The Practical Mans Gaming Router
The TP-Link AC AC5400X is a performance beast with a sticker price that’s less of a shock than most of its direct competitors. TP-Link went for the jugular with this assault on the field of gaming routers and produced a surprisingly high-performance piece of hardware.
- Bands: Tri-Band
- Beamforming: Yes
- Connectivity: Ethernet, USB, WiFi
- Coverage: Up to 2000 sq ft
- Ethernet Ports: 8x1GB
- Max Data Transfer: 5400 Mbps
- Max-Stream: No
- MU-MIMO: Yes
- Number of Devices: Up to 25
- Parental Controls: Yes
- Processor: Quad-Core 1.8GHz
- QOS: Dynamic
- USB Ports: 2×3.0
- VPN Support: Yes
- WiFi Standard: 802.11ac
- Alexa Support: Yes
At first glance, your heart may skip a beat because it looks like a giant alien spider crawled onto your desk and died. The eight black and red antennas are huge and striking in design but are fixed and cannot be pointed. The router itself is 9.5 inches X 9.5 inches and 2 inches high. It’s a big boy. The usual array of blinking LED status lights can be found on the top of the router and you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports tucked away on the right-hand side.
The AC5400s forte is processor power and the resulting throughput your graphically intense games and 4K videos will immediately benefit from. The heart beating in the chest of this beast is a 64-bit Quad-Core 1.8GHz processor with three co-processors and a full 1GB of RAM. A portion of WiFi demand is offloaded to the co-processors allowing the main processor to dedicate more CPU cycles to delivering faster loading and smooth gameplay.
On the WiFi side, the AC5400X supports MU-MIMO, Beamforming, and AirTime fairness which combine to form stronger, uninterrupted signals and allow your devices to function as if they have their own dedicated connections. The 2.4GHz band tops off at 1000Mbps and the 5GHz bands add another 2167Mbps each. The best plan of attack is to reserve one of the 5GHz bands for gaming and 4K video.
QOS (Quality Of Service) is handled dynamically. The optimization engine identifies critical gaming and 4K traffic and prioritizes it to prevent sudden traffic bursts on your network from interfering and dragging down your game or streaming videos.
Another important feature of this router is Smart Connect. Smart Connect allows for load balancing and optimal speed of your devices. Too many slow devices can slow faster devices down. SmartConnect makes sure to place those devices on their own band. Load balancing makes sure your devices are distributed evenly across your bands to prevent one from being overloaded. This feature can be turned off in case you prefer to do this configuration manually.
If possible you always want to keep your most important devices such as desktop PC, smart TVs, and game consoles hardwired. The TP-Link AC5400x saves you the cost of an additional Gigabit switch by doubling the number of Ethernet ports found on traditional wireless routers to 8. If your NAS (Network Attached Storage) device supports the use of Link Aggregation (Combining 2 ports into on connection) your NAS and the AC5400x are made for each other. If you have a DOCSIS 3.1 modem you can use the Link Aggregation feature to create a faster connection to your modem by using the modems WAN port along with one of its LAN ports.
The TP-Link comes with important security features such as antivirus, intrusion protection, and a built-in VPN you can use to connect to your home network from anywhere. These features are included free with TP-Link HomeCareTM service.
All the basic settings (WiFi, USB Sharing, Home Care, Guest Network, and TP-Link Cloud) and advanced configuration settings (Dynamic or Static IP, L2TP, PPPoE, PPTP, DHCP Server, Static Routing, Dynamic DNS, and Link Aggregation settings) you’ll need can be found on the extremely easy to understand user interface.
The TP-Link AC5400x is not loaded with all the bells and whistles you’ll find in other gaming routers. Every feature has a practical application and cannot be considered fluff or overkill. No ping optimization or Duma OS here but the most practical features you need for gaming are ever-present.
Could it be? A gaming router that's not overkill?
- The number of LAN ports
- Throughput performance.
- Alexa support
- Malware and anti-virus tools.
- Large footprint.
- Average file transfer speeds
- Lack of "gamer" features
- Expensive...but not as expensive as other gaming routers.
Where To Buy
- All prices mentioned above are in United States dollar.
- This product is available at Amazon.com, eBay.
- At amazon.com you can purchase TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Gaming Router – MU-MIMO, 1.8GHz Quad-Core 64-bit CPU, Game First Priority, Link Aggregation, 16GB Storage, Airtime Fairness, Secured Wifi, Works with Alexa (Archer C5400X) for only $198.57 , which is 15% less than the cost in eBay ($234.99).
- The lowest price of TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Gaming Router 1.8GHz Quad-Core CPU Game First Priority was obtained on May 6, 2022 8:06 am.
|Price history for TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Gaming Router – MU-MIMO, 1.8GHz Quad-Core 64-bit CPU, Game First Priority, Link Aggregation, 16GB Storage, Airtime Fairness, Secured Wifi, Works with Alexa (Archer C5400X)|