ASUS TUF-AX5400 review: a Wi-Fi 6 router for gamers!

ASUS TUF-AX5400
Rating

Wireless network performance

Let’s look at the apartment used in our testing: the router is placed in the living room. Unfortunately, the signal strength is not good with most wireless routers in places like the Kitchen and the Medium balcony.

The apartment in which we tested ASUS TUF-AX5400

We have a fast 1 Gigabit Internet connection capable of upload speeds of up to 800 Mbps. We evaluated the Wi-Fi emitted by ASUS TUF-AX5400 using the following standards: Wi-Fi 4 on the 2.4 GHz band, Wi-Fi 5, and Wi-Fi 6 on the 5 GHz band.

To get a better idea of the performance offered by ASUS TUF-AX5400, we compared it with ASUS RT-AX82U and TP-Link Archer AX50. RT-AX82U is a similar AX5400 gaming router with the same SoC but fewer features on the firmware side. On the other hand, Archer AX50 is an AX3000 wireless router with an affordable price, an Intel SoC, and fewer features.

We started with the 2.4 GHz band and the Wi-Fi 4 standard, and we measured the signal strength with NetSpot. You can see its evolution in the graphic below. From these measurements, it looks like signal strength is an improvement area for ASUS TUF-AX5400.

Comparing the signal strength on the 2.4 GHz band

We used SpeedTest to evaluate the speed of the internet connection when using Wi-Fi 4. The download speed offered by ASUS TUF-AX5400 was faster than that of the ASUS RT-AX82U but slower than the Archer AX50.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Download speed in SpeedTest on Wi-Fi 4

When measuring the upload speed on the 2.4 GHz band, performance varied significantly from room to room, and there was no clear winner.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Upload speed in SpeedTest on Wi-Fi 4

We used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network on the 2.4 GHz band when using Wi-Fi 4. Again, ASUS TUF-AX5400 was outperformed by TP-Link Archer AX50.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Download speed on Wi-Fi 4

The same happened when measuring the upload speed.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Upload speed on Wi-Fi 4

On the 2.4 GHz band, when using the Wi-Fi 4 standard, ASUS TUF Gaming AX5400 is rather underwhelming for a wireless router in its price range. We expected more, and hopefully, things will be improved in future firmware versions.

We analyzed the 5GHz wireless band using the Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 standards for the next set of measurements. Again, we started by looking at the evolution of the signal strength from room to room. This time, ASUS TUF Gaming AX5400 offered results that were almost identical to ASUS RT-AX82U.

Comparing the signal strength on the 5 GHz band

Next, we used SpeedTest to measure the speed of the internet connection when connected to the 5 GHz band using the Wi-Fi 5 standard. Download speeds were fast in most rooms, but ASUS TUF-AX5400 shone through in the rooms furthest from the router.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Download speed in SpeedTest on Wi-Fi 5

Uploads were fast too, but there was no clear winner in this comparison.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Upload speed in SpeedTest on Wi-Fi 5

We then used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network using Wi-Fi 5. Downloads were fast in all rooms, but there was no clear winner in the speed department.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Download speed on Wi-Fi 5

When measuring the upload speed, ASUS TUF-AX5400 exchanged blows with its brother - ASUS RT-AX82U.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Upload speed on Wi-Fi 5

When using the 5 GHz band and the Wi-Fi 5 standard, ASUS TUF-AX5400 is fast and reliable.

We remained on the 5 GHz wireless band, but we switched to using the Wi-Fi 6 standard and ran SpeedTest in all the rooms of our apartment. Downloads were very fast, and TUF-AX5400 was the speed champion in several rooms.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Download speed in SpeedTest on Wi-Fi 6

When measuring the upload speed, ASUS TUF-AX5400 was generally outperformed by its brother - ASUS RT-AX82U.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Upload speed in SpeedTest on Wi-Fi 6

Lastly, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network using Wi-Fi 6. In this test, ASUS TUF-AX5400 was the speed winner, outperforming the routers we compared it to, in all rooms.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Download speed on Wi-Fi 6

With a few exceptions, when measuring the upload speed on Wi-Fi 6, ASUS TUF-AX5400 remained the winner in our comparison.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Upload speed on Wi-Fi 6

On Wi-Fi 6, ASUS TUF-AX5400 is an excellent wireless router, delivering speeds that match your expectations.

Wired network performance

It was time to evaluate the performance we get on Ethernet network connections. When using SpeedTest, ASUS TUF-AX5400 reached the maximum potential of our internet connection: it offered an average speed of 929.20 Mbps for the download speed and 816.12 Mbps for the upload speed. Keep in mind that when we tested ASUS RT-AX82U, our internet connection was capped at 500 Mbps for the upload speed.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - SpeedTest on Ethernet connections

Then, we ran a network transfer between two computers using the PassMark Performance test. ASUS TUF Gaming AX5400 offers speeds that are very similar to its official specifications. No surprises here.

ASUS TUF-AX5400 - Network transfers on Ethernet connections

As usual with modern routers, ASUS TUF-AX5400 offers reliable Ethernet connections that work at 1 Gbps. In addition, the prioritized gaming port is an interesting feature for gamers, as well as the Link Aggregation available for two of the Ethernet ports on the back of the router and its WAN port.

USB port

We connected a portable SSD to the USB 3.2 port on the back of the ASUS TUF-AX5400 and made some data transfers. We measured a download speed of 719.03 Mbps, and the upload speed was 381.35 Mbps.

How fast is the USB port on the ASUS TUF-AX5400?

The USB port on the ASUS TUF Gaming AX5400 wireless router is very fast and offers speeds comparable to its brother ASUS RT-AX82U, another router designed for gamers.

Extra features

Security is a big deal on the ASUS TUF-AX5400. This router includes the AiProtection module that provides the following security features:

  • A Router Security Assessment tool that verifies whether your settings are secure. When it finds problems, it proactively informs you and helps you fix things.
  • Malicious Sites Blocking – an efficient cloud-based module that blocks access to malicious websites on all the devices connected to your network.
  • Two-Way IPS – a two-way intrusion prevention system that protects your network from spam, DDoS attacks, network attacks, and more. Additionally, it also scans the packets that are sent from your network to the internet.
  • Infected Device Prevention and Blocking – if your network devices get infected and become zombies in malware networks, they are automatically blocked, and you are informed about this problem.
  • Parental Controls – cloud-based parental controls that can be used to set rules about internet access for children’s devices. If you are interested in using them, read How to set up Parental Controls on an ASUS router and How to control your child’s internet time on your ASUS router.

The tools included in the AiProtection module

The list of advanced features doesn’t stop here. You also get:

  • AiMesh - you can use this router to build a mesh Wi-Fi network using other ASUS routers for increased Wi-Fi coverage.
  • Guest Network – you can enable three wireless guest networks with individual security and access settings on each band (2.4 and 5 GHz).
  • Game Boost - a set of tools that gamers may appreciate:
    • Gear Accelerator - allows you to prioritize your gaming devices (consoles, gaming PCs, etc.).
    • Mobile Game Mode - with the help of the ASUS Router app, you can enable a specialized game mode that improves your mobile gaming experience.
    • Open NAT - a hassle-free way to create port forwarding rules for online games and optimize the routing packets from your gaming console.
  • Adaptive QoS – an advanced Quality of Service feature that you can use to optimize network traffic, including but not limited to online gaming.
  • Traffic Analyzer – visual traffic statistics give you a clear picture of how your network is used and by which devices.
  • USB Applications - set up your router to use external hard drives or printers through its USB ports. There’s also support for Apple’s Time Machine functionality from macOS.
  • AiCloud 2.0 - gives you the tools to create your cloud storage service using a hard drive connected to the router.
  • Dual WAN - you can use two internet connections at the same time.
  • IPv6 – support for IPv6 addresses that are slowly but surely replacing IPv4.
  • VPN – you can set the router to work as a VPN server using the following protocols: PPTP, OpenVPN, and IPSec VPN. You can also use it to turn your network-connected devices into VPN-enabled clients without additional VPN software required.
  • Instant Guard - a mobile app for selected ASUS routers that helps you establish a VPN connection to your router when you’re on the go, using insecure public Wi-Fi networks. An excellent feature if you ask us.
  • VPN Fusion - another new feature available on select ASUS routers. This one allows you to connect to multiple VPN servers simultaneously and assign your client devices to connect to different VPN tunnels. For example, your gaming devices can use a gaming-oriented VPN service for playing online, while your work devices can connect to the company’s VPN, all happening at the same time.
  • Network Tools – for analyzing the network and identifying what’s wrong. They are helpful when you need to troubleshoot problems.
  • DDNS – a service that allows you to connect to the router from the internet, even if your internet provider assigns you a dynamic public IP address.
  • Integration with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT – you can say things like “Alexa, ask ASUS ROUTER to upgrade the firmware” to perform different tasks. You can also automate tasks that might be repetitive or unable to “talk to each other” through IFTTT.

Gaming features you may want to use

TUF Gaming AX5400 offers all the latest and greatest features, including new additions like VPN Fusion and Instant Guard.

What is your opinion about the ASUS TUF-AX5400 router?

Now you know our opinion about the ASUS TUF-AX5400 gaming router with Wi-Fi 6. You also know its strengths and weaknesses. Before closig this review, tell us whether you think this model is a good fit for your needs. Are you interested in purchasing it? If you already own it, what has been your experience with it? Comment below, and let's discuss.

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