November 28, 2022

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Synology WRX560 Review: Best Mid-Tier Wi-Fi 6 Router

11 min read

A year or two ago, the Synology WRX560 would have been an awesome Wi-Fi 6 router.

But considering the current ubiquity of Wi-Fi 6E and the upcoming Wi-Fi 7, Synology’s latest router, first announced in late October 2022, seems awfully dated. Though excellent, as it proved in my testing, this one is still a middling Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 broadcaster.

While the new router has UNII-4 novelty but that’s pretty irrelevant considering it’s a Dual-band Wi-Fi machine, and there’s no client supporting this portion of the 5GHz band.

The bottom line is this: If you’re happy with Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 — and in most cases, you don’t need anything more than that — the Synology WRX560 is an excellent router more than worth its current street price of $250. I’d even call it the best among its peers.

But getting it means you’ll miss out on a lot, including top-tier Wi-Fi 6 specs and the 6GHz band, which is a major part of Wi-Fi’s future.

The WRX560 is a bag of mixed feelings. To buy or not to buy is the question.

Synology WRX560 Router Front Angle
The Synology WRX560 looks great.

Synology WRX560: A solid mid-tier and opportunity-missed Wi-Fi 6 router with a 2.5GbE WAN port

The WRX560 is both families yet different. It shares the same firmware as the rest of Synology’s routers — except for the old RT1900ac that’s stuck with the older firmware version — yet comes in a new design and some novelties.

Nice but somewhat impractical design

Out of the box, the WRX560 looks nice. It’s larger than I imagined — almost as large as the RT6600ax though significantly lighter.

Designed to work in a vertical position, the new router has a few status lights on the front and network ports on the back. These ports are a bit recessed, making it tricky when you need to remove a network cable — there’s no room to press down the cable lock.

On the other hand, the USB 3.0 (5Gbps) port is on the side of the router, causing the whole package to be a bit awkward when you plug in a portable drive.

But overall, I like the Synology WRX560’s design.

Synology WRX560 Router PortsSynology WRX560 Router Port with Wires
The Synology WRX560’s network port area is a bit recessed, making it hard to remove a cable — there’s not enough room to put an adult’s index finger or thumb on top of the connector to press down its release tab.

What I had a hard time with was figuring out the intention behind the new router.

Much that I love it for what it is, the new router reminds me of those Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 routers I reviewed years ago, such as the Asus RT-AX58U or TP-Link AX50.

So, the WRX560 is late to the game. Truth be told, I thought the Ubiquiti Dream Machine would be the last Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router I’d ever review.

And compared with the latest Wi-Fi routers, including Synology’s recent Tri-band RT6600ax, the new router is modest as a standalone machine and doesn’t make sense as part of the Synology Wi-Fi mesh ecosystem.

With that, let’s check the tech of this “latest” router and its detailed photos.

Hardware specifications and power consumption: Synology WRX560 vs RT6600ax

The WRX560 breaks from the RTxxx naming convention, and as a Dual-band device, it’s not the Wi-Fi 6 version of the Tri-band Wi-Fi 5 MR2200ac, despite sharing a somewhat similar up-standing design.

Synology WRX560 vs RT6600ax
Synology WRX560 vs RT6600ax: The Synology WRX560 is almost as large as the RT6600ax though much lighter.

Compared to the RT6600ax, Synology’s first Wi-Fi 6 router that came out in May 2022, the new WRX560 is much lesser in hardware specs.

Model Synology WRX560 Synology RT6600ax
Wi-Fi Bandwidth Dual-band AX3000 Tri-band AX6600
1st Band
(2.4GHz)
2×2 AX: Up to 600Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2×2 AX: Up to 600Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2nd Band
(5GHz)
2×2 AX: Up to 2400Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
2×2 AX: Up to 1200 Mbps
Lower channels
(20/40/80MHz)
3rd Band
(5GHz)
None 4X4 AX: Up to 4804 Mbps
Upper channels
(20/40/80/160MHz)
5.9Ghz (UNII-4) Support Yes Yes
Gigabit Port 3x LAN
1x WAN
3x LAN, 
1x WAN
Multi-Gig Port 1x 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN 1x 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN
Dual-WAN Yes Yes
USB 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1
(5Gbps)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 1
(5Gbps)
File System
(when hosting an external drive)
EXT4, EXT3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+ EXT4, EXT3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+
Access Point Mode Yes Yes
Firmware Version
(at review)
SRM 1.3.1-9346 Update 2  SRM 1.3-9193
Processing Power Quad-core 1.4 GHz,
512 MB DDR4
1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB RAM, 256MB Flash
Power Input 100V – 240V 50/60Hz 100V – 240V 50/60Hz
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
≈ 225 Wh
(as tested)
≈ 280 Wh
(as tested)
Dimensions 9.2 x 7.63 x 2.6 in
(233 x 194 x 66 mm)
16.9 x 12.6 x 7.9 in 
(175 x 320 x 200 mm)
Weight 1.66 lbs (752 g) 2.65 lbs (1.2kg)
US Price $219 $299.99
Hardware specifications: Synology WRX560 vs RT6600ax

The WRX50 has relatively lower power consumption, which is always good. It uses less energy than most routers of similar specs I’ve tested.

Synology WRX560: Detail photos

Synology WRX560 Router Retail Box
The Synology WRX560 comes in an environmentally friendly minimal retail box similar to business devices.

Synology WRX560 Router Box Content
The router includes a power adapter and network cable out of the box.

Synology WRX560 Router Is Quite Large
The Synology WRX560 is quite large for a Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router.

Synology WRX560 Router Left Side with USB Port
On the left side, the router has a USB 3.0 (5Gbps) port, making the whole package a bit awkward when it hosts a USB storage device.

Synology WRX560 Router Right Side
And here’s the router’s right side.

Synology WRX560 Router TopSynology WRX560 Router Underside
The top and bottom of the Synology WRX560 have ventilation gills that keep the router cool even during extended operations.

Synology WRX560 Router Power Adapter
The Synology WRX560 uses a relatively compact standard 110-240V power adapter.

Synology WRX560 vs RT6600ax FrontSynology WRX560 vs RT6600ax Back
Synology WRX560 vs RT6600ax: Though very different in design and hardware specs, the Synology XRX560 shares the same network ports as the RT6600ax. That includes three Gigabit LAN ports, one permanent Gigabit WAN port, and a flexible 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port.

The impractical novelties

As you might have noted in the specs table above, the Synology WRX50 has two things of note: The 2.5GbE Multi-Gig port and the support for the UNII-4 portion of the 5GHz band.

Unfortunately, neither will prove significant in real-world usage.

That lonely Multi-Gig port

The WRX560 has just one 2.5GbE LAN/WAN port. And that’s a big missed opportunity. Things would be much different if it had a second Multi-Gig LAN port.

Like the case of all single-Multi-Gig-port routers, you can’t have a Multi-Gig connection out of it — you need another port for that.

Consequently, the WRX50 can host a Gig+ broadband connection or a fast computer (or a NAS server.) Either way, you’d only get around Gigabit on the way out via the router’s Gigabit ports or its mid-tier 5GHz Wi-Fi bands.

What is Gig+

Gig+, or Gig plus, conveys a speed grade faster than 1Gbps but slower than 2Gbps. So, it’s 1.5Gbps, give or take, and it’s not fast enough to be qualified as Multi-Gig.

Gig+ generally applies to the sustained speeds of Wi-Fi 6 or 6E (via a 2×2 at 160MHz connection) or Internet speed, not wired local connections.

And this single Multi-Gig port also means there’s no option for a Multi-Gig wired backhauling if you choose to use multiple WRX50 units in a mesh Wi-Fi system either.

And finally, when you use the 2.5GbE port as a WAN port, you can’t turn the default Gigabit WAN port into a LAN — it’s still available as a WAN port in case you have a Dual-WAN setup. If not, it’s not used at all — a bummer for those with Gig+ broadband who need an extra LAN port!

And that brings us to the router’s second novelty that’s even more useless in real-world usage, which is the support for the 5.9GHz portion of the band.

The useless UNII-4 (5.9GHz) support

The WRX50 joins a short list of Wi-Fi broadcasters that features UNII-4 — the last portion of the 5GHz band. And that’s a good thing.

UNII-4: How the 5.9GHz band is excellent for a Tri-band mesh

The bad, however, is the fact this portion currently has no supported clients. And since a band can work in one channel at a time, if you use the WRX560 in any of the UNII-4 channels, the router becomes useless to any existing 5GHz devices — they can’t connect or even see this band’s SSID.

And while we can use the portion of the 5GHz band in a Synology mesh(*), the 5GHz band will only work as the backhaul.

In short, the UNII-4 support only makes sense for hardware with two 5GHz bands. In Wi-Fi 6, that means a Tri-band broadcaster.

Synology WRX560 5.9GHz Channel 1Synology WRX560 5.9GHz Warning
While the Synology WRX560 features UNII-4, there’s no scenario where this portion of the 5GHz band is applicable or even useable.

Until all existing 5GHz devices support this portion, which will never happen, this 5.9GHz portion on the Dual-bandWRX560 only means you might risk rendering the new router semi-useless. Don’t use it!

Synology WRX560: The familiar and robust SRM 1.3 firmware

And the WRX560 is far from useless. Running the latest Synology Router Manager (SRM) firmware version 1.3, it’s, in fact, the best Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router you can find.

In a nutshell, SRM1.3 is similar to Synology’s DSM operating system for its NAS server. It’s a Linux-based OS you can manage within a web interface that feels and operate similarly to a native operating system, such as Windows or macOS.

Synology WRX560 Web User InterfaceSynology WRX560 Wi Fi Networks
The interface of SRM 1.3 is the operating system of all Synology routers
Shown here are the package center and the Wi-Fi setting pages.

Other than all the standard initial setup process — which is the same as that of any router with a web user interface — and common networking features, SRM 1.3 comes with a Package center that includes half a dozen of useful apps that you use can add to the router.

Half of these apps — including the PC-less Download Station and Media Server, which are similar to those of a Synology NAS server — require and are only applicable when you add some external storage to the WRX560 via its USB port, which will turn it into a robust mini NAS server.

Besides that, there’s the Synology Router mobile app that allows for controlling the router on your phone. In this case, you can manage the router remotely via QuickConnect or Dynamic DNS.

Overall, like all other Synology routers, the WRX560 has everything you’d need in a home router and possibly more. On this front, other than the new look, the hardware specs, and, subsequently, the performance, this new router is identical to the RT6600ax.

Synology WRX560: Excellent performance

I tested the WRX560 as a standalone router for over a week, and it worked very well.

Considering its middling Wi-Fi specs and the single Multi-Gig port, it exceeded my expectations. It’s as good as a Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router can be.

Fast Wi-Fi thoughts, excellent reliability, and extended range

The 2.5Gbps LAN port played an important role in my testing and helped the WRX560 top the charts among all mid-tier Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 routers.

Synology WRX560 AX 5GHz Performance Long RangeSynology WRX560 AX 5GHz Performance Short Range
The Synology WRX560 did well with Wi-Fi 6 clients thanks to its 2.5GbE LAN port.

Compared with higher-end routers it was, as expected, slower, though not by much.

The WRX560 passed my three-day stress test with no issues. It didn’t disconnect or slow down, and its Multi-Gig port seemed to deliver close to 2.5Gbps of total bandwidth.

Synology WRX560 2.4GHz AX Performance Long RangeSynology WRX560 2.4GHz AX Performance Short Range
The Synology WRX560 has excellent performance on the 2.4GHz.
The router has the option to use its USB ports in the 2.0 Mode to increase the performance of this band.

The Synology WRX560 showed an excellent range in my trial, similar to the RT6600ax. It arguably has the best range compared with any mid-tier Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router I’ve tried.

And the router ran cool, too, even during extended tests with heavy loads.

Synology WRX560 5GHz AC Performance Long RangeSynology WRX560 5GHz AC Performance Short Range
For Wi-Fi 5 devices, the Synology WRX560’s performance is the best among Wi-Fi 6 routers of its tier.

It’s always hard to determine a router’s range, but if you live in a home of some 2000 ft2 (186 m2), give or take, when strategically placed, the WRX560 can deliver Wi-Fi to every corner. But your mileage always varies when it comes to Wi-Fi coverage.

Good network storage performance when hosting a portable SSD

The WXR560 is one of a few routers that can give you real network attached storage (NAS) experience, thanks to the fact Synology is a known NAS maker.

Apart from hosting shared folders and flexible user management, you can set the router to download files on its own, stream media to local network streamers, and much more.

Synology WRX560 Router NAS Write PerformanceSynology WRX560 Router NAS Read Performance
The Synology WRX560’s NAS performance could be better (for this Multi-Gig port) but was plenty fast for casual usage.

And the router did well in my speed tests, too, when hosting a portable SSD — I used a WD My Passport SSD.

I tested with its USB running in the 3.0 mode — and not the 2.0 mode which is suitable for its 2.4GHz band as mentioned above, and it delivers over 150MB/s in reading, not as fast as its 2.5Gbps port can do but plenty fast for more applications.

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi, 160MHz and 5.9GHz UNII-4 support, mesh-ready

Comprehensive and user-friendly firmware, excellent web interface, useful DS Router app

Lots of useful built-in settings and features, valuable add-on packages

Can work as a full-featured NAS server

Cons

Only one 2.5Gbps port, no practical UNII-4 application

No Link Aggregation or dedicated backhaul in a mesh setup, rigid WAN setting

Impractical port design, not wall-mountable

Conclusion

Add another Multi-Gig port or a third band — another 5GHz, or the new 6GHz — and the Synology WRX560 will be an excellent router today. Unfortunately, as is, its hardware is comparable to those released years ago. It feels dated and is limited.

But thanks to the robust firmware and excellent real-world performance — for its specs — the new router is still an excellent Wi-Fi broadcaster. If you’re still in the market Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router, it’s easily one of the best, if not the best. Get one today!

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