4 MU-MIMO enabled model dubbed the RT2600ac.
The RT2600ac is very much like its RT1900ac predecessor we reviewed last March in both form and function. Both have a fingerprint-resistant black matte "vapor blast" finish. The RT2600ac appears to have better ventilation with plenty of slots on top and bottom. Its front panel LEDs have been moved to the top of the router vs. the RT1900ac's front edge.
Synology RT2600ac front and rear
The RT2600ac's back end is elevated by two legs molded into its bottom cover. Although there are wall-mount screw slots also molded into the bottom, you won't be able to actually wall mount it without sawing off the plastic legs. Synology also dispensed with the bracket included with the RT1900ac that stands it up almost vertically.
Synology's main attempt at standing out among the multitude of Wi-Fi routers competing for your wallet is the SRM OS that gives this hunk of plastic and silicon life. SRM has the look and feel of Synology's DSM NAS operating system and can be enhanced by installing add-on packages.
The image below shows the front and rear panel callouts. Note the Ethernet WAN and LAN ports don't have link / activity LEDs. There are both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports (the RT1900ac has only USB 3.0) and the SD card reader has been carried over from the RT1900ac. The four dual-band antennas are attached via RP-SMA connectors.
Synology RT2600ac callouts
I didn't have to open the RT2600ac after testing because its FCC ID internal pictures were available. As expected from its AC2600 classification, the router is a Qualcomm-based design vs. the RT1900ac's Broadcom-based platform.
The first photo shows the router with top cover removed, revealing a aluminum heat spreader plate that runs the width of the router. A similar plate also spans the other side of the board. Both are thermally coupled to hot spots via silicone pads.
Synology RT2600ac inside
Removing the plate shows nothing much on this side of the board except the 4 GB Toshiba eMMC at photo left. The light areas at photo center and right are thermal pads to couple top-side components to this board side's heat spreader.
Synology RT2600ac board bottom
The other side of the board, shown with heat spreader plate and RF can tops removed, holds most of the components. The Qualcomm IPQ8065 quad-core network processor and 512 MB DDR3 RAM is in the right-most can, with 5 GHz radio in the center and 2.4 GHz on the left.
Synology RT2600ac board top
Key components for both Synology routers are shown in Table 1 along with NETGEAR's R7800. The R7800 and RT2600ac's components are virtually identical,
but the RT2600ac's spec doesn't mention including 160 MHz bandwidth support, not that it matters. That's fine with me; 160 MHz support is just another shiny thing router makers are dangling in front of naive buyers to spur sales. It only benefits devices that also support it, and there aren't any of those yet, at least not in devices most of us own.
|Synology RT2600ac||NETGEAR R7800||Synology RT1900ac|
|CPU||Qualcomm IPQ8065 quad-core network processor @ 1.7 GHz||Qualcomm quad-core IPQ8065 Internet Processor @ 1.7 GHz||Broadcom BCM58622 @ 1 GHz|
|Switch||QCA8337||Qualcomm Atheros QCA8337||In BCM58622|
|RAM||512 MB||512 MB||256 MB|
|Flash||4 GB / 8 MB||128 MB||4 GB / 1 MB|
|2.4 GHz Radio||- QCA9984 4x4 Wave-2 802.11ac
- Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz Power Amp (x4)
| - QCA9984 4x4 MU-MIMO 802.11ac radio
- Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz power amp (x4)
|- Broadcom BCM43460
- Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz Power Amp (x3)
- Skyworks SKY13377 6 GHz SPDT switch (x3)
- Skyworks SKY15971 2.4 GHz LNA (x3)
|5 GHz radio||- QCA9984 4x4 Wave-2 802.11ac
- RFMD PA5542 5 GHz power amp (x4)
|- QCA9984 4x4 MU-MIMO 802.11ac radio
- RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz PA module (x4)
|- Broadcom BCM43460
- RFMD RFFM4552 5 GHz front end (x3)