Editorials

Review: TP-Link AC5400x Gaming Router

TP-Link has been working on some exciting things, and over the years has shown how pivotal their equipment is to any household looking for peace of mind when it comes to the internet. Today, we’re pleased to reveal the newest router from TP-Link – the Archer AC5400x, a powerful MU-MIMO Tri-Band Gaming Router, a piece of hardware that I wasn’t ready to have replaced my existing TP-Link AC3150 which has yet to cause me any issue in the two years I’ve used it. I’ll be the first to say that I’m glad I decided to make the change.

What’s special about this router is that this is the first gaming router available in Canada, and while aimed at professional gamers, is something the entire family can also enjoy due to how powerful the router is thanks what the company is calling “battle-tested network architecture optimized for gameplay.” How is interesting by allowing the router to utilize the 1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU, this essentially allows everyone at home to do what they want and not worry about the network being bogged down, all thanks to three processors working to ensure balance.

Unpacking is easy, and the setup is even easier. Within minutes you’ll be ready to surf the web. In the box is the router, the antenna, and an ethernet cable to bridge the modem to the router. I already used TP-Link’s Tether app, which allows you to control your equipment from your phone and configure everything without being tethered to a PC.

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Tether works with a suite of items in your home. You can do several things like block incoming connections, see available wireless connections, check your Guest Network, configure your Internet settings, share Password to friends, and my favorite, reboot the router from wherever you are. From the phone in your hand, you have full control of the network at home. With my new router installed and linked to the Tether app, new features were unlocked, including seeing what device was currently in use and its habits including upload/download speeds, a QoS (Quality of Service) tab that allows me to choose what to prioritize between Standard, Gaming, Streaming, Surfing, Chatting, and Custom. Trend Micro comes as part of a bundle and having used it myself for a few years feel perfectly happy trusting them with protecting my network and computers within. Alexa and IFTTT work too, all you need to do is link the services and you’re ready! Parental controls are here too, so if you live in a home where the need to limit time spent online, filter content, and check history, you can set up profiles and assign them.

After getting situated and ready to test things out, I began a series of test that started by uploading files to my Box account, large files including various video files I am working on, some audio tracks and large BMP files. I watch as files immediately move to the cloud from my PC and easily speed are immediately doubled because of how powerful the router is and how efficient it is for processing the information. Pinging from my mobile via Speed Test, I hit around 10ms on my phone, my wired office PC was around 8ms and my laptop got as low as 12ms. I was impressed by how fast data was pulled and sent to my devices, an improvement over my existing router, for sure.

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I’m impressed by the advances made in a little over two years in routing hardware. I was taken aback by the jump with the AC3150, but I’m astounded by TP-Link’s progression in that timeframe. Like the Archer 3150, the C5400X employs MU-MIMO and Airtime Fairness to churn through the requests made by every device in your home, balancing any surges in Wi-Fi demand to serve multiples devices at the same time. Airtime Fairness boosts overall performance by sacrificing network on slower devices.

So, what would make a family consider this router for their needs? Well, the internet in the home has changed, today, we all rely on the internet as much as we rely on any other utilities we use today. Things can easily become congested and everyone will notice some network slowdown, but with the AC5400x, you’ll be able to control the flow and see your hard work pay off. Put your mind at ease knowing you purchased a device that is capable of curbing internet congestion while maximizing your connection for everyone.

Right now, the AC5400x is sold exclusively through Canada Computers for an MSRP of $449.99 but with back to school deals going on for the next few weeks, you can get this router heavily discounted if you’re in the market for a new laptop. Canada Computers has a bundle which includes the MSI GL73 8RC-049CA Gaming Notebook and router, you’ll end up saving $320 off the router if you decide to do so, and MSI’s laptop includes a Core i7, 1TB HDD, 16GB RAM, 1050 GTX and Windows 10 Home Edition. The deal is good until September 13, so act fast, you won’t regret the decision.

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Bobby has been gaming since he was old enough to walk. Since then, the interest has only grown stronger, and here we are today. Follow Bobby on Twitter, and just go with it. @bpashalidis

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