TP-Link Archer C5400X AC5400 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Gaming Router Review

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Look no farther than the TP-Link Archer C5400X if it’s gaming performance you’re after. It has everything you need. Not only is the C5400X one of the finest Wi-Fi routers available, but it’s also one of the best gaming routers we’ve evaluated, combining amazing speed with reasonable range and the piece of mind that comes with having its own security software. Although it is large, costly, and does not allow you to direct the antennae, this behemoth of a router is just what serious gamers seek.

It’s essential to have both a lightning-fast gaming machine and a wireless router that allows you to maximize your bandwidth to decrease or eliminate network latency if you’re serious about competing online. TP-Link Archer C5400X ($399.99), a large 802.11ac device that has multiple LAN ports, built-in malware protection powered by Trend Micro, parental controls, and QoS settings that are simple to use and understand.

The C5400X achieved excellent results in our throughput tests, but our Editors’ Choice, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300, is both quicker and more user-friendly in terms of administration choices for video games enthusiasts.

TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band WiFi Gaming Router(Archer C5400X) – MU-MIMO Wireless Router, 1.8GHz Quad-Core 64-bit CPU, Game First Priority, Link Aggregation, 16GB Storage, Airtime Fairness

TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band WiFi Gaming...

$199.99

AMAZON

Last updated on September 16, 2021 10:42 am

Gaming

When measured in height, width, and depth (HWD), the C5400X is about the same size as the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300, which is to say that it is enormous. Eight large red and black external antennae are mounted on the outside of the device; they are detachable but not adjustable. It has eight gigabit LAN ports, two of which may be set for link aggregation, allowing compatible NAS devices that are linked to the router to achieve up to 2GBbps transfer rates.

Depending on the configuration, the status LED on the router’s top will show solid white when the router is operating correctly, red when the router has lost its internet connection, orange when Wi-Fi has been switched off, and pulsating white while the firmware is being updated. The WPS, Wi-Fi On/Off, and LED On/Off buttons are located on the front of the router, while two USB 3.0 ports are located on the right side of the device. In addition to the LAN ports, the router’s rear panel contains a WAN port, a power button, a power connector, and a reset button, among other features.

Design

The AC5400 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Gaming Router (aka Archer C5400X) from TP-Link is unlike any other router on the market, with its square, squat, and flat black design. But there’s more: when you attach the eight red and black antennas, the Archer C5400X grows to 11.2 9.5 2.2 inches in size, which is three times larger than Netgear’s jet-black Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router. The Archer C5400X is one of the largest home networking devices on the market, but it’s not the most powerful.

On the negative, the antennas are unable to be swiveled or pointed, and the entire structure has the appearance of a cross between a piece of sculpture and a coat rack. However, because of its intimidating appearance, gamers will be more inclined to show off the Archer C5400X rather than conceal it.

The router must be mounted on a wall and not on its side, as it would be in a bookshelf, but it must be flat to function properly. A high temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit was reached by the router, which is hot in more ways than one wise.

The Archer C5400X is powered by a Broadcom BCM4366 Wi-Fi chip on the inside, which supports MU-MIMO for connecting with many devices at the same time and beamforming for modifying broadcasts to make the most of the receiver’s capabilities. With a quad-core CPU running at 1.8GHz and three additional co-processing cores, 1GB of RAM, and 128MB of storage space for software and configurations, this device is powerful.

Combined, this results in a very fast router, capable of transmitting 1Gbps over its 2.4GHz band and 2.167Gbps over each of its two 5GHz channels. With an AC5400 certification, the router offers a high level of throughput.

It takes use of every chance to provide outstanding performance for players who are scared of aliens, fast-expanding civilizations, or vehicle thieves in inner-city areas. It is possible to combine two Ethernet connections for maximum speed on the Archer C5400X, in addition to prioritizing the bandwidth access of a single computer. Its boosted signals can go farther than other routers, allowing it to cover bigger houses, and the router’s Airtime Fairness software ensures that every device has an equal shot at a high-speed Internet connection.

In contrast, it lacks the geo-filtering capabilities of Netgear’s Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router, as well as the double-width 160MHz data channels included in both the XR500 and Linksys’ WRT32X. The Archer C5400X does come with a built-in VPN server, which allows you to connect anonymously and hide your internet activities.

Despite the fact that it is geared at gamers, the Archer C5400X can also serve as an effective home router, complete with parental settings to keep children away from the dark side of the internet. With the router’s heavy-duty security software, you can block known dangerous sites, protect your network from network assaults, and keep infected devices from infecting other PCs. Unlike typical malware programs, this additional layer of protection can’t be used in lieu of them and is only accessible on security routers such as Norton Core and F-Secure Sense.

The TP-Link logo is illuminated in the middle of the router’s top, and it flashes white when everything is functioning properly. When there is no internet connection, the indicator turns red.

The C5400X’s back panel contains an input WAN connection as well as eight gigabit-per-second downstream ports, which is twice as many as most routers give. In addition, there is an on/off switch as well as a recessed reset button.

For printers and data devices, there are two USB 3.0 ports on one side of the board. Each of the individual push buttons on the opposite side may be used to turn off the lights, pause the internet, or interrupt Wi-Fi transmissions, thus transforming the Archer C5400X into a wired router.

Performance

512MB of storage space and 1GB of RAM are provided by the Archer C5400X’s Broadcom BCM 4366 Wi-Fi chip, which features a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU with three auxiliary co-processors and a total of three auxiliary co-processors. Its triband architecture includes a single 2.4GHz transmitter (capable of transmitting up to 1Gbps) and two 5GHz transmitters (capable of transmitting up to 2.167Gbps each), which together can broadcast up to a theoretical 5.3Gbps of data under perfect conditions.

Testing at our Utah laboratory, which used Ixia’s ixChariot software to mimic a busy network, revealed that the Archer C5400X is one of the highest-performing home-networking devices currently available, according to our findings. When tested at 15 feet, it outperformed the competition by 16 percent and 53 percent, edging out Netgear’s Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router (715.4Mbps) and Linksys’ WRT32X router (544.5Mbps), both of which were tested at the same distance but with different speeds.

As a matter of fact, the Archer C5400X’s sole genuine competition in terms of raw speed was its smaller brother, the Archer C2300 router. It transferred 939.6Mbps at 5 feet and 682.3Mbps at 15 feet, yet it costs less than half the price of gaming routers at the same distances.

At 5 feet, the Archer C5400X achieved 733.9Mbps, compared to 704.7Mbps for the Netgear XR500 and 527.6Mbps for the Linksys WRT32X at the same distance. It was at 100 feet that the Archer C5400X fell behind, providing 447.1Mbps vs the XR500’s 524.3Mbps, or a 15 percent difference in performance. The Linksys WRT32X, with a speed of 247.0Mbps, lagged well behind the other two.

In our test, the Archer C5400X performed admirably, achieving a throughput of 383.3Mbps at a terminal distance of 150 feet, which was 11% faster than the XR500’s 342.2Mbps and 13% faster than the C2300’s 342.5Mbps. Once again, the Linksys WRT32X lagged behind the competition, this time with 302.4Mbps.

The Archer C5400X should perform admirably in an old house with numerous obstructions, as demonstrated by the router’s ability to transmit 853.7Mbps through a metal wall, compared to the 667.3Mbps that the Netgear XR500 was capable of transmitting and the 559.0Mbps that the Linksys WRT32X was capable of transmitting. It also led the way in terms of speed when it came to moving 832.3Mbps through a soundboard wall, but fell short of the Archer C2300’s 921.7Mbps on this job.

It performed admirably when it came to sending a Wi-Fi signal through a ceiling to the second level of the lab, which had 786.2Mbps of available bandwidth. This is a 15 percent increase in throughput over the XR500’s 670.5Mbps.

In my 3,500-square-foot home, the Archer C5400X came close to filling the Wi-Fi void, but there were two minor dead spots in different areas of the basement. With my iPad Pro in hand, the router had a range of 100 feet, which was only a few feet shy of the 115-foot range of the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router.

It worked well for a week and seemed to benefit me when I was watching some of the world’s most brilliant League of Legends players battle it out on Twitch. Afterward, I played a few games of Fighter Patrol 42 and Real Racing 3 before going to sleep. The answer was prompt, and the video was free of stuttering.

The Archer 5400X, on the other hand, is a power hog, drawing 13.4 watts of energy while in operation, which is 22 percent higher than the Linksys WRT32X’s 10.1 watts of electricity. If you pay the national average rate of 13.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity, it translates to a $15.25 yearly power cost, compared to the WRT32X’s $11.80.

Using a Surface Pro 3 and iPad Pro to play HD and 4K films while listening to internet radio on my Macbook, the Archer C5400X passed our informal saturation test. A Samsung Tab Pro S was used to move data between a network-attached storage system and a local hard drive. There were no dropouts or skips in the audio or video, which was a big plus.

Specifications

WIRELESS
StandardsWi-Fi 5
IEEE 802.11ac/n/a 5 GHz
IEEE 802.11n/b/g 2.4 GHz
WiFi SpeedsAC5400
5 GHz: 2167 Mbps (802.11ac)
5 GHz: 2167 Mbps (802.11ac)
2.4 GHz: 1000 Mbps (802.11n)
WiFi Range4 Bedroom Houses
8× Detachable High-Performance Antennas
Multiple antennas form a signal-boosting array to cover more directions and large areas

Beamforming
Concentrates wireless signal strength towards clients to expand WiFi range

High-Power FEM
Improves transmission power to strengthen signal coverage
WiFi CapacityHigh
Tri-Band
Allocate devices to different bands for optimal performance

4×4 MU-MIMO
Simultaneously communicates with multiple MU-MIMO clients

Airtime Fairness
Improves network efficiency by limiting excessive occupation

DFS
Access an extra band to reduce congestion
Working ModesRouter Mode
Access Point Mode
HARDWARE
Processor1.8 GHz 64 Bit Quad-Core CPU
Ethernet Ports1× Gigabit WAN Port
8× Gigabit LAN Ports

Link Aggregation (802.3ad) available with 2× LAN ports
USB Support2× USB 3.0 Ports

Supported Partition Formats:
NTFS, exFAT, HFS+, FAT32

Supported Functions:
Apple Time Machine
FTP Server
Media Server
Samba Server
ButtonsWi-Fi On/Off Button
Power On/Off Button
LED On/Off Button
WPS Button
Reset Button
Power12 V ⎓ 5 A
SECURITY
WiFi EncryptionWEP
WPA
WPA2
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x)
Network SecuritySPI Firewall
Access Control
IP & MAC Binding
Application Layer Gateway

HomeCare™ Antivirus
Malicious Site Checker
Port Intrusion Prevention
Infected Device Isolation
Notification and Log
Guest Network1× 5 GHz Guest Network
1× 2.4 GHz Guest Network
VPN ServerOpenVPN
PPTP
SOFTWARE
ProtocolsIPv4
IPv6
Service KitsHomeCare™
Parental ControlsHomeCare™ Parental Controls
Custom Profiles
Content Filtering
App Block
URL Filtering
Time Limit
Time Schedule (Bedtime)
Log Insight
Monthly Report
WAN TypesDynamic IP
Static IP
PPPoE
PPTP
L2TP
Quality of ServiceGeForce NOW™ QoS
QoS by Device

HomeCare™ QoS by Application
Cloud ServiceAuto Firmware Upgrade
OTA Firmware Upgrade
TP-Link ID
DDNS
NAT ForwardingPort Forwarding
Port Triggering
DMZ
UPnP
IPTVIGMP Proxy
IGMP Snooping
Bridge
Tag VLAN
DHCPAddress Reservation
DHCP Client List
Server
DDNSTP-Link
NO-IP
DynDNS
ManagementTether App
Webpage
PHYSICAL
Dimensions (W×D×H)11.3 × 11.3 × 7.2 in
(288 × 288 × 184 mm)
Package ContentsWi-Fi Router Archer C5400X
Power Adapter
RJ45 Ethernet Cable
Quick Installation Guide
OTHER
System RequirementsInternet Explorer 11+, Firefox 12.0+, Chrome 20.0+, Safari 4.0+, or other JavaScript-enabled browser

Cable or DSL Modem (if needed)

Subscription with an internet service provider (for internet access)
CertificationsFCC, CE, RoHS
EnvironmentOperating Temperature: 0℃~40℃ (32℉ ~104℉)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉ ~158℉)
Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing

Pros

  • Fast throughput performance.
  • Lots of LAN ports.
  • Works with Alexa and IFTTT.
  • Built-in malware and anti-virus tools.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Large footprint.
  • Short on game-centric features.
  • So-so file transfer speeds.

Verdict

There’s a new player in town when it comes to the best gaming routers, and TP-Archer Link’s C5400X makes the competition eat its digital dust with its great speed and range, as well as the added protection of having its own antivirus software installed.

Although it is more costly than Netgear’s Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router and Linksys’ WRT32X, the C5400X is more than worth the extra money simply because of its superior speed over the competition. It ought to be placed next to any professional gamer’s PC since its superior performance can be the difference between winning a battle and ending up floating about in space if you lose.

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