Synology FINALLY Reveal a new WiFi 6 Router – The RT6600ax with 802.11ax and 2.5GbE
Yes, you read that correctly. After what seems like forever, the Synology router series is finally receiving its first WiFi 6 enabled solution in the RT6600ax Mesh router system. This, along with the announcement of bigger updates to the Synology Router Manager (SRM) in updates to the web browser GUI and mobile application (DS Router) in SRM 1.3 in 2022, is easily one of the highlights of all the new information shared by Synology in their ‘Synology 2022 and Beyond’ event today. I will be going into greater detail soon on each of the biggest reveals of the event, as well as a full review of the event in its entirety soon), but today I want to focus specifically on the Synology RT6600ax router, as this is going to be a remarkably popular device next year.
What do we know about the Synology RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router?
Information on the Synology RT6600ax arrived across the primary introduction video that featured the founder of Synology (Phillip Wong) and a network dedicated video on the official Synology YouTube video shortly afterwards. Further details on the SRM 1.3 big update next year were also covered, but let’s first focus on what we learned about this new router.
Synology RT6600ax Router Hardware Highlights
- Planned to arrive in H1-2022 with SRM 1.3
- Tri-Band WiFi 6 Support
- 6 x High gain adjustable antennae (4×4 MIMO antennas)
- 5.9Ghz / 160MHz channel Support
- Four 1GbE (Gigabit Ethernet ports) (1x WAN 3x LAN)
- 1x 2.5GbE LAN/WAN Port
- 6600Mbs Bandwidth Potential
- Multi-Network creation in SRM 1.3
- Improved DS Router Mobile Application and Browser GUI in SRM 1.3 in 2022
- Mesh Support with future AX devices
- No word on USB Support, but almost certainly going to be featured
The first big focus of course is the support of WiFi 6 (AKA 802.11ax), as this has become widely adopted by modern wireless client hardware manufacturers in place of WiFi 5 a/c/n etc. From New-gen consoles and computers, to even Amazon Fire TV and Virgin ISP routers, WiFi 6 is very much an established thing and hence why people have been counting the days till Synology and its SRM equipped Routers jumped on board with the RT6600ax router. Alongside this, the RT6600ax will also feature the 6 antennae setup that was featured on the RT2600ac before it. This will allow a tremendous degree of coverage and shared frequency bandwidth of up to 6000Mbps.
Alongside the increased bandwidth and performance improvements on offer with WiFi 6 (802.11ax) there is also a nice surprise in the wired connect of the RT6600ax. The Router has 4 1GbE network ports (1 WAN/LAN and 3x LAN) but also features a very interesting 2.5GbE optional WAN or LAN port. Now, this is a big, BIG deal, given that the availability of greater than gigabit internet speeds has grown in the last year or so (additionally facilitated by people working remotely more and more of course), but also it’s the first time we have seen Synolgoy actually pay 2.5GbE any attention on ANY of their hardware to date. Hopefully, this will be something that will be spun out into further NAS diskstation/rackstation solutions in 2022.
Along with the support of the 2.4 Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies (with one of the 5Ghz frequencies delivering a theoretical 480MB/s between it and another RT6600ax via the backhaul mesh connection), the RT6600ax will also be one of a rare batch of routers right now that will support 5.9Ghz (aka, to be able to use the 160Mhz channel made available by the FCC relatively recently). This is another big plus for the brand in its new router solution and something that will set it apart from other WiFi 6 Router solutions that have landed before it.
One area of the coverage on the Synology RT6600ax that has been a little quiet is the Mesh support on this WiFi 6 enabled router. Namely, how and if it will communicate over mesh with the older generation of Routers (the RT2600ac and MR2200ac). The RT6600ax will definitely communicate with other RT6600ax router units, as well as ‘planned’ future AX routers from Synology, but we are still seeking clarification on if it will integrate the same (not via a wifi 6 connection of course) with the older generation devices.
Finally, an often requested hardware feature that (despite its practical ease) has been weirdly absent till now – the RT6600ax can finally be wall-mounted! It’s a small feature by for those that want the router in a prime, clear and high location, having it shelf mounted is a pain! It is an odd feature to think has not been available till now, but finally, there it is.
When Will the Synology RT6600ax Router Be Released?
The Synology router series has always been one that tends to take its sweet time to be released. If the Synology RT6600ax will have anything in common with the MR2200ac and RT2600ac that came before it, expect the release date for this new WiFi 6 router to be a good chunk of the way into 2022. The Synology RT6600ax is almost certainly going to be a release that is going to be partnered with the launch of SRM 1.3 in 2022, so although it will definitely be in 2022, maybe get comfortable and expect it some time in the late spring or early summer (somewhere in between Q1 and Q2 in the TW business quarter).
How Much Will the Synology RT6600ax Router Be?
Although there has been ZERO official information on the price tag that the Synology RT6600ax will arrive with, Synology has tended in previous refreshes of ranges in their NAS and router ranges to attempt parity at the price point each time (maybe with a small increase in line with inflation etc). The Synology RT2600ac at launch arrived at around the £230-250 price point and I can definitely see Synology repeating this price point. If true, it would certainly put the RT6600ac in a business/Prosumer price bracket, but this wouldn’t be the first time and the features of SRM 1.3 and even 1.2 in terms of control, configuration and analytics are quite advanced compared with other routers out there.
Updates on the Synology Router Software & Services in SRM 1.3
As mentioned, the Synology RT6600ax was not the only thing regarding the networking arm of the company that was covered in detail during Synology 2022 and Beyond, with the announcement of SRM 1.3 and DS Router improvements in 2022. Highlights of those improvements that were covered were as follows:
Highlights of the Promised Improvements in SRM 1.3 and DS Router in 2022
- Multi-Network Creation (vLANs) & Client H/W and/or device assignment
- Creation of up to 5 SSID/Network (more possible with disabling Smart Connect – TBC)
- Improved Network Management and improved GUI in the web browser
- Significantly more network analytics, control and adjustment features to be made accessible in the DS Router 2.0 mobile application
I think it is quite likely that the release of the new RT6600ax and the launch of the SRM 1.3 update will likely arrive at the same/close time. Stay tuned for more information on this as we find out more and subscribe to stay informed on all things new from Synology in 2022.
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