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Synology WRX560 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router review: Smart software, but speeds are so-so

Our Rating :
£241.00 from
Price when reviewed : £240
inc VAT

Synology’s impressive SRM software and strong connectivity features go some way to justify the high price


  • Neat design with 2.5GbE and USB 3
  • Excellent management interface


  • Doesn’t support the latest Wi-Fi standards
  • Mesh speeds don’t match up to high-end rivals

The Synology WRX560 runs the same SRM (Synology Router Manager) operating system as the Synology RT6600ax we reviewed recently, but it’s aimed at the mesh router market. You can combine multiple units together to cover a wide area, or pair the WRX560 with an RT6600ax router to extend an existing network.

While the Synology WRX560 is admirably flexible, I found its mesh performance wasn’t outstanding. It’s fast enough to satisfy most households or home offices, but you can get similar speeds from much cheaper rival systems, such as those found on our best mesh Wi-Fi router page, which makes it hard to justify the price.

Then again, if you want Synology’s advanced SRM software then the WRX560 is the most cost-effective way to get it, offering all the same features as the Synology RT6600ax for £76 less.

Synology WRX560 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router review: What you need to know

The Synology WRX560 is a dual-band 802.11ax router, supporting maximum connection speeds of 600Mbits/sec on the 2.4GHz band and up to 2.4Gbits/sec (courtesy of 4×4 MU-MIMO) on the 5GHz band. There’s no 6GHz support, so even if your client devices are Wi-Fi 6E-capable, they will only get a regular Wi-Fi 6 connection – and it goes without saying that next-generation Wi-Fi 7 is off the menu.

The Synology WRX560 is a dual-band 802.11ax router, supporting maximum connection speeds of 600Mbits/sec on the 2.4GHz band and up to 2.4Gbits/sec (courtesy of 4×4 MU-MIMO) on the 5GHz band. There’s no 6GHz support, so even if your client devices are Wi-Fi 6E-capable, they will only get a regular Wi-Fi 6 connection – and it goes without saying that next-generation Wi-Fi 7 is off the menu.

Other than that the WRX560 is well-specified. Its wireless hardware is backed up by 2.5GbE and USB 3 connectivity, and Synology’s SRM firmware is one of the most capable router platforms around.

The WRX560 can be paired with up to six compatible Wi-Fi points, to form a mesh supporting up to 150 clients. These might be either additional WRX560 units or RT6600ax routers; you can also use Synology’s last-generation 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) routers; this will have an impact on performance, though.

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Synology WRX560 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router review: Price and competition

WRX560 units are sold individually at £240 apiece, so a two-station mesh will come to – wait, we can do this – £480. You can use a single station to run your network like a regular router, but if you’re considering this particular model you’re probably looking for a multi-node system.

That being the case, you have plenty of other options, including some that are much cheaper. The D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15 costs £122 for a twin-pack, while a pair of Mercusys Halo H80X units comes to just £95. Despite the lower prices, these systems aren’t internally all that different to the WRX560, and as we’ll see below, the performance gap isn’t as big as you might expect.

Moving up in price, the Mercusys Halo H90X is a faster option; we reviewed it at a launch price of £340, but you can now get a two-unit pack on Amazon for as little as £160. Raise the budget to £260 and you can go for the TP-Link Deco XE75 which adds a tri-band design with Wi-Fi 6E support for a big step up in performance – and is still far cheaper than a pair of WRX560s.

In fact, there are very few meshes out there that compete with the Synology on price. The most notable premium option is TP-Link’s Deco XE200: this will set you back a steep £620 for two units, but it offers exceptional wireless performance with Wi-Fi 6E support, plus 10Gbits/sec Ethernet for ultra-fast wired connections – neither of which the WRX560 can match.

Synology WRX560 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router review: Design and features

With its dark grey, slab-like casing, the WRX560 looks a bit like a futuristic headstone, standing 233mm tall and bulging out to a maximum width of 194mm. It’s not exactly ugly, but nor could you call it attractive.

Still, the design is quite practical. At the front, three LEDs glow green or orange to represent the status of the router, Wi-Fi and internet connection – which is probably all you need. Around the back, a gigabit WAN connector is joined by four LAN ports, one of which supports 2.5GbE (and can be switched over to a WAN connection for a multi-gigabit internet service).

There’s also a 5Gbits/sec USB 3 connector situated conveniently at the side, along with buttons to activate WPS pairing and toggle the Wi-Fi on and off. Since all WRX560 units are identical, you can attach 2.5GbE clients and USB devices to satellite nodes as well as to the main router unit – their performance will be limited by the speed of the mesh connection, though.

For management, Synology’s SRM firmware provides an intuitive mouse-driven interface that’s gloriously slick and packed with features. Initial deployment is handled by a simple wizard, and setting up the mesh is as easy as clicking “Add Wi-Fi point” then plugging in your remote station. The primary WRX560 node automatically detects it in a few moments, and invites you to pair and name it.

Advanced configuration options are divided between four windows – Network Centre, Wi-Fi Connect, Safe Access and Control Panel – each one with its own pages and subpanes, plus the Synology Package Centre from where you can install a few additional functions.

I’ve already summarised the broad range of features available in SRM in my Synology RT6600ax review, but suffice it to say that almost every feature you’re likely to want is on hand, including free network security and parental control functions. The only thing I’d like to see added is something like Asus’ VPN Fusion feature, which lets you bind different devices to different VPN servers: SRM lets you configure multiple outbound VPNs, but you can only have one global connection active at a time.

My other reservation is that the sheer depth of the interface can be a little off-putting. I had to hunt around for a good few minutes to figure out how to assign different SSIDs to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks; then again, I should perhaps just be glad that this is possible at all, as many meshes don’t allow band splitting. You can also use Synology’s DS Router mobile app to access many of the most common settings from a simpler, more conventionally laid-out interface.

READ NEXT: Best wireless routers

Synology WRX560 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router review: Performance

Although the WRX560 is marketed as a mesh system, the hardware isn’t perfectly tailored to that role. Since it has only a single 5GHz radio, node-to-node communications inescapably eat into the bandwidth available for your client devices. It’s also held back by a top transmission speed of 2.4Gbits/sec, while other meshes and routers can go twice as fast.

To find out how the WRX560 performs in practice, I first set up the primary unit as a standalone router in my study at home and connected an Asustor Drivestor AS3304T NAS to the 2.5GbE port. I then took my test laptop (equipped with an Intel AX210 2×2 Wi-Fi 6E network card) to various locations around the house, copied a set of 100MB data files to the NAS and measured the average upload and download speeds. After completing these tests with a single WRX560, I installed a second unit at the far side of the adjoining bedroom and repeated the tests in mesh mode.

The results I saw are shown in the table below, along with results from the other meshes mentioned above. Figures for competing meshes were all obtained in a two-node configuration, with the test laptop connecting on the 5GHz band.

Synology WRX560 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router reviewThe WRX560 performs pretty well at short range. In the study and the downstairs living room it delivered best-in-class upload speeds and perfectly respectable downloads – however it couldn’t keep up with TP-Link’s Deco systems. There was no significant difference between standalone and mesh performance in these locations, since my test laptop locked onto the primary router unit for both uploads and downloads.

That happened in the kitchen too, but here the WRX560’s performance was less impressive. Almost every other mesh gave me faster downloads, with the sole exception of the budget D-Link system.

When I moved further away, towards the back of the house, the extra mesh unit came into play, delivering a palpable boost to upload and download speeds in the bedroom and bathroom. Even so, the WRX560 still lagged behind the Mercusys and TP-Link systems.

This isn’t to say its performance was poor. The very worst download speed I saw from the WRX560 mesh was 31.5MB/sec – fast enough to get the full bandwidth of a 250Mbits/sec internet line. To put that another way, with the wireless coverage from a pair of WRX560 units I would have been able to sit at the far end of my home and stream ten 4K videos at once.

Even so, we can’t call the WRX560 a top-performing mesh system. At medium range it struggles to keep up with TP-Link’s Deco meshes, and even the Mercusys Halo H80X delivers more consistent whole-home coverage – for a fifth of the price. Power consumption is also on the high side: while my primary WRX560 unit was sitting idle I measured a draw of 13W from the mains, rising to a peak of 15.9W during my performance tests.

Finally, I tried using Synology’s RT6600ax as the primary router, with the secondary WRX560 continuing to serve as a mesh extender in the bedroom. I expected this to be a much faster setup, as the RT6600ax features not only a 4.8GHz primary 5GHz radio, but an additional secondary 5GHz radio rated at 1.2Gbits/sec, giving it two and a half times as much total 5GHz bandwidth as the WRX560.

Synology WRX560 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router reviewThe results weren’t quite the slam-dunk I expected. Download rates in the study and living room were slightly slower than a pair of WRX560 units. Evidently the mesh setup has a heavy impact on headline speeds. At longer range though the RT6600ax showed its advantage, proving much faster than a pair of WRX560 units in the kitchen and bedroom, and a little nippier in the bathroom.

There’s a twist, though: in every test location I saw even faster downloads when using the RT6600ax on its own, without a secondary mesh unit. The margin was particularly pronounced at short range, and more equivocal over longer distances. But it’s clear that, for a medium-sized home, a mesh setup may be not merely unnecessary but actually deleterious to your Wi-Fi speeds.

Synology WRX560 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router review: Should you buy it?

If you’re simply looking for decent whole-home Wi-Fi coverage then the price of the WRX560 will probably be a deal-breaker: you can get comparable performance elsewhere for a fraction of the price. Conversely, if you’re willing to pay a premium for top performance, TP-Link’s Deco XE200 is way faster over Wi-Fi 6, and additionally supports even speedier Wi-Fi 6E and 10GbE connections.

What perhaps saves the WRX560 is the SRM software. If you want a home router that feels almost as versatile and configurable as an enterprise gateway, Synology’s platform is a very strong contender, and the WRX560 is the cheapest way to get it on a Wi-Fi 6 router.

The only complicating factor is the RT6600ax, which combines identical software capabilities with much stronger speeds: if you like the Synology way of doing things, it may well be worth the extra investment. But the WRX560 is plenty fast enough for most roles, and if you’re looking to build a multi-station mesh, the (comparative) cost savings will stack up.

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