• Ports: 1x WAN port, 8x LAN port, 2x USB 3.0
  • Network Standard: IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IPv4, IPv6
  • Encryption: 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK
  • Dimensions: 240.5 x 240.5 x 55.3 mm
  • Pros:
  • High bandwidth
  • QoS feature
  • Cons:
  • None

Firing On All Antennas

You worked hard to pick out the components for your latest gaming rig, or maybe you run a cybercafé, then you realise that your router is not quite up to scratch. Enter the TP-Link Archer C5400X, a huge wireless AC router with plenty of features and bandwidth to spare.

Sporting a design that we find familiar, the TP-Link Archer C5400X’s entire main body is cased in black plastic. There are some red accents on the eight antennas, which are included in the box. The top and bottom are full of small holes that act as ventilation for the unit. At the top of the router is also an LED that shows you the router’s connection status. This can be switched off using a button at the front if you want to place the router in your bedroom, but don’t want the light to keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Besides the LED on/off button, there’s an additional two buttons at the front – one for you to quickly connect other devices to the router via WPS, and another to switch the wireless broadcast on or off. There are also two USB 3.0 ports, allowing you to connect two devices or external HDDs for sharing of files like images. It even has a whopping eight Gigabit LAN ports, giving devices connected through LAN the lion’s share of the bandwidth. Two of the LAN ports can be used for Link Aggregation, so you could hook a NAS system to it for a shared network storage with fast connection speeds.

Some quick assembly is required when setting this up, since the antennas are not attached yet out of the box. They clip into the slots easily and can only be removed with a solid pull, so you won’t have to worry about them falling off if you mount the router to a wall. We did the router setup using a desktop PC and got a typical setup wizard to do the heavy lifting – just input the right settings (i.e username and password) and we were done.

With this router, we’ve had no issues getting WiFi signal at full strength in our office – no matter where we sat. It was even possible to get connected when we left the office to grab some snacks from the convenience store five floors down.

In terms of interface, the Archer C5400X’s UI is clean and easy to use. Our favourite feature is the Quality of Service, which let’s you toggle between different bandwidth priority settings (presets) or create your own customised ones where specific devices, PCs, or consoles will get more priority bandwidth.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Easy to setup and use, great connectivity, and useful features for not just gamers but also average users – this is a great router if you have the money to splash.

(previously published in issue September 2018)