Synology RT1900ac Review – Using as NAS

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.

Nowadays, most consumer WiFi router is equipped with USB 2.0/3.0 port and offers the capability to share the attached storage out onto the network. Effectively turning it into a basic network attached storage (NAS). Notice that I mentioned “Basic” as they often have limited configuration options.

I would expect Synology, with its vast experience in the NAS business, to excel in this department. So let’s take a look at the NAS feature of the Synology RT1900ac.

 

 

The Synology RT1900ac is equipped with a USB 3.0 port and SDXC slot for users to attached storage media and/or printer for sharing with both Windows and Apple devices. On top of the usual Windows File Share, it supports AFP and Time Machine backup target.

As expected, the Synology RT1900ac did not disappoint me in this department of WiFi-router-as-a-NAS. It allows granular permission controls on file shares (for different users), user administration and even settings and choice of file share service (e.g. SAMBA version, AFP).

The file transfer throughput rates are not low either.

 

NAS Speed Test

The speed test result for the SanDisk Ultra Fit attached to the Synology RT1900ac yield 41.5 MBps and 67.5 MBps for writing and reading respectively.
The speed test result for the SanDisk Ultra Fit attached to the Synology RT1900ac yield 41.5 MBps and 67.5 MBps for writing and reading respectively.

I conducted a simple NAS speed test with a SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB. The test involves writing and reading 2 GB file and the Synology RT1900ac “NAS” averaged 41.5 MBps and 67.5 MBps for writing and reading respectively.

Wonder how does it compare to a NAS? I repeated the same test using the Synology DS1515+ and the DS1515+ clocked 108.7 MBps in both directions.

Did a baseline speed test for the DS1515+. It clocked 108.7 MBps for both reading and writing.
Did a baseline speed test for the DS1515+. It clocked 108.7 MBps for both reading and writing.

 

Running through the Storage & Printer Settings

The RT1900ac detected the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 drive. However, the drive will need to be formatted for it to be recognised and usable.
The RT1900ac detected the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 drive. However, the drive will need to be formatted for it to be recognised and usable.

Under the options for formatting, we can either format the entire disk or the detected partition to EXT4/FAT32.
Under the options for formatting, we can either format the entire disk or the detected partition to EXT4/FAT32.

I decided to format the entire disk to EXT4. The system displays a warning that all data will be wiped from the attached storage if I choose to proceed.
I decided to format the entire disk to EXT4. The system displays a warning that all data will be wiped from the attached storage if I choose to proceed.

The RT1900ac proceeds with the formatting after getting an acknowledgement from the user.
The RT1900ac proceeds with the formatting after getting an acknowledgement from the user.

The RT1900ac proceeds with the formatting after getting an acknowledgement from the user.
The RT1900ac proceeds with the formatting after getting an acknowledgement from the user.

Synology_RT1900ac-74 Synology_RT1900ac-75

A while later, the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 drive is available for use. A share (usbshare1) has been created automatically.
A while later, the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 drive is available for use. A share (usbshare1) has been created automatically.

For each of the network share, you can set different permissions for different users. New users can be created in the "User" tab.
For each of the network share, you can set different permissions for different users. New users can be created in the “User” tab.

Under file services, you can enable Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) on top of the default Windows File Service. You can make the Synology RT1900 into a Time Machine too!
Under file services, you can enable Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) on top of the default Windows File Service. You can make the Synology RT1900 into a Time Machine too!

Media indexing for the Media Server app on Package Center.
Media indexing for the Media Server app on Package Center.

Media indexing should make browsing snappier as thumbnails have been generated beforehand.
Media indexing should make browsing snappier as thumbnails have been generated beforehand.

Choosing the folder whereby new additions will be index automatically.
Choosing the folder whereby new additions will be index automatically.

Hibernation options for attached storage.
Hibernation options for attached storage.

Hibernation options for attached storage.
Hibernation options for attached storage.

New users can be added to the Synology RT1900ac via the "User" tab. Similarly, network share permission can be done through here.
New users can be added to the Synology RT1900ac via the “User” tab. Similarly, network share permission can be done through here.

Password settings (e.g. strength, 2FA) can be done through the "Advanced" tab.
Password settings (e.g. strength, 2FA) can be done through the “Advanced” tab.

New network share can be created through here as well.
New network share can be created through here as well.

New network share can be created through here as well.
New network share can be created through here as well.

7 thoughts on “Synology RT1900ac Review – Using as NAS

  • October 18, 2015 at 11:07 pm
    Permalink

    To my knowledge the throughput test has a small flaw. Doesn’t the Sandisk Cruzer Ultra Fit have a maximum writing speed of about 40 MB/s (as per its specifications)?

    As the router is not yet available in Europe, where I am residing, I hoped you would go intro more detail about the printersettings as well. I believe the manual is a tad ambivalent about being able to use the RT1900ac as a print server for a _networked_ (connected to a LAN-port) printer. Any chance you could report on that? I am most interested if it would work and if statuses (e.g. paper, ink or toner) are shown. And will it work bidirectionally if you attach a printer with an integrated scanner?

    Anyway, many thanks for your YouTube-video stepping through most of the menu items & setting. Much appreciated!

    Finally, one last request. The wifi channel settings for 5 GHz piqued my interest. Could you please scroll down in that drop down menu and show us what other channels above 104 are available?

    Cheers!

  • October 19, 2015 at 12:10 am
    Permalink

    aardvark,

    Some people have managed to get average 40+ MBps write and 100+ MBps read (http://usb.userbenchmark.com/SanDisk-Ultra-Fit-USB-30-32GB/Rating/2697) so my results falls within the normal operating range.

    Unfortunately, I won’t be testing on the print server portion as the color laser (WiFi) is too heavy to shift it around. If I shift the router, I lose the Internet (via the fibre point).

    As for the 5 GHz channels, let me see if I can check it out later.

  • October 19, 2015 at 1:42 am
    Permalink

    Sir,

    Thank you for your swift answer.

    You are totally correct with regards to the usb-stick. But it was my understanding that you were testing the nas-capabilities and max. throughput of the RT1900ac, not of the memorystick. I am terribly sorry, if I misinterpreted your goal.

    With regards to the printer: hopefully there is someone out there reading this blog and willing to do such a test and report on the results. I fully understand your reluctance.

    Upon asking Synology Support, I got an answer from their offices in France that the RT1900ac will support DFS and will have European certification to this effect (in the 5 GHz band). Many router manufacturers are not willing to certify their equipment for the European market and/or will only support a restricted set of channels. Much obliged if you could provide us with some more details.

    Enjoy!

  • October 19, 2015 at 9:57 pm
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    aardvark,

    For the 5 GHz spectrum, there are only 2 channels above 104. They are 108 and 112.

  • December 10, 2015 at 3:15 pm
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    hi shadowandy,

    thanks for the detail review and believe you are the advocate for Synology. i am convinced by your review and go ahead and bought 1 unit for myself. Now i am stuck coz the unit didnt work with Singtel and apparently it need VLAN feature on the router. i think it’s important that you highlight that it don’t support VLAN, so ordinary folks not fall for it. now i am stuck with an additional router at home and it’s not working until Synology release a firmware to support it. I am sure many eager Synology fanboy want to experience this router but not short changing them.

  • December 10, 2015 at 4:25 pm
    Permalink

    Hi,

    I guess I didn’t explicitly mentioned whether the Synology RT1900ac support VLAN or doesn’t support VLAN because the ISP (that I am on) doesn’t require that feature.

    One important thing to note is that not all routers sold in Singapore supports VLAN feature. Perhaps you could have done more research into this if it is a cardinal requirement.

    The good thing is that the VLAN feature should be available by Q2 2016 according to a Synology personnel that I have highlighted to regarding the VLAN feature for some of the local ISPs.

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