Synology RT1900ac Review – Introduction

Synology RT1900ac: Your network, smart and swift.
Synology RT1900ac: Your network, smart and swift.

Review At A Glance
Product Synology RT1900ac WiFi Router [product link]
Summary A smart router with a decently powerful core with speedy WiFi that meets the needs for most households.
Pros+ Intuitive user interface
+ Ability to add new features via Package Center
+ Good WiFi performance on 5 GHz spectrum
+ Low cost compact server (VPN, DNS, etc.)
Cons – SRM doesn't really work on mobile web browsers (therefore there is the DS Router app)
- Moderate 5 GHz wireless range
SRP S$235 (at time of post)

 

The Synology RT1900ac WiFi router was announced on 1st October 2015 and first-wave launch markets (including Singapore) will got it on 6th October 2015. The Synology RT1900ac is powered by Synology Router Manager (SRM) operating system which is an intuitive desktop-like interface for users to manage the network and wireless settings.

 

 

The Synology RT1900 is a AC1900 class WiFi router capable of delivering contents wirelessly at combined speeds up to 1900 Mbps. The USB3.0 port and SD slot can be used to attach external storage devices, transforming the Synology RT1900ac into a NAS.

Key Components of the Synology RT1900ac WiFi Router
ProcessorBCM58622 (dual core 1GHz)
Memory256MB DDR3
Flash16MB
Storage4GB eMMC
SwitchBCM58622 (10/100/1000 Mbps)
Radio2.4GHz
+ BCM43460
5GHz
+ BCM43460

 

Interesting Features

Synology Router Manager – Game-changing experience

The Synology Router Manager.
The Synology Router Manager.

For those who are new to Synology, the SRM is a desktop-like interface that provides you with an intuitive way to manage your router.

 

Package Center – Adding new capabilities to your WiFi Router

Package Center. This is where you add new applications/capabilities to your Synology RT1900ac.
Package Center. This is where you add new applications/capabilities to your Synology RT1900ac.

Ever wished that you can add new capabilities (e.g. VPN, download manager) to your router? For those who are more technical inclined, you might have tried out dd-wrt, Open-Wrt or even find some means to optware your router. For the Synology RT1900ac, you can easily add supported applications via the Package Center.

 

Application Layer Quality of Service

Your sibling’s download is messing up your gaming experience? QoS features are pretty common nowadays and it is also available on the Synology RT1900ac. You can now monitor and control bandwidth consumption based on devices or individual application.

 

Package Contents

The Synology RT1900ac, like most of its NAS peers, arrived in a brown carton packaging with stickers and prints highlighting its features.
The Synology RT1900ac, like most of its NAS peers, arrived in a brown carton packaging with stickers and prints highlighting its features.

Like most of its NAS peers, the Synology RT1900ac is packed in a brown carton box. Nothing really fancy on the box except for couple of stickers and prints highlighting its features and certifications it has attained.

The Synology RT1900ac laid out: RT1900ac WiFi router, stand attachment, power adaptor, dual-band antennas, ethernet patch cord and quick installation guide.
The Synology RT1900ac laid out: RT1900ac WiFi router, stand attachment, power adaptor, dual-band antennas, ethernet patch cord and quick installation guide.

Inside the package, you will find the following:

  1. Synology RT1900ac WiFi Router
  2. Attachable stand
  3. Power adaptor
  4. 3 x dual-band antennas
  5. Ethernet patch cord
  6. Quick installation guide

 

The Synology RT1900ac

Synology RT1900ac: Your network, smart and swift.
Synology RT1900ac: Your network, smart and swift.

The Synology RT1900ac is matte black all around except for the glossy “Synology branding on the top face. There are three dual-band antennas and they can be rotated and angled to improve the WiFi performance. The router has got ventilation vents on its left, bottom and right face.

On this side of the Synology RT1900ac is the USB3.0 port and SD card slot.
On this side of the Synology RT1900ac is the USB3.0 port and SD card slot.

The USB3.0 port and SD card slot at the side of the Synology RT1900ac.
The USB3.0 port and SD card slot at the side of the Synology RT1900ac.

On the router’s right edge, there is the USB 3.0 and SD (SDXC) slot for external mass storage device, printer or supported 3G/ 4G mobile dongle.

On the front of the Synology RT1900ac are the LED indicator lights and Eject button for mass storage device attached to the USB3.0 port.
On the front of the Synology RT1900ac are the LED indicator lights and Eject button for mass storage device attached to the USB3.0 port.

The eject button for safe mass storage device unmount at the front of the Synology RT1900ac.
The eject button for safe mass storage device unmount at the front of the Synology RT1900ac.

On the front edge is the eject button for safe removal of attached external mass storage. LED indicator on it blinks orange when the router is attempting to safely remove the storage and displays a steady orange glow when it is safe to do so.

On this side of the Synology RT1900ac is the WPS button and WiFi on/off switch.
On this side of the Synology RT1900ac is the WPS button and WiFi on/off switch.

The WPS button and WiFi on/off switch at the side of the Synology RT1900ac.
The WPS button and WiFi on/off switch at the side of the Synology RT1900ac.

On the left edge is the WPS button and WiFi toggle switch. The WiFi toggle switch physically enables or disables the WiFi connectivity.

The back of the Synology RT1900ac: Power button, power jack, Gigabit WAN port, Gigabit LAN ports and SMA connectors for antenna.
The back of the Synology RT1900ac: Power button, power jack, Gigabit WAN port, Gigabit LAN ports and SMA connectors for antenna.

At the back of the router is where the Gigabit WAN port, Gigabit LAN ports, SMA connectors for antennas, power jack and power button are located.

The reset button underneath the Synology RT1900ac.
The reset button underneath the Synology RT1900ac.

The reset button can be found on the bottom face of the router.

LED indicator lights on the front of the Synology RT1900ac. They blink yellow. How I wished they were blue instead.
LED indicator lights on the front of the Synology RT1900ac. They blink yellow. How I wished they were blue instead.

Near the edge of the top face is where the LED indicators can be found – power, Internet, wireless, LAN, etc. They glow yellow and the LAN ports glows orange if it didn’t manage to negotiate Gigabit speed with the connected client.

 

The Synology Router Manager

For users of Synology NAS, the Synology Router Manager (SRM) will not be foreign to you as its look-and-feel is the same as DiskStation Manager. The user interface is desktop-like. In short, the SRM is intuitive way to manage the Synology RT1900ac.

And that's it. You have successfully completed the initial set up for the Synology RT1900ac.
And that’s it. You have successfully completed the initial set up for the Synology RT1900ac.

 

  • Fernando

    Many thanks for your detailed review. Looking forward to reading the rest, especially about the NAS part of the review. How is the WiFi range? Is it good?

  • shadowandy

    Fernando,

    I would say the WiFi range is similar to the ASUS RT-N66U and RT-AC66U that I had. The WiFi power setting (on the Synology RT1900ac) is limited to High/Medium/Low. Probably I will try changing the power level on terminal.

    On another note, the D-Link DIR-890L (that I have) have exceptional range. Again, the DIR-890L also only shows High/Medium/Low WiFi settings which I have no idea how much mW are each of the level pegged to.

  • Paulo

    Hi shadowandy,
    Thanks for your test… I’m looking forward to see the rest as well. I leave in Europe, and I’m looking to buy this Synology from Australia or New Zeland, but so far without sucess… I’m in a rush cause my old linksys just died last week 🙁 and to wait until mid november to come to europe it’s a pain 🙁

  • Fernando

    Many thanks Shadowandy! Great work! : ) Looking forward to reading the rest of your review!

  • Chee Siong Ong

    Hi, May I know if the router can change TX power?

  • Hi,

    The TX power can be set via those “high”, “medium”, “low” drop down options. It doesn’t allow to set values like mW.

  • Cookie Monster!

    HELP! I cannot access Elephant Drive GUI any more from DSM… I click the Elephant Drive link and it opens a new tab, does it’s redirection, then fails. It has worked for 18 months no issues. But now no backups…
    I cannot uninstall or open it 🙁
    I have disabled and uninstalled some more applications but it has not fixed the issue. 🙁 Device in use by approx 30 devices (inc. mobile devices).
    Gratefully appreciate any help! Even a rewards if can be fixed without resetting everything!
    Cheers!

  • Cookie Monster!

    I have the RT-AC66u and I think the Wi-Fi is better. The Synology is definitely over-rated for speed. The signal strength just drops off very quickly. So doesn’t have the same range, AND doesn’t have the same performance at the same distance from the unit.

    DSM is a great utility. Lots of updates and actively maintained by the Synology or DSM people 😀
    Advantage of Asus is flashing DD-WRT or Tomato or …. More features unlocked etc.

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