While TP-Link has a solid range of routers built for the low and mid-range market, its push into the increasingly lucrative gaming market has noticeably been lacking. The firm is set to change that, however, introducing the spider-like TP-Link Archer C5400X gaming router, fully loaded with eight Gigabit LAN ports, tri-band Wi-Fi and a plethora of other features.
Housing a 1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core, three co-processors and 1GB of RAM, the AC5400X is nothing short of a monster, explains TP-Link technical support engineer Clive Fernandes during the device’s UK launch. Out of its three Wi-Fi bands, one is 2.4GHz at 1,000Mbps, while the other two are 5Ghz at 2,167Mbps. The router can connect to broadband modems via its single Gigabit WAN port, which, along with its eight Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, supports Link Aggregation.
This should support up to a staggering 192 separate devices, however Fernandes states that performance might begin to vary after 80. RangeBoost is included to ensure that each device maintains its connection to the C5400X despite the variety of factors that often impede Wi-Fi, while Smart Connect helps to “divert traffic to one device to deliver optimum connection when needed.”
All connected devices can be prioritised in different ways, thanks to the C5400X’s Quality of Service (QoS), allowing the user to allocate and restrict bandwidth towards gaming and video streaming alike. This can be achieved via the input of various MAC addresses from different devices that deserve prioritisation. Alternatively, AirTime Fairness and MU-MIMO help to balance out bandwidth allocation across all connected devices by maximising the throughput and response.
While portal authentication might be something you’d find at a hotel or a university, owners of the C5400X can now create their own home Guest Wi-Fi. The pre-defined landing page is slightly customisable, allowing the user to implement their own Twitch, YouTube or website link in order to advertise and redirect from the verification page.
Home Care helps users keep the router in check with parental controls and “robust” built-in firewall designed to filter content. TP-Link has partnered with Trend Micro for integrated anti-virus software that lasts up to three years. Beyond those three years have yet to be negotiated, however the firm states that owners would be among the first notified of new plans.
This router can act as a VPN server with two options, OpenVPN and Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP), with the latter in particular allowing users to adjust their network even when they’re away from home. All of this can be controlled from desktop, or from TP-Link’s Tether app for iOS and Android.
Scattered throughout the livestream, it was also revealed that SSIDs can be customised by the user, 16GB embedded multi-media card (EMMC) would eventually make its way to the UK via firmware updates, and the router has Amazon Alexa and IFTTT integration, allowing it to respond to a variety of pre-defined commands, such as switching the Guest Wi-Fi on and off.
The TP-Link Archer C5400X is now in stores in the UK for £349.99, however those quick enough to the mark might be able to make use of Ebuyer’s special launch price of £249 until this weekend.
KitGuru Says: Interestingly, Ebuyer marketing manager Stephen James added that he thinks routers like the TP-Link Archer C5400X are “bridging the gap” between Wi-Fi and LAN in the same way that wireless mice are now commonly accepted within the professional gaming scene. Not only does this make me infinitely more interested in the C5400X, but it excites me for the future. What do you think about TP-Link’s new router?