TP-Link AC5400

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TP-Link continues to innovate, and creates some of the fastest routers to date. They even have the worlds first wireless AD router. They were founded in 1996 and have become one of the largest providers of networking products. Through their continuous efforts of technological enhancements and the power of imagination, TP-Link continues to make networking more convenient and faster for gaming, and home users. I’m looking at the C5400 today, and it stands as their flagship gaming router which offers extreme performance. The slogan is ” Game like you never gamed before”, Lets see how this router steals the show, and see if it can stand out among its competitors.

HARDWARE FEATURES
Interface 4 10/100/1000Mbps LAN Ports,
1 10/100/1000Mbps WAN Port
1 USB 3.0 Port + 1 USB 2.0 Port
Button Wireless On/Off Button
Power On/off Button
LED On/off Button
WPS Button
Reset Button
Antenna 8 high-performance antennas
External Power Supply 12V/5A
Dimensions ( W x D x H ) 9.1 X 9.1 X 1.7 in. (230 X 230 X 43mm)
WIRELESS FEATURES
Wireless Standards IEEE 802.11ac/n/a 5GHz
IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz
Frequency 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Signal Rate 5GHz Band1: Up to 2167Mbps
5GHz Band2: Up to 2167Mbps
2.4GHz: Up to 1000Mbps
Reception Sensitivity 5GHz:
11a 6Mbps: -94dBm
11a 54Mbps: -76dBm
11ac HT20 (MCS8): -68dBm 11ac HT20 (MCS11): -61dBm
11ac HT40 (MCS9): -64dBm, 11ac HT40 (MCS11): -57dBm
11ac HT80: -60dBm
2.4GHz
11g 54M: -77dBm
11n HT20 (MCS8): -73dBm, 11ac HT20 (MCS11): -63dBm
11ac HT40 (MCS9): -67dBm, 11ac HT40 (MCS11): -62dBm
Wireless Functions Enable/Disable Wireless Radio, WMM, Wireless Statistics
Wireless Security 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryption
Transmission Power CE:
<20dBm(2.4GHz)
<23dBm(5.15GHz to 5.35GHz)
<23dBm(5.47GHz to 5.725GHz)
FCC:
<30dBm
Guest Network 2.4GHz guest network × 1
5GHz guest network × 2
SOFTWARE FEATURES
Quality of Service WMM, Bandwidth Control
WAN Type Dynamic IP/Static IP/PPPoE/
PPTP(Dual Access)/L2TP(Dual Access)
Management Access Control
Local Management
Remote Management
DHCP Server, Client, DHCP Client List,
Address Reservation
Port Forwarding Virtual Server, Port Triggering, UPnP, DMZ
Dynamic DNS DynDns, NO-IP
VPN Pass-Through PPTP, L2TP, IPSec
Access Control Parental Control, Local Management Control, Host List, Access
Schedule, Rule Management
Protocols Supports IPv4 and IPv6
USB Sharing Support Samba(Storage)/FTP Server/Media Server/
Printer Server
OTHERS
Certification CE, FCC, RoHS
Package Contents AC5400 Wireless Tri-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit Router
Archer C5400
Power supply unit
Ethernet Cable
Quick Installation Guide
System Requirements Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista™ or
Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1/10
MAC OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux
Environment Operating Temperature: 0℃~40 ℃ (32 ℉~104℉)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70 ℃ (-40 ℉~158℉)
Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing

Shipping

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The C5400 is packaged well and displays its advertised speeds to showcase its Tri-Band technology. The unit was shipped perfectly with no signs of damage or missing parts.

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The accessories included are:

  • Technical booklets/ Manual
  • Small 3ft Ethernet cable
  • C5400 Router
  • Power adapter/ Wall plug

The unit is easily unpackaged, and only requires you flip the antennas up around the unit.

Design

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The highlights of the C5400:

  • Concurrent AC5400 Wi-Fi – Achieves Wi-Fi experience with 802.11ac to the extreme ·
  • Tri-Band Wi-Fi – Delivers more Wi-Fi to more devices ·
  • 4 x 4 Stream – Delivers up to 4 data streams for each Wi-Fi band ·
  • NitroQAM Technology – Delivers 25% higher speeds on each bands with the latest Nitro-QAM (1024-QAM) technology ·
  • MU-MIMO – Achieves up to 4X eciency by communicating with four devices at once ·
  • 8 External Antennas – Maximize the Wi-Fi coverage and enhance the wireless connections

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This product was design for one thing in mind, and thats speed. The C5400 integrated a 4-port switch, firewall, NAT-router, and wireless AP. It is power by Multi-User MIMO technology by future update. This technology optimizes your speeds and connections for you automatically. By doing this the C5400 can deliver exceptional range and speed. Your wireless connections are selectable to avoid interference, and the four built-in Gigabit ports supply a high-speed connection to all your devices.

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The 802.11ac is the next generation of WI-FI. The C5400 comes with this standard, and is also backwards compatible with 802.11n and is 3 times faster. The C5400 offers higher power efficiency and robust security. This router is ideal for gaming and power users that have multiple devices.

The speed of the C5400:

  •  4-Stream and NitroQAM – Advanced 4-Stream and NitroQAM (1024-QAM) technology increase maximum Wi-Fi speeds on all bands by 25%, achieving combined Wi-Fi speeds of up to 5334Mbps
  • MU-MIMO – MU-MIMO allows the router to achieve up to 4X eciency by communication with four devices at once
  • Dual-core CPU & 3 co-processors – 1.4GHz dual-core CPU and three co-processors handle simultaneous connections without interruption

WI-FI Range:

  • Maximized Range & Reliable Wi-Fi – Eight high-performance external antennas greatly increase the Archer C5400’s range and signal stability.
  • Laser-Focused Wi-Fi – Beamforming technology further improves the router’s coverage by helping it locate wireless devices to form stronger, more reliable connections.

Reliability:

  • Tri-Band Technology – Creates three separate Wi-Fi bands for connecting more devices to your network without a drop in performance
  • Smart Connect – Helps devices run faster by assigning them to the best channel to balance network demand
  • IP QoS – Advanced QoS automatically recognizes & prioritizes streaming & gaming applications

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The C5400 gets performance boosts of up to 25% thanks to NitroQAM and 4-stream technology. This establishes a network that allows you to connect more devices without the latency. The Smart Connect technology helps devices run faster by assigning them to the proper channel to balance your network load. You can get up to 3166Mbps with Trinal band technology. 2166Mbps wireless speeds are offered on your 5GHz band, and 1000Mbps over the 2.4GHz band.

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With the MU-MIMO technology the C5400 can communicate with more devices making them more efficient. This unit can provide four simultaneous data streams which is 4x faster than standard AC routers. I wouldn’t consider this false advertising, but its important to note that at the very bottom of the page of the Archer C5400 there is a note saying “Future firmware upgrade is required to enable MU-MIMO technology.” I’m working on getting a beta of this firmware to get updated benchmarks, but until then I this unit wont function with the MIMO technology.

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The router supports a wide variety of connections on the back:

  • USB 2.0 for compatibility
  • USB 3.0 for higher speeds with compatible devices
  • Power on/off switch
  • Power connector
  • 4x Gigabit ports
  • Internet Port for modem
  • Reset switch

The C5400 uses multi functioned USB ports. You can share a printer or network  multiple computers to share media files at home or via FTP. The router also supports IPv6 which is the next foundation of the internet with improved user experience.

Setup

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Setting up the C5400 can be done within minutes. This is thanks to its intuitive web design and tether app. Tether allows you to manage your network settings, Provides parental controls, and media sharing options. You can download the app fro IOS or Android. I didn’t need to use this feature for my specific setup, but I did get a chance to check out the app. It does work really well, and will allow you to get a good map of your current network configuration.

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To log into your router to and manage your settings you must use a web-based utility such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer. You can visit http://tplinkwifi.net with the default username and password. Please refer to the downloadable manual for these specific steps.

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It is really simple to set up the C5400, and configure your Internet connection. Most people will want to use Dynamic IP if you’re using Time Warner like I am, but you will need to check with your Internet provider to establish what settings to use.

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To setup your WI-FI you only need to configure the correct settings such as SSID name, Password and encryption type, and your ready to start connecting your devices. You can allow the Tr-Band to automatically configure the right channels for you, or you can manually configure them if desired.

Testing

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The test bench used for testing is as follows:

  • Motherboard- Z87x-UD3H
  • CPU: Intel Core I7 4790K
  • Network Card- TP-Link T9E
  • Cooler- H100i GTX V2
  • Memory- Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 1866
  • Video Card: EVGA NVidia Geforce GTX 970
  • Storage- OCZ vertex 4 256 GB
  • Power Supply- Corsair TX750m
  • OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro

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I wanted to see how well the C5400 would work considering the technology is still new. The C5400 is extremely fast and the Tr-Band technology work like a dream. The connection between the C5400 and the TP-Link T9E adapter had speeds close to 600 Mbps. I am running the wireless connection between the T9E and the C5400 on the 5GHz channel. I was roughly 20ft away from the router, and these speeds can vary for several reasons. There are alot of factors that contribute to wireless speeds such as distance, interfernece, connection type, and wireless channels. I want to also point out this speed is the connection between the T9E and the router over LAN, not the speed of my internet connection.

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The speed test I ran was also amazing. I was able to full saturate my network speeds with little interference. This is the speed of my connection from Time Warner.

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Lets be clear here. Most people are going to want a router of this magnitude for extreme performance, and also what better way to test network latency than with ping in your favorite games. I am testing each game with Kill Ping to monitor the games network latency. Some games allow this information easily, while other games don’t have an option to view this.

 

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I wanted to do another test to really show how well the C5400 handles heavy downloaded files. With a 35 Mbps speed I was able to download the new DOOM in 03 hours and 5 minutes. DOOM is a fantastic game and one of the best games I have played this year.

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Conclusion

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There is alot to love about the C5400 router. The only con I can think of is the advertised MIMO technology being available in a future firmware upgrade. This is important to note if you’re expecting that feature to work outside of the box when purchased.

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The C5400 is extremely fast and offer the numbers to prove that. With the C5400 delivering combined Tri-Band speeds you can game without slowing down your network. My favorite feature of this router is the ease of setting up, and using TP-Links clean admin interface. I did notice much smoother performance with Smart Connect automatically assigning the proper channels to your devices. I highly recommend this router if you’re looking for a router that can handle multiple simultaneous connections, and allow you to still game with no lag. Your frag count will increase while dominating your foes. You can buy the TP-Link Archer C5400 right now on Amazon for $300.00.

 

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TP-Link AC5400

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