Synology MR2200ac review: Not your average mesh WiFi system! - Page 2

Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

Wireless network performance

First, let's take a look at the apartment that was used in our testing and how it is set up. You can see that the central Synology hub (Synology RT2600ac) is placed in the living room. When we use wireless routers, the signal strength is not that high in rooms like the Kitchen and the Medium balcony. To improve the coverage of the network, we placed the Synology MR2200ac hub in the hallway, close to the entrance to the Kitchen, to cover most of the apartment, as best as possible.

The apartment where we tested Synology MR2200ac

Our testing was done using a fast 1 Gigabit Internet connection that is capable of uploads on the internet of up to 500 Mbps. We used an HP Spectre 13 laptop for our measurements.

We decided to compare the Synology mesh WiFi with two competing systems: ASUS Lyra (a well-known AC2200 mesh WiFi system) and Linksys Velop AC1300 (WHW01) - another mesh with two nodes.

We started by evaluating the 2.4 GHz wireless network and measured the signal strength offered in each room, using a tool named NetSpot Pro. You can see how Synology MR2200ac performed in the graphic below. Its signal strength evolved similarly to other mesh WiFi systems.

Synology MR2200ac - signal strength on the 2.4 GHz band

Then, we used SpeedTest to see how fast the internet connection is when using the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. Synology MR2200ac was the best mesh in our comparison, offering the fastest downloads in all rooms, except the one furthest from the main station.

Synology MR2200ac - The download speed in SpeedTest, on the 2.4 GHz band

The same trend was noticed when measuring the upload speed.

Synology MR2200ac - The upload speed in SpeedTest, on the 2.4 GHz band

For the next measurements, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network, using the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. Synology MR2200ac offered the fastest downloads one more time, except for two rooms, where ASUS Lyra outmatched it.

Synology MR2200ac - The network download speed, on the 2.4 GHz band

We saw the same story when measuring the upload speed. The only minor difference is that the rooms changed where ASUS Lyra was the winner.

Synology MR2200ac - The network upload speed, on the 2.4 GHz band

When using the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency, Synology MR2200ac offers outstanding performance.

Next, we analyzed the performance offered by the 5GHz wireless network. First, we looked at the evolution of the signal strength, from room to room. Synology MR2200ac performed similarly to the other mesh systems we tested.

Synology MR2200ac - signal strength on the 5 GHz band

We then ran SpeedTest to see how fast the internet connection is on the 5GHz band. Synology MR2200ac performed very well in all rooms, except the one furthest from the main station. In most cases, it offered the fastest downloads.

Synology MR2200ac - The download speed in SpeedTest, on the 5 GHz band

When looking at the upload speed, there was no clear winner to choose from.

Synology MR2200ac - The upload speed in SpeedTest, on the 5 GHz band

For the last measurements on the 5GHz wireless network, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network. Synology MR2200ac performed well in all rooms, except the one furthest from the main station. In some rooms, it was the speed champion.

Synology MR2200ac - The network download speed, on the 5 GHz band

The same story applied to the upload speed on the 5 GHz WiFi.

Synology MR2200ac - The network upload speed, on the 5 GHz band

When using the 5 GHz wireless frequency, Synology MR2200ac is a top performer.

Wired network performance

To test the quality of the wired Ethernet connection, we used a desktop PC equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor, running at 3.20GHz, 16GB of RAM, a fast Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD, and a Lenovo IdeaCentre 610s mini PC.

We measured the speed of the internet connection when using a 1 Gbps Ethernet cable, using SpeedTest. Synology MR2200ac reached a maximum download speed of 736.64 Mbps per second. The upload speed got close to the maximum of 500 Mbps that our internet connection can deliver.

Synology MR2200ac - SpeedTest on Ethernet connections

Then, we ran a network transfer between the two computers, each connected with an Ethernet cable to a different Synology node. Since the stations were connected wirelessly, the transfer was mediated through WiFi. We used PassMark Performance test for this measurements. Synology MR2200ac was faster than ASUS Lyra and slower than Linksys Velop AC1300.

Synology MR2200ac - transferring data through the network using Ethernet cables

Unlike when using traditional wireless routers, you cannot get 1 Gbps Ethernet connections, when using Synology MR2200ac, except for the main station in the mesh. However, this mesh WiFi system is faster than other similar systems.

USB performance

We connected a portable SSD drive to the USB 3.0 port of the Synology MR2200ac. Then we ran a few transfers from a desktop computer to this drive and back. We measured 382.27 Mbps for the download and 212.22 Mbps for the upload. There is nothing to compare this to because all the mesh WiFi systems we tested so far do not offer a USB port.

Synology MR2200ac - The speed of the USB port

When compared to wireless routers, the USB port on the Synology MR2200ac is among the faster ones, but not the fastest we've seen.

Unlike other whole-home systems, Synology MR2200ac offers a USB port which you can use to connect all kinds of devices, and offers fast data transfers.

Extra features

Most mesh WiFi systems offer a short list of features and tools. The accent is placed on the basic features, and on simplicity. Synology MR2200ac has a different approach: it offers all the tools you can find in a wireless router. If you want a light experience, you can stick to the DS Router mobile app for Android and iOS. It is friendly, easy to use, and useful for remote management, including when using it without being connected to the WiFi emitted by the mesh.

The DS Router mobile app

Out of all the mobile apps of its kind that we tested so far, this one has the most respect for the user's privacy. It does not request access to information it should not have, as is the case with the mobile apps offered by other manufacturers. Also, your user account is well protected by two-step verification.

For geeks and IT-professionals, Synology MR2200ac is feature-packed. Here are some of the most useful things that it offers:

  • Safe Access - it includes excellent cloud-based parental controls, a security advisor, safe online search and web browsing, as well as threat prevention. It is one of the best security modules available on the market.
  • 3G/4G Dongle and Tethering - you can connect a USB modem to provide the Synology MR2200ac and your network with a backup internet connection. You can also use your smartphone's tethering feature to do the same. It works both with iPhones and Android smartphones.
  • VPN Plus Server - you can set Synology MR2200ac to work as a VPN server, and you can also use it to turn your network-connected devices into VPN-enabled clients, without additional VPN software required.
  • Guest Network - you can enable a wireless network for guests, with individual security, a customized guest portal, and different access settings.
  • Cloud Station - you can sync your data from multiple platforms, centralizing it on the Synology MR2200ac while keeping historical versions of important files.
  • Media Server - you can turn your mesh WiFi system into a media server with support for PS4 and Xbox One consoles.
  • DDNS - a service that allows you to connect to the mesh WiFi from the internet, even if your internet provider gives you a dynamic public IP address.
Setting up the DDNS on the Synology MR2200ac

The feature list offered by Synology MR2200ac is long and excellent. All the tools available for installation provide real value to users. They are also well maintained and regularly updated.

What is your opinion of the Synology MR2200ac mesh WiFi system?

Now you know our opinion about the Synology MR2200ac whole-home WiFi system, and what we like about it. Before closing this review, tell us what you think. Do you like what Synology MR2200ac has to offer? Do you consider purchasing it? Comment below and let's discuss.