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Router Charts

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Mesh Charts

Click for Mesh Charts

Storage Performance

The summary graphic below from the Router Charts shows all AC1900 class routers tested with our standard procedure with USB 3.0 connections and NTFS drive format. The Linksys WRT1900ACS remains the storage performance champ among all AC1900-class routers we've tested for NTFS read and write. The RT1900ac came in fourth, with less than half the NTFS write throughput as the Linksys AC1900ACS. The RT1900ac was even farther down in the rankings for NTFS read performance, turning in less than half the throughput of the chart-topping Linksys WRT1900ACS.

Note you need reach the Router's share using \\; you can't browse to it using Windows' network browser. Guest (no login) access didn't work, so the admin account was used to test storage performance. The media server wasn't enabled during the performance test.

Storage Performance Comparison - USB 3.0 / NTFS

Storage Performance Comparison - USB 3.0 / NTFS

Routing Performance

For comparison, I 've included the NETGEAR R7000 and TRENDnet TEW-818DRU AC1900 class routers used in the component comparison. Routing throughput was measured using our standard router test process with the router loaded with SRM 1.0.1-6007 Update 2 firmware. Table 2 summarizes the results.

For maximum simultaneous connections, we consider anything over 30,000 connections equal for ranking purposes, so both the TRENDnet and the Synology routers will receive lower router category rankings in the Router Ranker.

Test Description Synology RT1900ac NETGEAR R7000 TRENDnet TEW-818DRU
WAN - LAN Throughput - (Mbps) 816 931 575
LAN - WAN Throughput - (Mbps) 786 942 790
Total Simultaneous Throughput - (Mbps) 1310 1378 864
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 0 38,793 14,974
Firmware Version SRM 1.0.1-6007 Update 2 V1.0.0.26_1.0.6
Table 4: Routing throughput

The RT1900ac is the first router that has failed our Maximum Simultaneous Connection test. We tried the test multiple times and swapped in another router to ensure there was no error in our test setup. But the router failed to let even a single UDP connection be opened and there was no sign of firewall activity in the logs.We'll be happy to rerun the test when Synology lets us know what needs to change in the router configuration.

For the unidirectional tests the IxChariot chart below shows the cyclical variation for both uplink and downlink typical of this test.

Synology RT1900ac unidirectional throughput

Synology RT1900ac unidirectional throughput

The simultaneous uplink/downlink plot shows the usual jump near the start due to IxChariot's Nagel's algorithm implementation. Once things settle down, uplink throughput dominates downlink. Although both directions show some variation, there is little battling for dominance.

Synology RT1900ac simultaneous throughput

Synology RT1900ac simultaneous throughput

Wireless Performance

The Synology RT1900ac is Wi-Fi certified. For throughput testing, all tests were run using our Version 8 Wireless test process with SRM 1.0.1-6007 Update 2 version firmware loaded. The router was first reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 with 20 MHz bandwidth mode was set for 2.4 GHz. Channel 153 and 80 MHz bandwidth mode was set for 5 GHz. The NETGEAR R7000 bridge mode standard test client was connected using WPA2/AES encryption.

Our standard practice is to center the router under test's antennas on the turntable, both front-to-back and side-to-side, to keep maximum distance between the router under test and chamber antennas. The photo below shows the RT1900ac in the test chamber.

Synology RT1900ac simultaneous throughput

Synology RT1900ac in test chamber

Comparing average 2.4 GHz throughput for all AC1900 class routers tested shows RT1900ac running with the middle of the pack for downlink and more toward the top for uplink.

AC1900 router 2.4 GHz average throughpu

AC1900 router 2.4 GHz average throughput

Comparing average 5 GHz throughput shows the RT1900ac down in the cellar for downlink, but decidedly better for uplink. But averages can be deceiving, as we'll see shortly.

AC1900 router 5 GHz average throughpu

AC1900 router 5 GHz average throughput

Our throughput vs. attenuation plots were generated using the same three AC1900 class products used in the comparisons presented above: the NETGEAR R7000 and TRENDnet TEW-818DRU.

For 2.4 GHz downlink, the RT1900ac started with about 20% lower throughput than the other two routers and remained constant until the performance of the other two routers trailed off and intersected the RT1900ac's plot at 36 dB of attenuation. The RT1900ac lost its connection following the 45 dB attenuation test—12 dB before the TRENDnet and 18 dB before the NETGEAR.

For 2.4 GHz uplink, the RT1900ac started out with higher throughput than the other two routers out to about 15 dB of attenuation where their plots intersected. Beyond 18 dB, the Synology router's throughput stayed below the NETGEAR and TRENDnet's. Synology's disconnect was again much earlier than the other two routers.

The lower performance and significantly earlier disconnection would indicate that the Synology router is going to have poorer range and coverage on the 2.4 GHz band in both directions than either of the other two routers.

2.4 GHz Downlink and Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink and Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

For 5 GHz downlink, it's fairly simple to interpret the plot. The RT1900ac's throughput started out lower and stayed lower than the other two routers. 5 GHz uplink was a tad better, with Synology beating the TRENDnet for two tests, but then again dropping below the TRENDnet's curve. The RT1900ac again disconnected early, but this time not far behind the TRENDnet. These results don't bode well for the Synology's 5 GHz range and coverage.

5 GHz Downlink and Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink and Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Closing Thoughts

With a rank of 14 out of the 16 AC1900 routers in the Router Ranker, there isn't much reason to recommend the Synology RT1900ac based on either price or performance. Sorting the Ranker by ascending price, there are plenty of better performing routers to be had for less than the $200 the single third-party seller on Amazon is seeking, or even the $160 NewEgg is asking.

AC1900 class router ranking sorted by ascending price

AC1900 class router ranking sorted by ascending price

Feature-wise, there's a lot to like about the Synology RT1900ac router. The user interface, based on the well-honed Synology NAS DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system, is slick and easy to use. Add-on packages extend its capabilities to include features, such as a RADIUS server, that are found in few other products regardless of price.

But most people don't buy wireless routers because of features, many of which they will never use. They buy or upgrade for wireless throughput and range. Unfortunately, the RT1900ac falls short on both. Perhaps Synology can improve the wireless performance of the RT1900ac with a firmware upgrade. Or then again, perhaps not. In any event, if wireless performance is your focus, the Synology RT1900ac doesn't have what you seek.

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