synology_routerWith the other two posts about threats to routers, I thought I should recommend a router. I will only use one brand of router these days – Synology. I started using their routers because I liked the features, but then I saw how often they update the firmware (router operating system). I would hear about some vulnerability and then shortly thereafter I would receive a notification from my Synology routers that there was an update available. This was almost always for the vulnerability I just heard about.

One of the worst thing about some consumer routers is that they are rarely updated. Even the better brands may not receive updates frequently. Then there is the router owner. How often do normal people check if their router is up-to-date? Not often. Synology routers can be configured to check daily for updates and automatically install them. This way you don’t have to think about it.

2018-05-26 14_41_07-Synology Router - SynologyRouter

In addition to updates, Synology routers do not appear to be affected by the various UPnP issues. I have tested both of my models (RT2600ac and RT1900ac) and neither failed, nor are these routers listed in the Akamai whitepaper UPnProxy: blackhat proxies via NAT injections. I am familiar with opening ports, but I actually allow UPnP with this router. I still check what ports are open and why. I don’t want some malware on one of my computers opening a port to allow more bad things in.

With all this praise, I am not saying these routers are perfect because no router is. I am also not saying these are the most secure routers made, however, I have owned many routers and these are my favorite so far and I am pleased with the security. I find they are suitable for both router novices and experts alike.

The more powerful of the two models is the RT2600ac and costs about $200:

The previous model was the RT1900ac, which still available and costs about $120. The RT1900ac is not as powerful as the RT2600ac, but likely just fine for the average consumer:

These is a significant cost difference between models. If you are a techy or want to ensure this router will be supported with updates for as long as possible, I would spend more and get the RT2600ac.

If you want further details on the features, use the links above to visit the relative pages on the Synology website.

UPDATE 12/19/2018

There was a big update to the interface and web filtering options. I like that it is easier to filter the content by device, though I doubt my daughter likes this. I also use the filtering with many of my devices. I don’t want a NAS (network attached storage) accessing Facebook or any other type of website.

Another great feature that had been there the entire time, but never used by me, is the ability to deny access to the internet. I never thought of using this because why be connected the network and not have access to the internet? However, my individual surveillance cameras do not need access to the internet. They connect to a surveillance program that sends footage over the internet. I don’t trust things like cameras to be too secure. However, I have a little more faith in the computer running the surveillance software.

UPDATE 11/24/2019

I lot of people have been asking me about expanding their home WiFi signals because of things like video cameras and having huge houses! They bring up wireless extenders and I highly discourage that if their house has ethernet in other rooms. If they do have ethernet, I recommend mesh routers, which basically create overlapping WiFi that do not interfere with each other. Simply adding WiFi from another device can cause interference if the channels conflict.

I recently needed to expand my WiFi because a smart garage door opener had a pathetic antenna and could not use my WiFi signal as far as the garage. I added a $40 WiFi access point that connected to my network and set the wireless channel to not conflict with my router. Many consumers do not know how to do this or that it is even needed, and that is why I recommend mesh networks. After adding my access point, I discovered that the Synology MR2200ac Mesh WiFi Router ($140 on Amazon) would work with my Synology RT2600ac. Yes, I saved $100 by using a simple access point, but it serves a single purpose for a device in the garage and does not have 5GHz. I would have liked to have added 5GHz so my Ring doorbell could take advantage of the faster speed. Looks like I may be adding this mesh router in the near future…