You probably haven’t heard of Synology, Inc. before, unless you were a user of their NAS products. Those were network-enabled storage drives that made their contents available over a local network. But the Taiwan-based outfit is casting its net a bit wider with its new product, the RT1900ac router, which gives you everything that a next-gen network router can give, and then some.
Primarily, the RT1900ac is a router, and it runs on the newest 802.11ac protocols, giving you as much as 1900Mbps speed over your home or office network. Of course, it retains compatibility over devices that have the older 802.11a/b/g/n protocols, because what good would a router be if it didn’t cover those bases, eh? The router even has a dual-core 1.0Ghz processor to make sure that even in times when multiple devices are connected, you don’t get hit with network lag. But the crux of the matter here is not the connectivity, which of course the router does well, but the add-on features that might actually convince you to buy the thingamajig.
First up is an Android app, which gives you instant and accessible control over everything about your router. If you’re a techie, you would know how difficult it is to get to router settings and controls – and they’re like that for a reason, too, because we don’t need people snooping around our network settings. But Synology brings all of your controls on an app, which only you can access for your specific router, of course. “The router is a critical element for any modern network, and yet it remains often complicated to use,” said Derren Lu, CEO of Synology Inc. “Synology aims to provide a pleasant, efficient and advanced solution to enthusiastic and professional users.”
The router also has a number of special software features – packages that transform the router into a VPN, intelligent data and network blocking that extends even to app data connection, and even have the router download overnight without you turning on the laptop or computer. Router LEDs keeping you awake at night? Schedule when the lights are on and off within the control app itself. With a USB 3.0 port on the side, you can connect an external hard drive have an instant network drive for media streaming or storage. There’s even an SD card slot if that’s your thing.
All in all, the Synology RT1900ac router feels like a feature-packed solid network router that feels like it should cost a lot, but the pricing is firmly between USD$150 to USD$200, which is a steal for a device like this. The router is already available in some parts of Asia and Oceania, but will reportedly be available in the US and Canada around November.