Synology MR2200ac Mesh Router Unboxing and Mesh Explained





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Published on Oct 22, 2018

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As 2018 draws to a close, we were starting to wonder where all the hardware from Synology revealed back in June had got to! One particular Synology device that has been in the pipeline for well over a year, is the newly released MR2200ac mesh router. Now released, we have got our hands on this new addition to the Synology router department and with it, a new evolution of the Synology Router Manager (SRM) software. But from a company that is so highly geared towards NAS, it is still odd getting used to this move into network and internet management in the home or office. The Synology MR2200ac is a device that (although can be used as a typical home router to replace the basic one provided by your ISP with one that has better software) is geared towards Mesh enabled network systems. We will discuss mesh in a second and why it is such it is getting such a boost in popularity in 2018/2019, but for now, let us aim to answer three main questions in this article:

1, Is the Synology MR2200ac a good product

2, If you are considering Mesh, should you buy the MR2200ac?

3, Is the Synology MR2200ac worth the price?

But before we start, a quick reminder about what a Mesh Router is and why it is different/better than a wireless powerline adapter or WiFi extender. Never forget that a Mesh Router is designed to improve Wireless connection coverage.

What is a Mesh Router?
Many people are tired of their router not reaching all areas of their home or running into “dead spots” where either the internet access is low, or your device starts looking for other networks. Enter the mesh network principle. Instead of one router generating a Wi-Fi signal for your entire home, mesh networks use multiple, smaller routers  AKA “nodes”. One of these nodes gets plugged into the modem used by your Internet provider, just like your current router. The additional nodes will then pick up the wireless signal and extend it to the area around wherever they are placed. Alternatively, you can add the Synology MR2200ac mesh router with your existing WiFi network and router network and your mesh router will see it as another node and extend THAT network instead.

Why not use a Powerline Adapter or WiFi Extender instead of Mesh?
At first, a Mesh router does sound suspiciously like a Wi-Fi extender, then you’re close but not quite right. With an extender, you usually have to manually connect to the network it creates in order to get the benefit of increased Wi-Fi coverage. Your devices won’t seamlessly switch over as you move around your home. IN real terms that means that as you walk through your home or offices, your device will remain connected to the first wifi point until you sever the connection getting too far, or manually. You can literally be stood next to the wifi powerline adapter/wifi extender, but if your device can still find the original wifi spot since you first connected to it, it will remain connected. With a mesh system, however, you only have one network name and you can take advantage of what is called “seamless roaming”: or the ability to stay connected to the strongest signal wherever you are within the network without having to manually switch over to another Wi-Fi name. So all the switching between wifi points/nodes is done in the background and you just see consistent high connectivity.

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