TP-Link Archer C5400X review: One of the fastest Wi-Fi 5 routers!

Rating

Wireless network performance

First, let's look at the apartment that was used in our testing and how it is set up. You can see that the router is placed in the living room. With most wireless routers, the signal strength is not that high in places like the Kitchen and the Medium balcony.

The apartment in which we tested the TP-Link Archer C5400X

Our testing was done using a fast 1 Gigabit Internet connection that is capable of uploads on the internet of up to 500 Mbps. We used an HP Spectre 13 laptop for all our measurements and several software tools.

To get a better idea of the performance offered by TP-Link Archer C5400X, we compared it with ASUS GT-AC5300, and Netgear Nighthawk X10 R9000. We analyzed the 2.4 GHz band first and measured the signal strength with NetSpot. You can see below how the signal strength evolved from room to room. In most rooms, TP-Link Archer C5400X offered better signal strength than the routers we compared it to, which is a great start.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - the wireless signal strength on the 2.4 GHz band

Next, we used SpeedTest to measure how fast the internet connection offered by TP-Link Archer C5400X is, when using the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. TP-Link Archer C5400X was the fastest in the room where it was placed, but it was outmatched in most rooms, due to the variability issues that we mentioned earlier for the 2.4 GHz band.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - Download speed in SpeedTest on the 2.4 GHz band

When measuring the upload speed, we noticed a similar trend.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - Upload speed in SpeedTest on the 2.4 GHz band

Continuing our measurements on the 2.4 GHz wireless network, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network. Despite its issues with the variability of WiFi transfers, TP-Link Archer C5400X was the fastest router in this comparison, showing that this router has excellent potential if TP-Link fixes the bugs that we have found on this band.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - Download speed on the 2.4 GHz band

The upload speed measurements painted a similar story.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - Upload speed on the 2.4 GHz band

On the 2.4 GHz wireless band, TP-Link Archer C5400X has the potential to beat all its competitors, in all tests, if TP-Link improves the firmware to provide better stability on this band.

For the next set of measurements, we analyzed the performance of the 5GHz wireless band. We looked at the evolution of the signal strength, from room to room. TP-Link Archer C5400X behaved similarly to other outer routers in this comparison.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - the wireless signal strength on the 5 GHz band

Next, we measured the download speed with SpeedTest, in every room of our test apartment. The maximum download speed offered by TP-Link Archer C5400X was excellent in all rooms, except the one furthest from the router.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - Download speed in SpeedTest on the 5 GHz band

When we measured the upload speed, the differences between TP-Link Archer C5400X and its competitors were a lot smaller.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - Upload speed in SpeedTest on the 5 GHz band

For the last measurements on the 5GHz wireless network, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network. Again, TP-Link Archer C5400X was the fastest in all rooms, except the one furthest from the router.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - Download speed on the 5 GHz band

When we measured the upload speed, TP-Link Archer C5400X was no longer the leader, even though it performed very well.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - Upload speed on the 5 GHz band

On the 5 GHz band, TP-Link Archer C5400X delivers outstanding download speeds, that often beat its competitors.

Wired network performance

To test the quality of the wired Ethernet connection, we used a desktop PC, equipped with a Ryzen 5 processor and a speedy Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD, and a Lenovo IdeaCentre 610s mini PC. We measured the speed of the internet connection when using a 1 Gbps Ethernet cable, using SpeedTest. As expected, TP-Link Archer C5400X performed well, achieving the maximum potential of our internet connection.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - SpeedTest on Ethernet connections

Then, we ran a network transfer between the two computers, using the PassMark Performance test. Again, TP-Link Archer C5400X performed as expected.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - File transfers on Ethernet connections

When it comes to Ethernet connections, TP-Link Archer C5400X delivers the speeds you expect, and it works well at 1 Gbps.

USB performance

We connected a portable SSD drive to one of the USB 3.0 ports of the TP-Link Archer C5400X wireless router. We measured 493.98 Mbps for the download speed and an upload speed of 480.82 Mbps. This is a good performance, but it is not the fastest you can get from a premium wireless router.

TP-Link Archer C5400X - the speed of the USB 3.0 port

The TP-Link Archer C5400X wireless router offers fast USB 3.0 ports. However, other premium routers may be faster in this regard.

Extra features

TP-Link Archer C5400X is a premium wireless router that bundles a lot of features:

TP-Link Archer C5400X - integration with Amazon Alexa
  • Integration with Alexa and IFTTT (If This Then That) - you can remote control the router using Alexa and voice commands, and set your automation system.
  • An antivirus module powered by Trend Micro. It filters malicious content, quarantines infected devices, and it also has an intrusion prevention system that is useful in smart homes. This module works well, but the downside is that you have to pay for it after three years of use.
  • Cloud-based parental controls that are effective and easy to configure. They are useful for setting time limits, schedules, and protecting your children from inappropriate content online.
  • TP-Link also bundled an easy to configure QoS feature (Quality of Service), that helps you prioritize network traffic based on its type. For example, you can prioritize streaming over downloading files.
  • VPN server - you can use the router as a VPN server, using the OpenVPN or PPTP VPN protocols, so that you can access your network when away.
  • Link Aggregation - you can enable it for ports LAN2 and LAN3. Useful when you use a NAS (Network Attached System) in your network. You can also enable WAN aggregation so that you can use two internet connections.
  • Dynamic DNS - you can use NO-IP and DynDNS DDNS accounts on your router so that you can connect to the router from the internet, even if your internet provider gives you a dynamic public IP address.
  • Guest networks - you can enable up to three guest networks, one for each WiFi band, with different access rules, including a Guest Portal, useful for small businesses.

TP-Link Archer C5400X bundles many useful extra features, and it is on par with its competitors.

What is your opinion about TP-Link Archer C5400X wireless router?

Now you know our opinion about this wireless router, what we liked and did not like about it. Before closing this review, tell us what you think about the TP-Link Archer C5400X. Also, if you already have it, do not hesitate to share your experience with both us and other readers. Comment below and let's discuss.

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