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New Synology RT3000ax Router

14 septembre 2022 à 17:30

Synology Planning on a New RT3000ax WiFi 6 and 2.5GbE Router for 2022/2023

Yes, Synology is working on a new WiFi 6 and 2.5G router – The Synology RT3000ax. Before I go any further though,a little bit of background. I think it would be safe to say that Synology has been quite successful in their range of prosumer routers. When they first introduced the RT1900ac 6 years ago, it was seen as something of an experiment to see if they could bring the same level of software, design and experience that they had learned in network attached storage to one of the most common devices in all our homes and offices worldwide. Fast forward to now and they are on the 3rd Generation (technically, a little bit of overlap) and we have seen both the standard of Synology Router and the functionality of Synology Router Manager (SRM) evolve considerably – with the router arm of their portfolio getting stronger all the time. Which brings us to the newly revealed RT3000ax router, a more compact 802.11ax router that seems destined to serve as the refresh for the MR2200ac or (more likely) the RT2600ac at some point in the future. With a new and intriguing design (definitely looks like what the most recent star wars trilogy did to stormtrooper helmets, but ok) and borrowed elements of the recently released RT6600ax router, the RT3000ax would appear to be designed to be in a tier of their router portfolio serving as the middle-ground (when the OTT RT6600ax seems a bit pie in the sky). Let’s discuss this new router, the hardware we know about, the software and whether this device is worth waiting for.

Hardware Specifications of the Synology RT3000ax Router

The Synology RT3000ax router is quite comparable to the RT6600ax in a number of ways when it comes to it’s general hardware specifications (those the details on the qualcomm processor and on board RAM remain a mystery at the time of writing), with the system supporting 2.5GbE on a WAN/LAN port (as well as 4 more 1GbE LAN ports, with one being dedicated WAN), failover support, WiFi 6 support and USB storage compatibility that allows the use of applications (modified Synology DSM NAS apps) to be used on the system with SRM. However, there is always clear build choices here that show that the RT3000ax is designed for slightly more modest deployments. It’s a dual-band (2.4/5G design), uses internal antennae, is more verticle in it’s shape, is wall mountable and I have yet to hear if mesh support is available (assume yes, but still TBC). Here are the specifications that I know about so far:

Synology RT3000ax Router

Wireless Standards 2.4GHz: 802.11 b/g/n/ax

5GHz: 802.11 a/n/ac/ax

Frequency/Bandwidth 802.11ax (2.4GHz): Up to 600 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHz): Up to 2400 Mbps

5.9Ghz Support TBC
WAN Gigabit WAN x 1

2.5G WAN / LANx 1 (Dual WAN)

LAN Gigabit LAN x 3 and 2.5G LAN x 1
USB USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A) x 1
File System EXT4, EXT3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+ (Ext Drive)
Physical Buttons/Switches • Power • WPS • Wi-Fi On/Off • Reset
Wireless Modes Wireless Router

Wireless AP (Access Point)

Antenna Internal 2T2R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (2.4GHz)

Internal 4T4R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (5GHz)

Size 233 x 194 x 66mm

Setup of the Synology RT3000ax router is largely the same as that of the rest of the RT and MR series from the brand, with it being usable as a primary router point or as an additional access point. The dual WAN design allows users to connect their ingoing/outgoing internet connection to an upto 1GbE (1000Mb/100MMB) connection, or use the 2.5GbE connection for greater than gigabit external connections. This also means that the support of failover is available, with the option to connect more two internet connections to the system (either both via WAN connection and/or with use of a 4G/5G LTE SIM connection via a supported USB device). Something I tested (along with other recovery features of SRM and the RT6600ax) in the video lower in the article.

These are still questions surrounding some SRM supported features and recent Synology router services that are available on the RT6600ax router and whether they will be available on the RT3000ax, such as:

  • Will the RT3000ax Router use/access the 5.9Ghz Band, allowing larger 160Mhz connections? Almost certainly yes, but still TBC
  • Will Mesh connectivity with other Synology Routers (RT6600ax, RT2600ax, MR2200ac) be available, and at launch? Again, almost certainly yes, but still TBC

We will update this article and the larger Synology 2023 Hardware Page as soon as we know more. You can visit the BIG Synology 2023 Page HERE

How Does the Synology RT3000ax Compare with the RT6600ax Router?

Many users who are considering buying the Synology RT6600ax right now in Autumn 2022 might hear the news of a new RT3000ax WiFi6 router coming at some point in the future and be thinking about whether to buy now or wait. It’s a very good question! However, the more you look into the specifications (even based on the few we know right now comparatively) it is clear that the RT6600ax router is the more powerful and capable price. So, if you were already about to buy the RT6600ax as it sounded ideal for your needs, then waiting for the release of the RT3000ax will not be worth it for you. However, if you were only considering the RT6600ax for its WiFi 6 and 2.5G capabilities and you were not looking to upgrade your setup until the end of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023 (when this new outer is likely to arrive realistically), then here are how the Synology RT3000ax and RT6600ax compare:

Model Synology RT3000ax

Synology RT6600ax

Price TBC $309 – £260 – €299
Wireless Standards 2.4GHz: 802.11 b/g/n/ax

5GHz: 802.11 a/n/ac/ax

2.4GHz: 802.11 b/g/n/ax

5GHz: 802.11 a/n/ac/ax

Frequency/Bandwidth 802.11ax (2.4GHz): Up to 600 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHz): Up to 2400 Mbps

802.11ax (2.4GHz): Up to 600 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHz-1): Up to 1200 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHz-2): Up to 4800 Mbps

5.9Ghz Support TBC YES
WAN Gigabit WAN x 1

2.5G WAN / LANx 1 (Dual WAN)

Gigabit WAN x 1

2.5G WAN / LANx 1 (Dual WAN)

LAN Gigabit LAN x 3 and 2.5G LAN x 1 Gigabit LAN x 3 and 2.5G LAN x 1
USB USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A) x 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A) x 1
File System EXT4, EXT3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+ (Ext Drive) EXT4, EXT3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+ (Ext Drive)
Physical Buttons/Switches • Power • WPS • Wi-Fi On/Off • Reset • Power • WPS • Wi-Fi On/Off • Reset
Wireless Modes Wireless Router

Wireless AP (Access Point)

Wireless Router

Wireless AP (Access Point)

Antenna Internal 2T2R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (2.4GHz)

Internal 4T4R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (5GHz)

2T2R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (2.4GHz/5GHz-1)

4T4R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (5GHz-2)

Size 233 x 194 x 66mm 65 x 280 x 180 MM

So, as you can see, the main difference here is the scope of bandwidth, coverage and distance that is covered between the RT6600ax and RT3000ax – with the RT6600ax clearly being the larger (thanks to that tri-band support and larger external antenna coverage. But if you are looking for a smaller deployment and are not in a big rush right now, the RT3000ax router will provide most of the other features on offer!

Software and Security of the Synology RT3000ax Router

The Synology RT3000ax router will arrive with Synology Router Manager (SRM), as well as a range of client applications, Synology DSM-built tools that have been modified to work on their router platform and compatibility/support of all the usual OS’. You can find out more on the latest release of SRM (version 1.3) in my FULL SRM REVIEW HERE on YouTube and in my long written review of SRM1.3 here on NASCompares, but the highlights are:

SRM Features LAN/WAN management

– Port forwarding
– Network segmentation
– Traffic Control
– IPv4/IPv6 Dual Stack
– Smart/Auto WAN Switching
– Failover and load balancing
– Policy routing
– IPTV & VoIP Support
– MAC address filtering
– Set up web filtering
– Router Bridge Mode Support

Monitoring

– Live view per device
– Application statistics
– Bandwidth Device Control
– Client Application QoS
– User QoS
– Detailed Report Generation (PDF,CSV,HTML etc)

Synology Safe Access

– User & network profiles
– Access Time management
– User Internet schedule & Time quota
– Highly-customizable Web filters
– Site Access Schedules
– Safe Search integration (YouTube, Google, Bing and more)
– User Unblock/Access Request and Control GUI
– DNS over HTTPS Available
– Let’s Encrypt integration
– Dual-stack firewall
– Automatic blocking and two-factor authentication
– 5 Network and 15 SSID Creation for Network Layers
– Automatic security database updates
– DNS & IP threat intelligence Database
– Google Safe Browsing
– VPN Plus Application Service
– Site-to-Site VPN
– Access your network without VPN client
– TLS 1.2/1.3 support
– Supports the ChaCha cipher
– Validated by Microsoft Azure
– Bandwidth control & block list
– Active Directory and LDAP support

Add On Apps (Requires a USB Drive)

– VPN Plus Server
– Download Station
– Media Server
– DNS Server
– RADIUS Server
– Threat Prevention

QuickConnect and DDNS for Encrypted/Secure Remote Management

Supported Clients (for SRM) Windows 7 onwards, Mac OS 10.12 onwards
Security WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA2-Enterprise, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise, Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE), WPA3-Personal, WPA3-Enterprise, WPA2/WPA3-Persona

Find out more on the automated recovery of connectivity in wired/wireless configuration, how the system handles failover, mesh self healing and more in my Synology Router Experiments video below:

When Will the Synology RT3000ax Router Be Released?

Right now, the information we have on the RT3000ax router is a long way from complete and that, combined with the relatively recent release of the Synology RT6600ax, likely means that this new router will not see release particularly soon (though I would expect it to be highlighted at the Synology 2023 digital event). More likely, the Synology RT3000ax will be looking at a VERY later 2022 release or (more likely) a Q1 2023 release. As more information on this device becomes available, I will update this article, the Synology 2023 SUPER ARTICLE and comparisons with the current generation of Synology Routers as information arrives. Subscribe to the NASCompares blog OR just chuck your email in the notification box below (no sign-up needed, you just get the alerts to updates to this article) to stay informed on the Synology RT3000ax router Have a great week!

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]     Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

 

How to Mesh the MR2200ac & RT2600ac with Your Synology RT6600ax Router

24 juin 2022 à 01:34

What You Need to do to Mesh Your RT6600ax, MR2200ac and/or RT2600ac Routers Together

As you may have already heard, Synology has rolled out the Release Candidate of SRM 1.3 for all their router devices, now available on the official download pages (HERE for the MR2200ac and HERE for the RT2600ac), as well as a slightly tweaked update for the RT6600ax (which already arrives with SRM 1.3). The result of this (which is great news to many) is that alongside the benefits of SRM 1.3 in vLANs, tagging, SSID creation, improved GUI and layout, you can now MESH YOUR SYNOLOGY ROUTERS! This was one of the few software limitations that the new Synology RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router had at launch, especially when many buyers were considering the RT6600ax as a replacement for the RT2600ac router that was in the middle of their existing mesh system. So, today I want to guide you through a few of the ways that you can update your older Synology RT2600ac and MR2200ac routers in order to allow you to mesh them with your brand new RT6600ax device.

Important Note About Using MR2200ac as a Mesh Node for the Synology RT6600ax Mesh Router

IMPORTANT #1 – The SRM 1.3 Firmware update for RT2600ac and MR2200ac Router is still a ‘release candidate’, which means that although it is pretty much was the final version of what the software update will be when it is eventually released (likely in August or so), it is still not a ‘final’ release, so be sure to backup your router configuration in the control panel if you choose to proceed with this update. Additionally, SRM 1.3 will not be available to the RT1900ac router series.

IMPORTANT #2!!! If you are running an RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router and want to add a batch of new/factory restored MR2200ac Mesh Points, you will need to go through the process of updating each node from SRM 1.2 to SRM 1.3. However, unlike Synology NAS systems during initialization, there is no point in the first-time setup of the MR2200ac/RT2600ac to upload a firmware file or the system search for the latest firmware online. This is only possible AFTER the router is initialized and from there, you will need to download the latest firmware (SRM 1.3), allow the system to reboot, THEN reinitialise the MR2200ac/RT2600ac so it can enter a ‘find’ status (when the LED on the system is a single, flashing blue light). From THAT point, you can find the MR2200ac/RT2600ac in the WiFi Access Point Search of your RT6600ax Router and add these nodes successfully. So:

  • ALL Synology MR2200ac Mesh Routers will need to be updated individually to SRM 1.3 before attempting to connect with an RT6600ax Router Network
  • SRM 1.3 Update can be downloaded from the Synology site OR from the MR2200ac initialization (coming soon, after Release Candidate and final release are made public online)
  • First-time initialization and setup in 1.3 has been updated, so the initialization of a Router with SRM 1.3 on board is much simpler and more user-friendly
  • If you try to connect your RT6600ax to an MR2200ac mesh node without updating that mesh node to SRM 1.3, it will SEE the MR200ac, but it will not be able to connect it due to firmware incompatibility between SRM 1.2 and SRM 1.3

It is worth highlighting that from then onwards, your primary router will be able to push updates to the nodes individually (much as the RT2600ac pushes updates to the MR2200ac mesh router points). No doubt as time goes on, this method of updating with be considerably easier and as newer routers go through manufacture, they will have SRM 1.3 onboard by default.

IMPORTANT #3! – If you are migrating from an RT2600ac to an RT6600ax Router, make sure to update the RT2600ac to SRM 1.3 first, then backup your router configuration in the control panel by heading to Control Panel > System > Update & Restore > Backup Configuration. From here you can create a config file that you can store locally on your computer, which can then be used to reinstate your configuration on the new RT6600ax. SRM 1.2 configurations cannot be used on an SRM 1.3 Router

Installation of SRM 1.3 on the Synology MR2200ac Router

First of all, upgrading to SRM 1.3 is much the same as typical firmware updates in Synology products IF you already have the device setup and can log in to the GUI.

Updating an MR2200ac or RT2600ac via the GUI

Log into your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac and head into the control panel, then select System, then Update & Restore, then select Manual SRM Update.

From here browse your local machine and find the .PAT file that you downloaded from Synology.com in the download area of the RT2600ac or MR2200ac, then select it and choose to install this update

You will be greeted by a pop-up that states that this update may change or remove some features of SRM 1.2 in line with SRM 1.3. Additionally, it will stop backup configurations you have made of SRM 1.2 from working in this new revision of the software. From here you can click confirm to proceed

The system will start uploading the SRM 1.3 pat update file to the MR2200ac or RT2600ac router

You will then be informed that in order for the update to take effect, then you will need to restart

During this installation and completion of the SRM 1.3 update, the router and its services will not be accessible.

When the installation of the first part of the SRM 1.3 update is completed, the system will reboot and a clock will count down. If the router GUI does not reappear in the browser after this time, it may well be because the router was on a dynamic IP setting and has changed it’s address. Use the Synology Assistant tool to find your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac’s new address.

When the system reboots, it will book back into the login GUI, but now it will be the improved and further polished SRM 1.3 login screen. From here you can log in as normal and enjoy SRM 1.3 with new features.

Next, lets discuss what you need to do in order to add existing MR2200ac and RT2600ac routers to a mesh network with the RT6600ax Router.

Adding a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac Router to the Synology RT6600ax Router as a Mesh Point

In order to add a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac to your RT6600ax Router as a mesh point, you will need to ensure that they are running SRM 1.3 as their firmware. In the case of the RT2600ac, this will be REALLY easy, as you can access the main SRM 1.2 GUI and update to SRM 1.3 as the software appears on the Synology Download section. However, in the case of MR2200ac nodes (which are rarely used as a primary router) you are going to need to update each node with SRM 1.3 before they are seen by the RT6600ax. If you have them connected with an RT2600ac, it is easy to push the update to SRM 1.3 across the whole existing network. However, if you only have the RT6600ax and 1 or more MR2200ac mesh routers, each one will need to be updated to SRM 1.3 using the steps in the guide above THEN formatted to factory settings.

If your MR2200ac is on SRM 1.2, follow the guide above to upgrade it to SRM 1.3. If you have updated your MR2200ac to SRM 1.3, you now need to restore it to factory settings here:

Doing so will result in the device deleting all data and settings – so be sure that this is what you want to do. Proceeding with this will result in the device taking 5-10 minutes to complete.

Alternatively – you can reset your MR2200ac router by using the reset pin on the rear of the router. However, this will not allow you to make any configuration backups and is irreversible.

Next, head over to your Synology RT6600ax Router and head into the WiFi Access Tab to start adding WiFi points/Nodes

You will be asked which connection method your nodes will be connected by. I STRONGLY recommend selecting both ethernet and wireless connections

The reason I recommend this is that it is about 100x easier to set up a smaller mess network of around 5-6 nodes by bringing them all together and connecting via LAN to the RT6600ax, then later disconnecting them and positioning them where you need them to be. It IS worth remembering that later on when you get them up that their distance from the primary router will affect the strength BUT (crucially) when a Synology mesh router is connected with the RT6600ax primary router, it knows the wifi identity and security credentials of the node and will connect wirelessly with the MR2200ac etc as soon as it is within range (even if the primary connection was via wired ethernet).

Note, if you are connecting the nodes (temporarily for setup or long term) via ethernet, you need to ensure that the MR2200ac or RT2600ac has cable connected to the WAN port and into a LAN port of the RT6600ax. Otherwise, the connection/host-client communication will not function correctly. Again, later on, after the node is set up, you can move these nodes away and the wireless connectivity will also function between the mesh points.

After this, there are a few steps to highlight the best places to set up a mesh node (in terms of proximity and multiple points), but also a note that you need the mesh mode in the correct LED lit configuration (that single blue flashing light)

When the RT6600ax scans the local network for the other Synology router to extend the mesh network, it will list the router(s) it has found and then invite you to enter the secure pin code that is printed on the back of all Synology routers (8 digits, numerical, cannot be changed)

After that, the RT6600ax Router will begin setting up the new mesh WiFi point (testing the strength of connection, copying over the SSID configuration and establishing the backhaul). This will not take more than a minute or so per node and (unless the mesh node has been obstructed, powered down, or has not been updated to SRM 1.3) should connect to the RT6600ax network.

And that is it. Now the MR2200ac or RT2600ac are part of your RT6600ax Mesh router system. They will no longer appear on the Synology Assistant tool and their SRM GUI cannot be accessed – they are now connection nodes to the larger RT6600ax router system and can be managed and adjusted in the SRM 1.3 GUI of the primary router. You can also power down the mesh router nodes and move them to new locations in your home or office for greater coverage. When they power back on, as long as they are in the coverage area of the primary router, they will re-join the RT6600ax/Primary router network automatically. If they are in a weak area of coverage/distance, the system will let you know and recommend which ones need to be brought closer.

If you are still unsure about the benefits of SRM 1.3 and debating whether purchase a Synology Router (or maybe you have one and you are unsure whether to upgrade from SRM 1.2 > 1.3), you can use the video and article below where I fully reviewed SRM 1.3 on the RT6600ax Router.

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology SRM 1.3 Update for MR2200ac and RT2600ac Routers FINALLY!!!

23 juin 2022 à 00:00

Synology Release SRM 1.3 for the RT2600AC & MR2200ac Router for Adding RT6600ax Mesh Setups

Good news for those of you who have been considering upgrading their existing Synology router mesh setup OR those who already own the previous releases in the Synology Router series with the announcement of SRM 1.3 for the RT2600ac and MR2200ac devices. Synology Router Manager (SRM) 1.3 was released with the newest device in the brand’s router lineup, the RT6600ax, but not made available for the previous generation devices immediately. The newest version of SRM includes multiple improvements to the GUI, included applications and services, added vLAN support and (most important of all) now means that those of you who have an existing MR2200ac Mesh network in place can now connect with the RT6600ax (that many opted to replace the RT22600ac in their existing set ups). Updating your Synology MR2200ac and RT2600ac to SRM 1.3 SHOULD be very easy as soon as the Release Candidate of SRM 1.3 is available on the official download pages (HERE for the MR2200ac and HERE for the RT2600ac) as you will be able to manually download and update your system OR head into the control panel and allow the router to check the Synology update database and update directly.

Important Note About Using MR2200ac as a Mesh Node for the Synology RT6600ax Mesh Router

IMPORTANT!!! If you are running an RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router and want to add a batch of new/factory restored MR2200ac Mesh Points, you will need to go through the process of updating each node from SRM 1.2 to SRM 1.3. However, unlike Synology NAS systems during initialization, there is no point in the first-time setup of the MR2200ac/RT2600ac to upload a firmware file or the system search for the latest firmware online. This is only possible AFTER the router is initialized and from there, you will need to download the latest firmware (SRM 1.3), allow the system to reboot, THEN reinitialise the MR2200ac/RT2600ac so it can enter a ‘find’ status (when the LED on the system is a single, flashing blue light). From THAT point, you can find the MR2200ac/RT2600ac in the WiFi Access Point Search of your RT6600ax Router and add these nodes successfully. So:

  • ALL Synology MR2200ac Mesh Routers will need to be updated individually to SRM 1.3 before attempting to connect with an RT6600ax Router Network
  • SRM 1.3 Update can be downloaded from the Synology site OR from the MR2200ac initialization (coming soon, after Release Candidate and final release are made public online)
  • First-time initialization and setup in 1.3 has been updated, so the initialization of a Router with SRM 1.3 on board is much simpler and more user-friendly
  • If you try to connect your RT6600ax to an MR2200ac mesh node without updating that mesh node to SRM 1.3, it will SEE the MR200ac, but it will not be able to connect it due to firmware incompatibility between SRM 1.2 and SRM 1.3

It is worth highlighting that from then onwards, your primary router will be able to push updates to the nodes individually (much as the RT2600ac pushes updates to the MR2200ac mesh router points). No doubt as time goes on, this method of updating with be considerably easier and as newer routers go through manufacture, they will have SRM 1.3 onboard by default.

IMPORTANT #2! – If you are migrating from an RT2600ac to an RT6600ax Router, make sure to update the RT2600ac to SRM 1.3 first, then backup your router configuration in the control panel by heading to Control Panel > System > Update & Restore > Backup Configuration. From here you can create a config file that you can store locally on your computer, which can then be used to reinstate your configuration on the new RT6600ax. SRM 1.2 configurations cannot be used on an SRM 1.3 Router

Installation of SRM 1.3 on the Synology MR2200ac Router

First of all, upgrading to SRM 1.3 is much the same as typical firmware updates in Synology products IF you already have the device setup and can log in to the GUI.

Updating an MR2200ac or RT2600ac via the GUI

Log into your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac and head into the control panel, then select System, then Update & Restore, then select Manual SRM Update.

From here browse your local machine and find the .PAT file that you downloaded from Synology.com in the download area of the RT2600ac or MR2200ac, then select it and choose to install this update

You will be greeted by a pop-up that states that this update may change or remove some features of SRM 1.2 in line with SRM 1.3. Additionally, it will stop backup configurations you have made of SRM 1.2 from working in this new revision of the software. From here you can click confirm to proceed

The system will start uploading the SRM 1.3 pat update file to the MR2200ac or RT2600ac router

You will then be informed that in order for the update to take effect, then you will need to restart

During this installation and completion of the SRM 1.3 update, the router and its services will not be accessible.

When the installation of the first part of the SRM 1.3 update is completed, the system will reboot and a clock will count down. If the router GUI does not reappear in the browser after this time, it may well be because the router was on a dynamic IP setting and has changed it’s address. Use the Synology Assistant tool to find your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac’s new address.

When the system reboots, it will book back into the login GUI, but now it will be the improved and further polished SRM 1.3 login screen. From here you can log in as normal and enjoy SRM 1.3 with new features.

Next, lets discuss what you need to do in order to add existing MR2200ac and RT2600ac routers to a mesh network with the RT6600ax Router.

Adding a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac Router to the Synology RT6600ax Router as a Mesh Point

In order to add a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac to your RT6600ax Router as a mesh point, you will need to ensure that they are running SRM 1.3 as their firmware. In the case of the RT2600ac, this will be REALLY easy, as you can access the main SRM 1.2 GUI and update to SRM 1.3 as the software appears on the Synology Download section. However, in the case of MR2200ac nodes (which are rarely used as a primary router) you are going to need to update each node with SRM 1.3 before they are seen by the RT6600ax. If you have them connected with an RT2600ac, it is easy to push the update to SRM 1.3 across the whole existing network. However, if you only have the RT6600ax and 1 or more MR2200ac mesh routers, each one will need to be updated to SRM 1.3 using the steps in the guide above THEN formatted to factory settings.

If your MR2200ac is on SRM 1.2, follow the guide above to upgrade it to SRM 1.3. If you have updated your MR2200ac to SRM 1.3, you now need to restore it to factory settings here:

Doing so will result in the device deleting all data and settings – so be sure that this is what you want to do. Proceeding with this will result in the device taking 5-10 minutes to complete.

Alternatively – you can reset your MR2200ac router by using the reset pin on the rear of the router. However, this will not allow you to make any configuration backups and is irreversible.

Next, head over to your Synology RT6600ax Router and head into the WiFi Access Tab to start adding WiFi points/Nodes

You will be asked which connection method your nodes will be connected by. I STRONGLY recommend selecting both ethernet and wireless connections

The reason I recommend this is that it is about 100x easier to set up a smaller mess network of around 5-6 nodes by bringing them all together and connecting via LAN to the RT6600ax, then later disconnecting them and positioning them where you need them to be. It IS worth remembering that later on when you get them up that their distance from the primary router will affect the strength BUT (crucially) when a Synology mesh router is connected with the RT6600ax primary router, it knows the wifi identity and security credentials of the node and will connect wirelessly with the MR2200ac etc as soon as it is within range (even if the primary connection was via wired ethernet).

Note, if you are connecting the nodes (temporarily for setup or long term) via ethernet, you need to ensure that the MR2200ac or RT2600ac has cable connected to the WAN port and into a LAN port of the RT6600ax. Otherwise, the connection/host-client communication will not function correctly. Again, later on, after the node is set up, you can move these nodes away and the wireless connectivity will also function between the mesh points.

After this, there are a few steps to highlight the best places to set up a mesh node (in terms of proximity and multiple points), but also a note that you need the mesh mode in the correct LED lit configuration (that single blue flashing light)

When the RT6600ax scans the local network for the other Synology router to extend the mesh network, it will list the router(s) it has found and then invite you to enter the secure pin code that is printed on the back of all Synology routers (8 digits, numerical, cannot be changed)

After that, the RT6600ax Router will begin setting up the new mesh WiFi point (testing the strength of connection, copying over the SSID configuration and establishing the backhaul). This will not take more than a minute or so per node and (unless the mesh node has been obstructed, powered down, or has not been updated to SRM 1.3) should connect to the RT6600ax network.

And that is it. Now the MR2200ac or RT2600ac are part of your RT6600ax Mesh router system. They will no longer appear on the Synology Assistant tool and their SRM GUI cannot be accessed – they are now connection nodes to the larger RT6600ax router system and can be managed and adjusted in the SRM 1.3 GUI of the primary router. You can also power down the mesh router nodes and move them to new locations in your home or office for greater coverage. When they power back on, as long as they are in the coverage area of the primary router, they will re-join the RT6600ax/Primary router network automatically. If they are in a weak area of coverage/distance, the system will let you know and recommend which ones need to be brought closer.

If you are still unsure about the benefits of SRM 1.3 and debating whether purchase a Synology Router (or maybe you have one and you are unsure whether to upgrade from SRM 1.2 > 1.3), you can use the video and article below where I fully reviewed SRM 1.3 on the RT6600ax Router.

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part V – USB Storage Services & Conclusion

20 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – USB & Storage Services

One feature of Synology routers and SRM 1.3 in general that I really, REALLY think doesn’t get anywhere near the respect it deserves is the USB support. Coming from the network storage pedigree that Synology has, you would expect their router to support some level of storage by adding a USB drive. Hell, most ISP routers and $50 amazon unbranded routers have USB ports. However, unlike the painful simply breadcrumb and white screen file list arrangement that most routers with a USB port provide, SRM 1.3 provides several personal NAS class storage management tools. This combined with a number of the router service tools able to use the storage for their records and logs (as well as the use of the USB for failover/phone-tethering), you might see why I am also super annoyed that the latest generation Synology RT6600ax router only has one port. Ultimately though (short of that niche failover support for business), SRM 1.3 is at its best when that USB is used with a storage drive.

A connected drive can be accessed and interacted with by both Windows and Mac operating systems, with access being made possible in a bunch of different ways, ranging from network access to web browser targets and even WebDav for remote internet access.

Much like Synology NAS, you can set the system to periodically index the storage drive for multimedia, as well as regularly scan the media for creating thumbnails. SRM 1.3 allows the connected media to be visible by DLNA/uPnP network players (so most home consoles, smart TVs, sound systems and phones), though remote access and any kind of transcoding if completely off the table with this level of hardware of course!

Using the File Station application provides you with a genuinely complete file management tool, that allows you to intuitively browse the files, create shared folders, Copy, Paste, Archive, extract and view media files in the web browser. It is completely the same as the File Station tool that is included with every Synology NAS and is a joy to use!

Although using USB storage via a router (when cloud storage and NAS storage are now very mainstream) seems a bit old skool, if you are placing this router in your home network and do not have any form of network-attached storage or substantial cloud space available (eg in the terabytes), this port serves as an excellent alternative. Plus, given the low cost of USB external drives that are bus-powered (available in up to 4-5TB currently), this drive can be used as a backup drive for all/most of your devices when combined with the Synology mobile apps available, as well as a means to share those files locally or remotely over the internet with colleagues and family in just 2-3 clicks.

Additionally, you can map the storage as a network drive on both Windows and Mac systems, so you do not even need to log into the SRM 1.3 GUI interface to read/write to it. Even if an external USB drive will only hit around 120-160MB/s (unless it’s SSD based of course), that will be fine as a single WiFi 6 80-160Mhz connection will saturate between 120-240MB/s under perfect conditions.

You can even access the storage on the UB storage connected to the Synology RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac router with the DS File mobile application for iOS and Android, meaning you can interact with your files on the go, as well as trigger automated photo backups from your phone with the extra options built into File Station/DS File.

SRM 1.3 also supports the brand’s download station tool which allows you to action files to be downloaded from anywhere on the internet onto your connected USB drive. These download options take many forms (FTP, HTTP, RSS feeds, Torrents, NZB, etc) and can be managed from this single portal in the web browser or via the DS Get application for iOS and Android. I have been using Download station on my NAS for downloading the latest episodes of podcasts for years now and always found Download Station on Synology to be one of the best tools out there for managing internet-wide downloads. It does have a search functionality built-in, but (like more download manager applications like this on other NAS brand’s systems), I would use caution, as Synology cannot fully verify the sources (though you can list others, such as the InternetArchive which is an ever-growing rich source of historical data).

The support of USB storage on SRM 1.3 might sound a little archaic in the age of Google Drive, DropBox and NAS drives becoming increasingly affordable, but I am still hugely gratified to know that the development that Synology has made into their storage systems has been extended to SRM. As mentioned earlier, you might well be looking at a Synology router for your home for its Safe Access, performance and coverage, but it also means you have the option for a surprisingly robust and multi-featured storage system too by just adding a USB Drive. Plus SRM also features the means to backup your existing router configuration in case you need to experiment with your ports/settings and want to roll back easily, which can be stored on your local client machine or the USB. It’s just a shame that the most recent RT6600ax that has SRM 1.3 onboard only has a single USB (forcing users to have to make a tough decision on storage vs a phone sim dongle/tethered-phone for a WAN failover, but nevertheless the USB support in SRM 1.3 is unparalleled.

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Conclusion & Verdict

When reviewing and judging Synology Router Manager 1.3, you have to somewhat separate your feelings about Synology router hardware (the RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac) a little. This is because, although the Synology router hardware may seem a little safe-to-middling at times vs current hardware in the market, the software they provide has always been absolute class. SRM 1.3 continues this pedigree with a user interface that manages to do the nearly unthinkable – it manages to make the process of managing your network easy and actually ENGAGING! That’s one of the biggest hurdles of managing a router and your network security in general, it’s a massive chore that is fraught with technical jargon, hurdles and screens saying ‘no’, ‘invalid’ or ‘not available’. Synology has crafted a genuinely intuitive and accessible router software system here and although a lot of that is thanks to their years in NAS software, they have certainly improved upon previous revisions in SRM too. When it comes to the features that SRM arrives with, clearly ‘Safe Access’ is one of the killer apps of the SRM 1.3. But it doesn’t stand alone and thanks to the integrations of ‘network switch’ style controls and a wide array of custom network settings, it really feels like more of a complete version in 1.3. Additions of long-overdue features such as vLAN and customs, custom SSIDs and the DS Router application’s improved layout/controls are smaller steps in SRM 1.3’s development than some would like, but with the software feeling that pinch more responsive and the layout of the controls getting tweaked to be more intuitive, that just means that SRM 1.3 is just adding polish to an already fantastic management system. Additionally, the latest generation of Synology router hardware means that new configuration options and the extent to which you can use SRM 1.3’s services have been drastically increased in time for version 1.3. At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the SRM 1.3 update to extend to the full Synology router series (thereby enabling mesh with the likes of the MR2200ac), but that shouldn’t be too long and with that, the option for SRM 1.3 to manage a grander mesh wireless network in your home/office will be hugely beneficial. In short, still highly recommend it SRM 1.3 in 2022/2023.

PROs of the SRM 1.3 CONs of SRM 1.3
Incredibly easy to use, intuitive and very responsive

‘Safe Access’ puts all other Parental Control and filtering services to shame (and it’s included subscription-free)

vLAN and multiple connected SSID created are now available

Multiple Failover Options available

USB Support in SRM 1.3 is huge and shouldn’t be overlooked

Guest WiFi Portal and Generated reports have a real business/enterprise feel to them

The free VPN Plus licence is pretty generous vs other routers/platforms

Good range of support, guidance and suggested setup tools

Can be setup, accessed and controlled locally & remotely. As well as via multiple mobile apps, desktops web browsers or SSH

Mesh Support with MR2200ac is still not available at the time of writing as the SRM 1.3 update is not on all routers yet

Similar hardware routers from Netgear (even older NightHawk generations) allowed container applications (plex, smart home tools, etc)

Not strictly plug n play

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE

Synology Router Portfolio

RT6600ax

RT2600ac

MR2200ac

Class / band
compatible standards
AX6600 / Tri-band
IEEE 802.11ax / ac / a / b / g / n
AC2600 / dual band
IEEE 802.11ac / a / b / g / n
AC2200 / Tri-band
IEEE 802.11ac / a / b / g / n
Maximum communication speed
(5GHz band 1)
4800Mbps

(160Mhz)

1,733Mbps
(4str / 80MHz)
867Mbps
(2str / 80MHz)
Maximum communication speed
(5GHz band 2)
1200Mbps incompatible 867Mbps
(2str / 80MHz)
Maximum communication speed
(2.4GHz band)
600Mbps 800Mbps
(4str / 40MHz / 256QAM)
400Mbps
(2str / 40MHz / 256QAM)
WAN terminal 1000BASE-T x 1 1000BASE-T x 1 1000BASE-T x 1
LAN terminal 2.5GBASE-T x 1 * 1
1000BASE-T x 3
1000BASE-T x 4 * 2 1000BASE-T x 1
USB terminal USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1 USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1
USB 2.0 Standard-A x 1
USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1
CPU Qualcomm IPQ6018
Arm Cortex-A53 4-core 1.8GHz
Qualcomm IPQ8065
Qualcomm Krait 300 2 core 1.7GHz
Qualcomm IPQ4019
Arm Cortex-A7 4 core 717MHz
RAM 1GB DDR3 DDR3 512MB DDR3 256MB

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part IV – The Safe Access Application

19 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Safe Access

Synology has featured ‘Safe Access’ in SRM pretty much since the beginning. It takes the basic logic that most routers have of being able to ‘see’ devices that are connected to the network and change how, what, where and when they can access ANYTHING. I know that sounds a bit ‘control freak’, but this is more commonly referred to as Parental Controls in more basic routers. However, ‘Safe Access’ is so far ahead of this in terms of its design, control and deployment that what you actually have here is something hugely suited for home and business that most routers barely come close to (with some companies such as TP-Link and Linksys charging monthly subscription fees for on top of the router purchase). At its core, Safe Access allows you to create profiles of users (so, your family or professional employees for example), band their connected devices under that profile, and then allow you to create custom levels of access to everything (internet or network) that suits their role/maturity. This logic can also be applied to creating profiles that suit network hardware (NAS, Switches, IP Cameras, etc) which can be duplicated and/or amended as needed.

Once a profile is created (and even during the process) you can ensure that the user/hardware it is intended for will only be able to access specific networks/SSIDs on the hardware that is connected with their profile. As new devices appear on the device history page, these can be assigned to the existing profiles or you can start a new profile up at any time.

Once a range of profiles for the devices and people in your router network, Safe Access allows you to monitor their access (both Live and historical information if you have enabled the feature) and start to change the rules of their access, which genuinely has a large amount of advantages for home users with young children in the house that needs their web access to be more structured and/or employees that need enough access to do their job, but not enough not too!

The full range of controls and access protocols that you have the ability to adapt/limit/restrict access to is pretty awesome. These include pre-set site filtering options (with databases updated regularly) that quickly create blanket access rules for sites online (As well as the option to customize and add/remove pages that you want). Then there are scheduled access times that will bar that profile/users from complete access at pre-set times. Interestingly, you CAN set rules that allow a profiled user to, upon hitting an access-rule that was the result of restrictions and guidelines you put on that profile, request access and that will be pushed to the appropriate admin/power user to allow/deny (linked with notifications) and can be accessed and actioned from in the DS Router 2.0 mobile app too.

Click to view slideshow.

However the most intriguing for parents looking at this router will be the Time Quota feature. This is a system that allows you to bestow X amount of time per day to a profile that can be strictly shared to all their devices (i.e a 3-hour quote cannot be repeated on 3 devices if all three come under 1 profile user, it is shared).

Safe Access still continues to be a great feature even several versions into SRM and after years of testing and measuring against the parental controls of many other routers I have reviewed, this still wins by a country mile! Before we conclude this review, let’s discuss the storage support of SRM 1.3 and see what the famous NAS brand Synology brings to the table here. When reviewing and judging Synology Router Manager 1.3, you have to somewhat separate your feelings about Synology router hardware (the RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac) a little. This is because, although the Synology router hardware may seem a little safe-to-middling at times vs current hardware in the market, the software they provide has always been absolute class. SRM 1.3 continues this pedigree with a user interface that manages to do the nearly unthinkable – it manages to make the process of managing your network easy and actually ENGAGING! That’s one of the biggest hurdles of managing a router and your network security in general, it’s a massive chore that is fraught with technical jargon, hurdles and screens saying ‘no’, ‘invalid’ or ‘not available’. Synology has crafted a genuinely intuitive and accessible router software system here and although a lot of that is thanks to their years in NAS software, they have certainly improved upon previous revisions in SRM too. When it comes to the features that SRM arrives with, clearly ‘Safe Access’ is one of the killer apps of the SRM 1.3. But it doesn’t stand alone and thanks to the integrations of ‘network switch’ style controls and a wide array of custom network settings, it really feels like more of a complete version in 1.3. Additions of long-overdue features such as vLAN and customs, custom SSIDs and the DS Router application’s improved layout/controls are smaller steps in SRM 1.3’s development than some would like, but with the software feeling that pinch more responsive and the layout of the controls getting tweaked to be more intuitive, that just means that SRM 1.3 is just adding polish to an already fantastic management system. Additionally, the latest generation of Synology router hardware means that new configuration options and the extent to which you can use SRM 1.3’s services have been drastically increased in time for version 1.3. At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the SRM 1.3 update to extend to the full Synology router series (thereby enabling mesh with the likes of the MR2200ac), but that shouldn’t be too long and with that, the option for SRM 1.3 to manage a grander mesh wireless network in your home/office will be hugely beneficial. In short, still highly recommend it SRM 1.3 in 2022/2023.

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part III – Network Management

18 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Network Management

The more premium a router is (i.e expensive!) the more you find that they start to feature features and services that are more often found in switches. Indeed, it still surprises me that Synology has yet to make the jump towards its own range of switches in the way that the other NAS brand QNAP has. That said, the network management and control that is featured in SRM 1.3 is quite extensive for a router, even if the complaints surrounding how long it has taken Synology to feature virtual network creation have been fairly constant these last few years. The Network Center application largely provides the bulk of network management resources, opening up into a brief overview of available connectivity and enabled SSIDs. There is also a live graph of activity covering uploads, downloads, system hardware resources and the status of those individual physical ports.

If you dig a little into the Port Status area, you are able to see any live connections and the bandwidth currently available on that connected line. This was one area of design that I was a little underwhelmed by on Synology’s part. Aside from the user interface in the Network Center application featuring a few different options whether you used the router on its own or as an additional access point (which makes sense logically), SRM 1.3 still lacks a larger topographical overview of the network, virtual networks and SSIDs. I appreciate that this would fall more into ‘network switch’ territory, but with the RT6600ax router with SRM 1.3 supporting 5 virtual networks, 15 SSIDs on a network, 4 LAN ports and the ability to bond them together in a custom way – that would be MUCH easier to comprehend graphically or in a breadcrumb/tree style.

There IS however a clear and quick-to-setup means to create a failover connection involving multiple ports. Although in the diagram below WAN and LAN 1 were featured, this is customizable via dropdowns. Additionally, you can factor in the USB SIM dongle or Mobile Phone USB tethering services to be used as a failover for the WAN and a wired internet connection. This failover also has a few straightforward rules and system policies for how the switch would take place in the event of your primary connection dropping, as well as what happens when it gets stored. Fairly straightforward stuff, but presented very well in SRM 1.3 and makes having a backup internet connection a lot more justifiable and easy to implement.

The newly added virtual network creation (vLAN) support in SRM 1.3 is pretty straightforward and (as this system is a router) also benefits from a few extra things (as well as supporting a few things you might expect), such as:

  • The ability to assign custom VLAN IDs
  • The option to completely block a vLAN to access the SRM 1.3 Controls/GUI
  • The option to block any communication/visibility between one vLAN and all other networks
  • The option to bond (attach) a physical port to a specific vLAN
  • The option to connect the vLAN with an existing SSID or create a new one during the creation wizard
  • Later in the access and user panels, you can permit levels of access to virtual networks

Again, this is all not really groundbreaking stuff, but 1) it’s something people have requested in SRM for a while, 2) brings a lot of network switch functionality to a router and 3) is presented in that special Synology ay that makes it remarkably straight forward. Bearing in mind we are talking about vLAN creation (something very few domestic users will ever know how/need to do) being made as easy as setting up an old Hotmail email account, I respect the effort.

Click to view slideshow.

Once additional networks have been created, they are displayed in a list on the main Network center page, each able to be completely reconfigured or their identities and ports changed with ease. Again, I am surprised that Synology was not able to show this information in a bit more of a pictorial fashion (something the likes of Netgear and QNAP have shown on their routers and switches for years).

As you might expect, creating a new SSID is INCREDIBLY easy in SRM 1.3 and you can create a whole lot of them too. Each can have its own identity, security protocol (eg WPA 3 Enterprise style or something more modest for legacy devices), and assignment to a specific frequency or band (eg 2.4-5Ghz and/or over 80Mhz or 160Mhz) to ensure that the right wireless connections are getting the benefits of the better coverage. That really is just scratching the surface of it and it’s impressively detailed in its configuration options.

As you might expect, SRM 1.3 (of course) features port forwarding rules that can be changed and allows you to create those more targeting but tactically placed means of accessing your network when needed, whilst keeping the safeguards in place. This is something that Synology cannot really make very user friendly and frank it should not be! Aside from the fact that a basic-mid level of understanding of port placement and protocol is needed, too much bad news surrounding ransomware injections from the likes of Asustor and QNAP in the last year or two has demonstrated the folly of inexperienced users punching holes in their firewalls etc (or worse still, brand’s offering to do it for you with little warning to the consequences). A standard by often vital feature, that is getting the respectful treatment it deserves here.

For those of you that have high priority internet connections running into your home or business premises, there is a specialized setting for giving PoS to IPTV (so online TV services and VoIP (voice over IP) phone lines. Along with numerous profiles for each that can be selected from a drop-down, you can also create custom profiles manually. This will likely be only of use to specific users and perhaps a greater range of external internet services might be added over time (as they increase in popularity) but still a handy feature for some and a nice extra for business lines certainly to ensure that phone calls over the internet are clear as/when needed, rather than giving a specific port priority of service generally, which might lead to unnecessary network throttling for everyone else accidentally. Better to identify a service specifically, rather than the port.

Talking of identification, as devices are connected and disconnected from the machine SRM keeps a record and along with names, will try to assign a device identity (classing it as a phone, laptop, printer, NAS, etc), which will be useful later to know what devices are on which network (As well as assigning access to these later in the ‘Safe Access’ tool. This is by no means full proof in how accurate it will identify devices and you can add custom icons as needed.

Returning to external checks and monitoring, SRM 1.3 also includes a few bits and bobs in the ‘Network Tools’ area for monitoring how packets of data are moving externally. These include a Traceroute service for when you connect with a website, so that you can see where data you get travelled along the way, particularly routers. A traceroute provides a map of how data on the internet travels from its source to its destination and although is often limited by connections along the route, can be a handy way to troubleshoot, as well as test site identities. Next, there is a ping measurement tool that allows you to measure the reply speed in milliseconds from a site to test your connection to/from a given internet location. Finally, there is an incredibly easy to use Wake on LAN (WoL) service that will automatically list available devices that are on the network and allow you to power them on/off if they support that feature. Again, this is now exactly groundbreaking, but it is presented in a very easy to understand way, which is what SRM 1.3 seems to constantly strive for and (for the most part) succeed at.

Click to view slideshow.

The last thing I want to touch on is the ability to generate remarkably professional reports of system activity (as well as internet, user, device and specific network service activity) in a scheduled and repeatable form. These generated reports can be tailored to a specific date or time, and can also have the range of data/services that they include be customized too. So, if you want a once a day, or once a week report that details the network behaviour of your staff, this can be set up automatically to be emailed to you on the frequency of your choosing.

Alternatively, you can create a much more general and system/network-wide report that covered the activity of everything in-house (as well as external connections where appropriate) and from there get a good understanding of the main active users/devices. This is all presented in a great balance of textual and graphical language and is something that IT admins will be able to use and learn from. Synology provides an even better and more dynamic version of this kind of reporting in their multi-site/system monitoring platform ‘Active Insight’ (a paid subscription platform), so I am impressed that Synology has not attempted to play this tool behind a license or cloud wall.

Click to view slideshow.

There is also a fairly common feature in SSRM and on the Synology routers to create a guest WiFi SSID that allows you to create a network that has lower network importance, access and connectivity to the rest of the system. This is hardly new, but it is worth highlighting that this Guest WiFi mode is a great deal more customizable than many I have seen and you can change a great deal of the rules, timing and allowed behaviour permitted on it.

You can even very quickly create a custom login portal screen (much like many of the public WiFi spaces you may have logged into previously) with SRM 1.3 and this adds an interesting extra degree of policy to your business class router operation.

The network management of SRM 1.3 is still good and something that those inexperienced in this rather double-niche area of I.T will certainly find beneficial. Those more aware of this subject are likely to want to look past the user-friendly GUI and ask for the more aggressive customization tools (many of which are absent and/or are more at home in a network switch, such as port trunking or even semi-automated loop detection when switches are introduced to the router LANs), but when you have here is still remarkably well presented, very responsive, more customizable than I thought it would be and you are still getting a decent mix of a router and switch features packed into a single software platform in SRM 1.3. Let’s sink our teeth into Safe Access – possibly one of the main reasons that mainly look at the Synology Router series.

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part II – Safety & Security

17 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – General Security & Safety

Regardless of whether you are a home or business user, the security of your network is going to be one of your priorities very early on. Both internal network security with the devices that are exchanging packets of data via the router, right the way to how the router governs and manages the stream of data coming from your internet connection, if a router isn’t particularly secure, you will all too quickly find out! Worse still, if you are an inexperienced network technology user or a business lacking in-house IT support, then the ease of configuring a router to be as secure as possible within your specific network environment is going to be even more of an uphill battle. SRM 1.3 tackles this in several very clear ways. First off, despite its incredibly user-friendly browser GUI, the majority of its more potentially insecure architecture elements (i.e those that if you mishandle them or let them open could be disastrous in the wrong hands) are either disabled by default or are locked behind more advanced configuration windows/portals. Some are more obvious than others, such as port forwarding (common to all routers and not something anyone should touch without reason) settings and IP/Mac address blocking, which are all quite useful, but common. However, there are little things of note that are impressively specific to SRM 1.3, such as the power-use admin account being disabled by default. Something that even now in 2022 is still not the case for many routers (including ISP ones) and with those same power user crenedtials printed on the base of the router.

Additionally, all devices (both current and for a period, historical) are monitored in SRM and this allows you to monitor their behaviour, block them, label for for later use in ‘Safe Access’ or simply keep an eye on their behaviour.

If you had additional SRM 1.3 software user accounts, there are several options for restricting an accounts access (IP locking, resritcing individual app/storage access, removing SRM 1.3 dashboard access, etc) and that also extends to auto-block methods that will change the parameters for a scenario where someone is trying to log into an account erroniously.

When it comes to what services, features and applications the router with SRM 1.3 is running, there is a single portal full control list that allows you to quickly disable these quickly in the event you need to shut everything down tight or just want to troubleshoot each service one by one. This list of services and level of control will differ on whether you are using the router as a primary or secondary system, but this single page means to shut down any active internet/network service is really handy.

Then there are the inbuilt firewall settings that allow you to use present configurations for securing your internet access point, as well as the means to create a much more customized set of firewall rules. It has to be said that the bulk of things covered in security in SRM 1.3 so far are available on the bulk of prosumer routers, just not presented in a way as user-friendly as here and not to the same extent in most cases.

Then there is the inclusion of the Synology VPN software within SRM 1.3. VPN Plus allows your Synology Router to host a powerful VPN server that is easy to set up and manage. It supports SSTP, OpenVPN, L2TP over IPSec, as well as Synology’s own SSL VPN protocol and lightweight desktop client. Web-based portal VPN gives users direct access to company intranet sites and there is even an option to provide employees with browser-based remote desktop access. The Synology VPN is a service that supports SSL fast authentication and encryption access to webpages, files, and applications on the Internet (as well as local networks). Here, you can customize things like the Client IP range, Self-owned domain name, ports, security level, authentication, and others. You can also enable split tunnelling, which allows users to connect to destination webpages, applications, and servers in certain local subnets or local IP ranges.

Click to view slideshow.

Each Client VPN Access License allows one concurrent user account to use Synology WebVPN, SSL VPN and SSTP, with permanent validity upon activation. Every Synology product that supports VPN Plus comes with a free license. To add more concurrent user accounts at no additional cost, simply sign in to Synology Router Manager (SRM) as an administrator to activate additional free licenses. You can assign permissions to more user accounts than installed licenses. All the accounts are given access on a first-come, first-served basis. When the license quota is reached, no more accounts will be given access until other accounts are disconnected from all Synology SSL VPN, WebVPN, and SSTP services. Once a user account is connected to VPN Plus and starts using any of the three features, it will be allowed to use any of the other features on the same or different devices at once without requiring extra licenses. Each additional connection beyond the first requires registration of a free license.

Features Pre-installed free license Additional free client VPN access licenses
Service Synology SSL VPN 1 concurrent account Up to product specifications
WebVPN
SSTP
OpenVPN Unlimited connections (up to product specifications)
L2TP over IPsec
PPTP
Management Real-time traffic monitor V
Connection history V
Service-based permissions V
Bandwidth control V
Block list V

For those that want to get even more beefed up in the security stakes when accessing the controls and complete GUI of SRM 1.3, you also have the option to create/install a secure tunnel with free and easy installation of the Let’s Encrypt certificates from within the control panel. This is a small extra that you can of course manage for the most part with many other paid certificates if you prefer, but it is still good to have this option available from within the software and that it guides you through the process too.

Speaking of guiding the user through the process, SRM 1.3 also includes the Security Advisor tool (much like the one found in NAS and DSM) that analyzes your system and then provides you with details on how you can strengthen the safeguards, settings and setup of your router. The extent to which it will check and report can be configured in its settings menu, but even in the default configuration, it is quite thorough.

Upon completion of a scan, SRM 1.3 will then provide suggestions on what you need to correct/improve upon. Again, a lot of this is going to be a bit comment-internet-sense-101 (eg don’t use ‘password’ as your password), but it does include several more business-focused recommendations if you chose that level of scanning. The scanning with the security advisor can be triggered manually or set to a regular schedule from with the software and can also be linked to notifications if a potential vulnerability or router weakness is highlighted. This then allows you to connect with the router, access the severity of it and then proceed accordingly.

When it comes to accessing the router and SRM 1.3, local access (eg from on the same network) will be relatively straight forward and unless you have blocked SRM access on a specific account or your IP/Subnet/etc are different to the system, you should have fairly direct and secure access up to this point. But what about remote/internet access? Sometimes you will want to access the router and SRM 1.3 to quickly access a setting/service (perhaps for IT troubleshooting or simply a family memory having difficulty with the network). In that case, you can use the popular Synology Quick Connect service (much like their NAS) to tunnel into the router and SRM 1.3 securely from anywhere in the world, via Synology’s encrypted servers. This is a completely free service that is included with ALL Synology products and can also be customized to only allow access via very specific means and by very specific people too.

Then you have ‘Safe Access’, one of the jewels of the crown in SRM 1.3. I will go into more detail on the Safe Access service later on, but in terms of security, alongside a whole bunch of ways to craft a safe and trusted internet access point for your router users, Safe Access also allows you to enable forced Google Safe Browsing and enable the Threat Intelligence database tool. So, let’s go through these two forms of network protection, what they do and how they help.

The safe search functionality allows you to automatically shift the results of popular internet search tools and some social platforms to automatically enable ‘safe’ mode or disable any NSFW content. This will also overwrite any custom policies that users logged into those sites will have (i.e having a Google account logged in and set to show all results’ will be overwritten by the router enforcing safe search rules). This is a feature that is widely available on ISP routers and other paid premium routers, HOWEVER, on those you lack the scaled options of off/low/moderate/high, as well as the option to scale these to individual users/devices on the system and different policies to different sites. Eg you want your employees to have full and unrestricted access to YouTube and Social sites for marketing purposes, but want adult content restricted on typical Google search results in the workplace.

Now Synology’s Threat Prevention dynamically guards the security of your Synology Router as data is handled and manages packets on network devices by inspecting Internet traffic to detect and drop malicious packets and also records network events, for statistical analyses regarding malicious sources to check their severity. Threat prevention is arguably less advanced in its architecture compared with Safe Access, ut is still a great tool in a much broader way.

Click to view slideshow.

Understanding the difference between these two approaches to protect your network and your network client base is quite straightforward. They represent two different approaches to your network security. Safe Access is DNS-and IP-based. It integrates several external databases (including Google Safe Browsing) that identify domains and IPs related to malware, phishing, botnets, command and control servers, social engineering, etc. When a device in the network attempts to access the blacklisted destinations, Synology Router prevents the connection from even being established. Threat Prevention, on the other hand, is signature-based. It monitors incoming and outgoing traffic using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) – not just checking the domain or IP – and is able to drop any malicious packet detected in real-time. In addition to Internet attacks, Threat Prevention can alert you to inappropriate user behaviour, such as sending passwords through unencrypted HTTP traffic. Both packages work automatically. You can review the event logs and adjust the actions, but even if you don’t, they still silently protect you in the background.

The know target lists and algorithms that each of these tools (and other connected databases that feed into the intelligent actions and alerts) are updated regularly in the system database and by default, these are automatically downloaded to their latest versions. It is recommended that you never change these settings.

Overall the background and passive security settings that are configurable in SRM 1.3 are not an enormous leak, at least in terms of the broad result, than more premium routers in the market. What sets SRM 1.3 out from them though is that it is presented in a much more user-friendly fashion, is considerably more scalable and provides a considerable amount of flexibility that most other routers would limit to an ON/OFF switch. The Threat Prevention tool is can be a little underwhelming (perhaps needing more attention than it has, especially compared with Safe Search) but overall the security and safety of internet connectivity via a Synology router and SRM 1.3 is still very good.

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

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