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Synology WRX560 Review | PCMag

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“When we reviewed Synology’s flagship RT6600ax router last year, we gave it high marks for its multi-gig connectivity and strong parental controls, but we were disappointed with its 5GHz throughput performance. The new, more affordable Synology WRX560 ($219.99) also offers multi-gig networking and the same robust parental controls, but this dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router delivered superior throughput on both radio bands and good signal strength in our tests . File transfer performance could use a boost, but the WRX560 is otherwise an excellent feature-rich mainstream router that deserves an Editors’ Choice award.


Design and features

The WRX560 doesn’t look like a typical desktop router. The 9.1-by-7.6-by-2.5-inch (HWD) black case stands vertically, with chamfered edges and grillework that gives it a futuristic, minimalist look. The device’s vertical orientation makes it vulnerable to tipping over, which is exactly what happened when my cat decided to rub against it, and there are no options for mounting the router to a wall.

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(Credit: Synology)

You won’t find the usual external antennas here; instead, the Synology uses six internal antennas to communicate over the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio bands. Three small LED indicators on front signal system status, Wi-Fi activity and WAN activity.

Most of the WRX560’s ports are located on the rear panel, including a 2.5 Gbps WAN/LAN port, a 1 Gbps WAN port, and three 1 Gbps LAN ports. They are accompanied by a power port, a power button and a reset button. On the left, you’ll see a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port and WPS and Wi-Fi on/off buttons.

Synology WRX560 back view

(Credit: Synology)

The WRX560 is a dual-band AX3000 router, which means it can reach theoretical maximum speeds of 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 2400 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. It uses a 1.4 GHz quad-core CPU and 512 MB DDR4 RAM, and it supports Wi-Fi 6 technologies, including 160 MHz channel transmissions, WPA3 encryption, MU-MIMO data streaming, direct-to-client beamforming and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA). It is mesh-ready and can be combined with other compatible Synology routers to create a seamless mesh Wi-Fi network. Like the RT6600ax, the Synology WRX560 uses the UNII-4 (5.9GHz) spectrum to access additional 20MHz and 160MHz channels, but it is not a Wi-Fi 6E router and cannot access the 6GHz radio band.

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Synology Router Manager home screen

(Credit: Synology)

You install and manage the WRX560 using the DS Router mobile app or the web-based operating system Synology Router Manager (SRM). Similar to the DiskStation Manager operating system used by Synology NAS devices, SRM offers a Windows-like interface that makes configuring the router easy. The desktop contains icons named Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center, Wi-Fi Connect, Secure Access, Package Center, and SRM Help. You use Network Center to manage network connections, monitor CPU and memory usage, and configure QoS, port forwarding, and port triggering settings. The Wi-Fi Connect icon takes you to a screen where you can configure Wi-Fi settings, guest networks, and view a list of connected clients and which band they are using.

Synology Router Manager Secure access

(Credit: Synology)

The Safe Access icon opens a screen where you can create parental control profiles and assign devices and web filters to each profile. Preset filters include child, employee, and guest, or you can create custom profiles. Other Safe Access options allow you to enable network security settings to protect network devices from malicious content and access to dangerous websites, as well as set access time quotas and monitor client activity.

Synology Router Manager Network and Sharing Center

(Credit: Synology)

Use the control panel to configure external storage devices, enable file services, view router status information, and back up your router settings. Finally, Package Center is where you can update Safe Access software, install Synology’s VPN Server Plus software, and download media server and Radius server applications.


Testing the Synology WRX60: Amped-Up Transfers

The WRX60 proved easy to install. I used the Synology Router Manager (SRM) web console and started by connecting the router to my modem and desktop PC; then i powered up the modem and router at the same time. I opened a browser and typed http://router.synology.com in the address bar, which opened a home screen. I tapped Start, created an account, and gave the new network a name and password.

After a minute, I logged back into the SRM OS and followed the Quick Setup Wizard’s instructions to make sure I was using DHCP. I enabled Quick Connect, which allows you to access the router from anywhere, and then updated the firmware. The installation was completed.

Synology WRX560 Wi-Fi Settings

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(Credit: Synology)

The WRX560 achieved some of the highest throughput scores we’ve seen from a mainstream Wi-Fi 6 router. With a score of 134Mbps in our 2.4GHz close proximity (same room) test, it outperformed the Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400 (128Mbps), the TP-Link Archer AX75 (126Mbps) and the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 AX5400 (121Mbps) . It also led the pack in the 30-foot test, with 62 Mbps versus 52 Mbps for the TP-Link, 42 ​​Mbps for the Linksys, and 44 Mbps for the Asus.

The results in our 5GHz throughput tests were similar. Synology’s 931 Mbps in the proximity test was significantly faster than the ROG Strix’s 846 Mbps, the Hydra Pro 6’s 830 Mbps, and the Archer AX75’s 811 Mbps. Its 576 Mbps in the 30-foot test also took top honors, beating Asus’ 424 Mbps, Linksys’ 400 Mbps, and TP-Link’s 273 Mbps.

To determine the read and write performance of a file transfer router, we time how long it takes to move a 1.5 GB folder containing photos, video, music, and office documents back and forth between a USB 3.0 drive and a desktop PC, both connected to the router…

Here the performance of the WRX560 was only average: its write speed of 47 MBps was slightly faster than the TP-Link’s 42 MBps, but slower than the Asus (69 MBps) and Linksys (55 MBps). Similarly, Synology’s 48MBps read score surpassed Archer’s 44MBps, but not the Linksys’ 57MBps or the ROG Strix’s 85MBps.

We test wireless signal strength using an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic device and the company’s Survey mobile app to generate heatmaps showing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signal strength in our test house. (Note: Ekahau is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s parent company.)

Synology WRX560 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi coverage

2.4 GHz coverage map (Credit: Ekahau)

Synology WRX560 5 GHz Wi-Fi coverage

5GHz coverage map (Credit: Ekahau)

The colors on the cards represent signal strength: dark green for the strongest signal, yellow for a weaker signal, and gray for no detectable coverage. The circle on the map shows the router’s location. As you can see, the WRX560 did a good job delivering strong Wi-Fi throughout the house, though the signal strength for both bands got a little weaker in the garage.


Verdict: We have a winner

Superior throughput performance, wide signal coverage, and the SRM operating system make the Synology WRX560 an excellent choice among dual-band routers. It comes with powerful parental control and network security software and is equipped with a multi-gig WAN/LAN port, and you can use it as part of a whole-home mesh configuration.

Synology WRX560 router and box

(Credit: Synology)

Even with ordinary file transfer performance and a potentially shaky stance, it deserves an Editors’ Choice award as a mainstream Wi-Fi 6 router.

It comes down to

The Synology WRX560 is an affordable dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router that offers fast throughput, strong signal transmission, and multi-gig networking.

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