NAS Compares Synology Mesh – Speed and Coverage Test

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NAS Compares Synology Mesh – Speed and Coverage Test

Testing the Synology MR2200ac Mesh Router System

The stability and connectivity of the internet in your home or office environment is a subject that is becoming an increasing concern (and cause of frustration) in many home and offices around the world. Because we rely so heavily on the internet in our everyday lives, whilst still wanting mobility and ease of access for our mobile and portable devices, the importance of a strong and healthy WiFi signal is of the utmost importance. Though many users will only ever own domestic routers for Wireless coverage that are supplied by their internet service provider (ISPs) included with a contract, these are not really suitable for the kind of coverage that we need. Out of this, many brands have popped up with their own solution and the Synology MR2200ac is a fine example. Although many users are not used to actually BUYING a router, the idea of buying multiple routers is an idea that they really want to take some time on. Who can blame them, all the popular Mesh routers from Netgear, Google, TP-Link, Synology and Fritz all make some bold promises about what their device can do? So, I am going to make my way through as many mesh routers for home and business that I can, compare the cost and see how good their coverage is. Today I am focusing on the Synology MR2200ac mesh router and how well it can work in a multi-floor office environment, with 3 routers in a mesh network.

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fredbert

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Interesting article.

The bit that was missing for me was a discussion of backhaul connections, especially wireless backhaul. A client device gets great a great signal to the nearest mesh AP but that's on little use is the APs don't have a strong backhaul connection.

With wired this isn't an issue but will limit the placement locations for AP to those with ethernet sockets and, if POE/POE+ isn't supported by the AP and switch, a power socket. But for wireless backhaul then the same issues that affect client device connectivity to the 'main' AP router will affect mesh APs between each other. You'll need to position wireless backhaul APs closer so that their connectivity speed doesn't drop off.

I'd also say that the business use may be for small offices, if 10m is the test limit. I wouldn't be surprised if slightly bigger (meaning floorspace) businesses opted for a Cisco Meraki setup that includes a centralised portal with a load of reports and information on performance.

For home users that don't have access to business-focused vendors then the SRM devices work well for the price. The approach of software on hardware is similar to Apple.
 

Rusty

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I can say that my mesh works great with 2600ac and 2200 combo. 2200 is atm talking via wifi to the main router just for testing reason, but its 2cm away from a dua ethernet jack so when my WAN will be upgraded and I see that wifi is a choke point then I can easily switch it.
 
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Just out of curiosity, how does the backhaul work on the Syno mesh network? I'm using the Orbi RBK50 at home which has a separate wireless 5GHz backhaul between the router and satellite(s). But I must admit that I didn't even realise Synology offered a mesh wifi solution when I got it though, and would be interested in how well it works.
 

fredbert

Moderator
NAS Support
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628
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DS1520+, DS218+, DS215j
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RT2600ac, MR2200ac
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The dual-band RT2600ac has one 2.4G (up to 800Mbps) and one 5G (up to 1733Mbps) band, whereas the tri-band MR2200ac has one 2.4G (up to 400Mbps) and two 5G (up to 867Mbps).

Going from very hazy memory, and looking at WiFi Explorer on my MacBook Air ...

The mesh routing creates hidden WiFi networks that is used for backhaul (uplink) on the 2.4G and primary 5G bands. On WiFi Explorer I see that the 5G hidden network is using the RT2600ac's single 5G channel number plus the 2.4G channel too. There are 'normal' WiFi SSID networks for client connections on all bands too. So there is a sharing of bandwidth between backhaul and clients on the 2.4G and primary 5G bands ... similar to VLANs.

What this does do though is leave the MR2200ac's second 5G band free for client connections. Maybe in a MR2200ac-only mesh then one 5G band may be reserved for backhaul and the other for client SSID? I don't know as I only have a RT2600ac + one MR2200ac.

Using WiFi backhaul will limit the number of WiFi backhauled APs in the mesh to 6 (I think) but there isn't a stated limit (IIRC) for the number using ethernet backhaul.

Setup of a new AP must be done using WiFi but after that you can connect ethernet and it will automatically adjust the configuration (unless you change this in WiFi Access package on the primary router). Once running the mesh will adapt to the connection/removal or an AP's ethernet cable. If there's a cable available where you want to place the AP then use it, but it's probably not that necessary unless the building gets in the way too much.

The RT2600ac is more powerful than the MR2200ac but only one can be in the mesh, it also will must be the primary router/Internet gateway. RT2600ac can run Threat Prevention package (which will surprise you how much you get hit from probes and potential attacks) but the MR2200ac cannot run this. Otherwise the MR2200ac can run the same packages and features.

For a home environment, the Safe Access and Threat Prevention packages have been a good improvement over my old Airport Extremes, and the coverage is a lot better.
 

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