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TechRadar Verdict

The TP-Link Archer C5400X is an first-class enthusiast-class router which retains an like shooting fish in a barrel-to-use interface. It’s incredibly fast, it covers a very wide area, and QoS shaping routines inside (and a not insignificant processor and memory combination) ways it’s ready for anything. Fleck expensive, though…


  • +

    Very fast

  • +

    Simple frontend

  • +

    Swift setup

  • +

    Exceptional 5Ghz performance


  • Very expensive

  • Not the nicest-looking device

Spec sheet

Wireless Connectivity:
IEEE 802.11a/b/yard/n/ac, AC5400 Tri-Band
1.8GHz quad-core processor, 3 x co-processors
ix 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports (1 WAN and eight LAN),  2 x USB iii.0
Dimensions: 11.3 x 11.3 ten 7.2 inches (288 x 288 10 184mm; W x D x H)

Information technology wasn’t so long ago that nosotros were treated to TP-Link’s 2nd generation Archer C5400 router, and that wowed us with its smart home features and its outrageous power.

By adding an ‘X’ to the proper noun, pasting on some red flashes and using far more aggressive moulding, and boosting only about every single aspect of the hardware, TP-Link’southward Archer C5400X is a gaming router aimed at the gaming market place… For gamers. Either that or, judging past its looks, information technology’s a sacrificial plinth for cats who’ve been very naughty.

But is it just for gamers? If you tin can cope with the styling – which is, it must exist said, more divisive than the slightly subtler looks of the non-X multifariousness – so the C5400X’s specs promise a super-powered, nearly enterprise-grade router that can cope with anything.

It’s non casually priced, that’south for sure. But can it lucifer all that rant and all those numbers with the operation that counts? Allow’s find out.

Price and availability

Here’s the painful function. The TP-Link Archer C5400X can exist had for around the £350/$399/AU$565 mark, which is a not insignificant chunk of change. Looking around at the fourth dimension of review, many retailers are asking for significantly more than that, suggesting that units may be in brusk supply.

To apply UK prices, a £350 price point places this gaming upgrade at £100 more than than the C5400 v2, for what might be a reasonably non-essential upgrade.

There’southward besides the competition to worry virtually; yeah, this is cheaper in terms of MSRP than the suspiciously similar (though slightly more demonic) Asus GT-AC5300, merely far more expensive than the electric current asking cost of the Asus RT-AC5300, and about twice the price of the excellent Asus RT-AC86U.

And that’southward just one competitor. The TP-Link C5400X is as expensive equally a proficient mesh setup like Google Wifi or Netgear’s astonishing Orbi which, nonetheless powerful the terrifying antennae on top of this router may be, volition likely get you better overall coverage if that’s your concern.

Blueprint and features

We’ve talked nigh the physical design of the TP-Link C5400X already, so we won’t get excited about it once more here. Y’all tin brand your own decisions – just bear in mind that if you hide it away to avert offending visitors, you’re probable to see something of a drop in throughput.

Yet, there’s a huge amount here to talk about in terms of features. Allow’due south start with the not-wireless role: a full 8-port gigabit switch. That’southward non a common sight on home routers in the showtime place, merely this switch too does a trivial more than, supporting link assemblage. This allows you lot to pair upward ports to potentially get 2Gbps transfers to NAS devices or LACP-supporting PCS. Y’all tin also use a LAN port in conjunction with the WAN port to connect to a DOCSIS three.1 modem.

The pursuit of ridiculous network functioning continues on the MU-MIMO wireless side; the C5400X runs two 2167Mbps radios on the 5GHz side (appearing as individual networks, giving you the selection of shaping traffic depending on what’s connected where) equally well as a unmarried 1000Mbps 2.4GHz radio.

Each is backed by an individual coprocessor, and run from a central 1.8GHz quad-cadre CPU with 1GB RAM. This is a significant computing device in its own right.

And then there’south the little extras. It beamforms, targeting specific devices for maximum throughput. Information technology features something called Rangeboost, which we presume is a term which boils down to ‘this has practiced range’ rather than being anything especially technical.

It manages ‘Airtime Fairness’, which is TP-Link’due south take on multi-device QoS. And there’s a host of VPN management tricks on lath, including built-in OpenVPN support and the power to spread a five-connectedness pipe to your favourite VPN provider.

Somehow, unbelievably, that’s not all. At that place’south AV and parental controls, as well every bit customizable device prioritisation. There’south similar Alexa and IFTTT support to the standard C5400 v2.

Plug in a USB bulldoze and you can take reward of NAS features, and at that place’s fifty-fifty a tiny chunk of cloud storage right on the router, behind its firewall; if yous’re away from dwelling house and want to save a file, y’all can.


Here’s how the TP-Link Archer C5400X fared in our cursory suite of tests (conducted using a 200Mbps service):

Ookla Speed Test 5GHz (Download | Upload):

Within v feet/1.52 meters; no obstructions: 173 | 21.ii Mbps

Inside 13 anxiety/3.96 meters; 3 plaster walls: 184 | 21.two Mbps

Ookla Speed Exam 2.4GHz (Download | Upload):

Within 5 feet/one.52 meters; no obstructions: 46.8 | 21.two Mbps

Inside thirteen feet/three.96 meters; iii plaster walls: | 22.2 Mbps


We have admittedly no complaints virtually the abilities of the C5400X to throw around the packets. None whatsoever – although if you’re on a device restricted to the ii.4GHz band, you might not be quite every bit happy.

Correct side by side to the router, nosotros hitting a decent 46.8MB/s down on 2.4GHz, and a beautifully speedy 173Mb/s on the 5GHz ring, on a connection (theoretically) capable of topping out at 200Mb/south. Moving away to a few known black spots around the dwelling, the C5400X managed a passable 2.4GHz xviii.6Mb/s a floor up on the reverse side of the house; the same spot on 5GHz somehow hit 184Mb/s, amend than the router managed mere inches abroad.

On the same floor, with a wall (and effectually xx meters) in between, this router managed 33.4Mb/s on 2.4GHz, and hit its acme in our testing, grinding out an excellent 191Mb/s on 5GHz.

Upload speeds were consequent beyond bands and locations, striking effectually 21.5Mb/south every time. That’south what we’d expect from our severely imbalanced connection.

Realistically, the 2.4GHz performance here isn’t really bad – it’s just standard 2.4GHz performance. And it’s skilful enough, considering the C5400X has far improve range than our stock router. On the 5GHz ring, it’southward unbelievably good.


It’ll be polarising in terms of its looks, no doubt, only the TP-Link C5400X is an excellent router with the logical and concrete chops to satisfy packet-hungry gamers. It’s easy to gear up up, easy to administer, and like shooting fish in a barrel to forget about one time it’s running.

Plus, this thing is fast. Very fast. And, nosotros were impressed with the number of features TP-Link packed in on the back end. If we were streaming or gaming hard, and didn’t need the coverage of a solid mesh network, this would be a top choice.

If you’re looking for something that’ll accommodate your family unit as well as your own network-abusing predilections, this is a peachy choice.

It’s a groovy choice if you tin beget information technology, at least. The C5400X is incredibly expensive, and if you’re not going to take reward of its many features there’s a level of overkill here that’s going to cost you more than you absolutely need to spend; its more reasonable little brother, the C5400 v2, is probably just as good for nigh people at a slightly lower price.