Synology RT1900ac High Speed Wireless AC Router Review

Our Summary Of The Synology RT1900ac Router

After working with the Synology Router for a few weeks of testing, we came away very impressed. Though we were surprised at first to see the formerly NAS-centric company entering such a hotly-contested market, we eventually realized the move makes sense from Synology's perspective. What we mean is routers are a lot like NAS drives, in that most of them use similar hardware so it's really the software that sets them apart. On that front, using Synology's SRM OS was a wholly different experience than using any of the other browser-based UIs from Linksys, Netgear, Asus, etc, and one that we found to be a lot more intuitive, with a lot more control over every aspect of the router's operation. In fact, it seems like every possible facet of the router is able to be modified and easily. It's a welcome change, and one we hope other router manufacturers adopt.
Overall the setup and administration of this router was the best we've ever experienced, just because it was simple, easy-to-use, and intuitive. We never found ourselves wondering where a certain feature was located in the interface, though to be honest we realize many users don't really need to do much to a router beyond the initial setup. If you're a power user and routinely like to tweak settings and optimize, the Synology RT1900ac is a breath of fresh air.

All in all, the software seems incredibly solid, but this router still has a quirk or two. First, it's disappointing to see just one USB port, as we honestly can't remember the last time we saw a router with only one. Sharing a printer and a USB drive is somewhat common these days, or so we thought, so it's surprising to find just one port. On the same note, instead of there being an extra USB port there's an SD card reader, which is also something we haven't seen on a router in, oh, forever. We do know that almost every consumer camera made these days uses these cards, however, and it's a really nice add-on if you have easy access to your router and want to quickly pop a card in for easy group access.
Also, though we think Synology is on the right track with its software, the addition of its NAS packages seems a bit out of place at the moment simply because several of them need a Synology NAS to even function. The lure of "more to come" is certainly tempting, but we have no idea if Synology will update its SRM to include any must-have packages in the future, because at the present there are none. We'll certainly say we're hopeful Synology can continue to deliver new and interesting functionality in the future via these "package" downloads, but we'll have to wait and see on that. 

The Synology RT1900 router delivers extremely competitive performance on its 5GHz band, and its software is also on a whole different level than most routers, but is it worth the $149 or so? That is a tougher call because the Synology Router straddles the line between "bare bones" AC1900 routers, and high-end MU-MIMO routers like the $200 Linksys EA7500 (review coming soon). Other mainstream routers offer the exact same 802.11ac bandwidth (1,300Mb/s) with much admittedly much more simplistic and clunky administration functionality, but can be found for under $100. Compared to other $150 AC routers, the Synology is our favorite, hands-down, and in general if you're going to be spending somewhere in the realm of $100+ or so for an AC router, our advice is to just splurge a little and get the Synology RT1900ac Router. Its rock-solid performance on the 5GHz band and sublime interface are as good as it gets in a dual-band router.

hothardware recommended

  • Brilliant UI
  • Fantastic 5GHz performance
  • Slick mobile app
  • Lack-luster 2.4GHz performance
  • One USB port

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