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Synology RT6600ax Review

Posted on 11-May-2022 15:00 by M Freitas | Filed under: Reviews

Synology RT6600ax Review

Synology is introducing the RT6600ax router, a few months after being unveiled during their Synology 2022 online event. I had a review unit installed here at home for a couple of weeks now and will write down some of my observations about it.


The initial impression out-of-the-box is that it looks a bit like the company’s previous router, the Synology RT2600ac. The main difference is the six antennas instead of four. But the technology inside this router is a generation ahead.


WiFi 6 support


Let’s start with the obvious support for the new WiFi 6 (802.11ax) standard as implied in its model name. This is a huge leap in terms of wireless performance if you use compatible devices. To my surprise, a good number of the laptops I have here (a couple of Dell XPS laptops, an HP Omen and a Microsoft Surface) are compatible with this new standard, as well as the wireless PCIe card on my desktop and even a few phones (the Samsung Fold Z3 and the OPPO Find X5 Pro).


Being compatible with WiFi 6 means these devices can take advantage of a series of technical improvements. Some have cryptic names such as OFDMA and MU-MIMO, or spatial frequency reuse (coloring), fragmentation and guard interval duration. I won’t explain these but it all comes down to these devices behaving well and sharing the network nicely when connected to WiFi, consequently achieving better speeds over wireless.


Another thing is that WiFi 6 can benefit devices connecting on either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands, while the previous 802.11ac was of benefit for devices on the 5 GHz band only. The result is devices being able to take advantage of this speed boost while at the same time taking the network coverage further.


On top of this, the device has three separate radios (2.4GHz and two 5 GHz with support for new 5.9 GHz channels).


Ports and buttons


The Synology RT6600ax comes with a WAN port and four LAN ports (ethernet). The port labelled LAN1 can also be used as a secondary WAN for failover and it supports speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps.


You will also see a USB 3 port and a power button there. On the side you find a button to turn your WiFi on/off and a button to start WPS (wireless pairing), which allows you to connect a device without having to know the password to your network.


Internet and network configuration


Configuration can be as simple as plugging the router into the ONT (fibre) and being up and running, which depends on the ISP you are using. If the ISP requires you to enter a username/password or use a VLAN then you can easily do this during setup – which I recommend should be done over ethernet if possible, to keep things simple.


I have the Synology RT6600ax running with 2degrees fibre, which does require using both username/password and VLAN. This means you need to change these settings before you can get online, but you can be up and running in five minutes or less.


You can have lots of fun with this router. The Synology RT6600ax comes pre-configured with a Primary Network with both ethernet and wireless network access by default, bound to the ethernet ports 1, 2, 3 and 4, as well to the primary WiFi as 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios.


It also has a pre-configured Guest Network bound to wireless only. This guest network is off by default.


But as I said you can have plenty of fun here. In my case, I wanted to keep using my secure DNS service (Cloudflare Gateway) on my Primary Network, but I wanted to have all streaming devices (Panasonic TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Microsoft Xbox) on a separate network. The main reason is to be able to see traffic for this kind of activity and to use a specific DNS service with these devices only.


To achieve this, I’ve created a new “Streaming” network and linked it to an SSID called "SynologyStreaming" on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. I also enabled network isolation so these devices can’t talk to devices on other networks, keeping it secure.


I also wanted to enhance the security of my environment by isolating some Internet of Things devices from my main network. For this, I created another network called “IoT” and linked it to Ethernet port 4 (to connect some wired controllers) and to a new SSID called "SynologyIoT". To this new SSID I connected WiFi lightbulbs, Ring cameras, Fitbit scales, Amazon Echo devices, WiFi power switches and even my blood pressure monitor to this network.


All this was done in minutes – the longest time was spent changing these devices' settings to use the new networks.


You can create up to fifteen different networks, each with its own DHCP ranges, DNS configuration and even VLAN segmentation. Each network can have its own set of parental control or traffic optimisation. These networks can be isolated, or we can have firewall rules to allow devices in one network to control devices on another network but not the other way around.


Operating system


The Synology RT6600ax runs on an operating system called SRM, which is now being updated to version 1.3. It is a fully-featured OS with easy-to-use network management (as mentioned) as well as the ability to install packages to run different applications on your router – very much like the Synology DSM used on the company’s NAS systems.


Its user interface is clearly inspired by the success of its DSM, currently on version 7.1. It offers a desktop-like experience on your browser, where you can open multiple windows and move them around the page. It’s very neat, fast and easy to use.


The SRM 1.3 will be available on other Synology routers, including the MR2200ac and RT2600ac later this year.


I used a couple of the packages available during this pre-release period, including the VPN and Threat Prevention packages.





One of the first things I have done was to import an existing certificate for my personal domain into the router so that access to the router user interface is encrypted. I have used a strong password and enabled two-factor authentication on my administrator account. You can get any valid certificate there – you can get one issued by a paid certification authority or get a free Let’s Encrypt certificate.


With lots of control, I can harden my home network any way I want. It comes with a built-in Security Advisor application that will routinely scan the router looking for an indication that something is not right. It checks for malware, account passwords, network configuration, settings and ensures the operating system is updated.


Safe Access is a feature that allows you to create access profiles for users or networks, with web filtering capabilities. This is achieved through a set of DNS and IP Threat Intelligence data that is constantly updated. Profiles can be also limited to certain schedules or time quotas.


The Threat Prevention package is another level of security. While Security Advisor checks settings and configurations, Threat Prevention actively looks for signs of intrusion or bad traffic including data leakage. Threat Prevention seems to work a lot better with the new SRM 1.3 than I remember from my experience with the previous routers.


It is also one of the packages that require external storage, so I had a USB SSD plugged in.




The VPN Plus package enables some very powerful VPN capabilities without any extra cost. It allows four different VPN types including WebVPN, SSL VPN, SSTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, a site-to-site VPN and Remote Desktop access (RDP and VNC support).


I did set up a VPN using  L2TP/IPSec and configured my Android device to access the network and the Internet over this link. Setup was easy, quick and performance was really good.


External storage


You can plug a USB device to the port in the back and use your Synology RT6600ax as a network storage device, with shared folders and user access control so people on your network can securely use that shared storage. It’s not fully featured like a Synology NAS but I wouldn’t expect redundant RAID with a single storage device.


SRM support multiple filesystems on pre-formatted storage (including NTFS) but allows you to format the drive in either FAT32 or EXT4. Go with EXT4 and you can enable its write cache, squeezing just a bit more of the extra performance there.


In addition to shared use, this storage can be used by SRM to store its system database, logs and data for any packages that need it.




I am very happy with the results here. As mentioned, the Ethernet-connected desktop consistently reported the 900 down / 400 up Mbps expected from my fibre connection. The wireless connection didn’t get to the max but was consistently around 800 Mbps down when testing over WiFi 6.


One thing I’ve noticed the last two weeks is the consistently good coverage and connection quality. Our previous network setup (a FritzBox 7590 with a second ethernet-connected FritzBox 7490 as a repeater) seemed prone to coverage drops from time to time, something not reported with the Synology RT6600ax.


Mesh setup


While I did not have a second unit to test this, the platform allows you to add extra WiFi points to your network. Both wired and wireless backhauls can be used and all controlled from a single point.


Mobile app


The new mobile app is also an improvement over previous versions. It has a lot more information and can control almost all aspects of your router. 




I have used two Synology models before and the Synology RT6600ax is a huge jump in terms of functionality, speed and security. A thoroughly recommended upgrade if you are looking for a consumer-grade router with pro features.