Enjoyable PC gaming requires a steady hand, sharp reflexes, and most importantly, a good internet connection. The Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400 ($ 249.99) can’t help you with the first two, but it can help make sure your network is optimized for the ultimate gaming experience. This Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router not only offers tools designed to reduce latency and provide maximum bandwidth for online gamers, but it delivers fast throughput and comes with strong network security and control tools. parental. That makes it our new editor’s pick for mid-range Wi-Fi 6 routers.
Sleek angles adorned with RGB
The GS-AX5400 has a sleek angular design and features an RGB light bar with customizable effects. The case is black and has a textured top that sports a Republic of Gamers badge, along with LED activity indicators for power, WAN, and both radio bands. It measures 2.1 x 10.2 x 7.0 inches (HWD) and has four adjustable, non-removable antennas.
On the back are a WAN port, four gigabit LAN ports, a USB 3.2 port, a power jack, a power switch, a WPS button, and a reset button. You won’t find any multi-gig port like the 2.5 Gbps port found on the TP-Link Archer AX11000, but you can configure the LAN ports of the GS-AX5400 for link aggregation. Additionally, one of the LAN ports is dedicated to gaming, automatically prioritizing a game console or PC you connect to.
The GS-AX5400 supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 technologies including 160 MHz channel bandwidth, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), target wake-up time, MU-MIMO data streaming, beamforming and WPA3 encryption. It is also compatible with the Asus AiMesh feature, which allows you to connect certain Asus routers together to create a whole home mesh Wi-Fi system.
The GS AX-5400 is powered by a 1.5 GHz tri-core processor, 512MB of RAM and 256MB of flash memory. As a dual band AX5400 router, it can achieve maximum data rates of up to 574 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 4804 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
You can install and manage the GS-AX5400 using a web console or with the Asus mobile app for iOS and Android. Both are packed with settings that will help you tweak your network for optimal gaming performance, but the mobile app offers a smoother interface than the web console. It opens to a home screen with a cool game-inspired background theme. At the top of the screen is a panel with the network name, IP address and SSID for both bands . There’s also a game controller icon that takes you to a screen where you can prioritize one of the many apps including gaming, media streaming, web browsing, and file transfer.
In the center of the Home screen is a status circle that displays a colorful graph of real-time network traffic. Tap the left or right arrow to make the circle display the network name and SSID names, CPU and RAM usage, number of wired and wireless clients connected, and Aura RGB settings.
Below the circle are icons for setting up a mesh network and enabling mobile gaming mode, which increases bandwidth allocation and decreases latency when playing games on your mobile device.
At the very bottom of the Home screen are the Devices, Insight, Family, and Settings buttons. The Devices button opens a screen where you can view a list of all connected devices. Tap any device to view real-time traffic usage for that device, set bandwidth limits, apply QoS settings, and view the device’s IP and MAC address information.
The Insight screen allows you to search for available routers to add to your AiMesh network, share Wi-Fi access via QR code, check your password strength, and view security events such as blocked malicious websites or infected devices.
The Family button opens a screen where you can create profiles for family members and assign age-based parental control filters that block access to social networks and sites containing violence, gambling, etc. money and adult content.
Finally, the Settings button takes you to a screen where you can configure AiProtection (the router’s anti-malware function) and parental controls, run network diagnostics, configure Open NAT (port forwarding), enable and configure QoS based settings. on the applications, update the firmware of the router and configure the Wi-Fi, LAN and WAN settings.
Easy setup, lots of bitrate for games
Setting up the GS-AX5400 router was straightforward. I unplugged my modem, connected the GS-AX5400 to the modem and a nearby desktop computer, and turned on the modem and router. At this point, you can use the mobile app or the web console to install the router. I chose the latter and typed http://router.asus.com into a browser bar on the connected desktop, which launched the configuration utility. I chose to separate the two bands, gave them names and passwords, and was prompted to update the firmware. After a few minutes the update and installation was complete.
The GS-AX5400 provided solid numbers on our throughput performance tests. Its score of 128 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz proximity test (same part) was faster than the TP-Link Archer AX90 AX6600 (109 Mbps), the Linksys MR9600 AX6000 (111 Mbps) and the Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 (122 Mbps). The TP-Link Archer AX11000 leads the pack with a score of 133 Mbps. At a distance of 30 feet, the GS-AX5400 recorded 44 Mbps, once again surpassing all others except the TP-Link Archer AX11000 (67 Mbps).
The GS-AX5400 achieved high scores in 5 GHz throughput tests. Its score of 846 Mbps outscored the TP-Link Archer AX90 AX6600 (841 Mbps), the Linksys MR9600 AX6000 (840 Mbps) and the TP-Link Archer AX11000 (831 Mbps), but could not match the Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 (865 Mbps). However, its score of 424 Mbps on the 30ft 5GHz test took top honors.
We test wireless signal strength using an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic device and Ekahau’s Survey mobile app. This combination generates heat maps that show the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signal strength of the GS-AX5400 throughout our test house. The white circle on the map represents the location of the router and the colors represent the signal strength with darker greens indicating the strongest signal. Yellow indicates a weaker signal and gray indicates no noticeable signal reception.
2.4 GHz signal strength card
As illustrated by the charts, the GS-AX5400 did a relatively good job providing a reliable 2.4 GHz signal throughout the house, but the 5 GHz signal was weaker in the far corners of the house.
5 GHz signal strength card
To test the file transfer performance, we move a 1.5 GB folder containing photos, videos, music and office document files between a USB 3.0 drive and a desktop computer which are both connected to the router to test read and write speeds. .
The GS-AX5400’s write speed of 69MB / s was a hair faster than the TP-link Archer AX11000 (68MB / s) and 15MB / s faster than the TP-Link Archer AX90, but it wasn’t couldn’t catch the Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 or the Linksys MR9600 AX6000, both of which scored 73 Mbps. The GS-AX5400’s 85 Mbps read test score was the same as the TP-Link Archer AX11000 and faster than the TP-Link Archer AX90 (58 Mbps), Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 (76 Mbps) and Linksys MR9600 AX6000 (70 Mbps).
A big level for serious players
If you are looking to improve your online gaming performance, the Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400 Router can help. It provided fast throughput in our benchmarks and offers free lifetime network security tools and robust parental controls. It also provides you with several user-friendly utilities designed to give you a competitive advantage by optimizing bandwidth and reducing lag. It lacks multi-gig connectivity and only has one USB port, but its overall performance and features make it an editor’s choice nonetheless.
If you need a router with more connectivity options, check out the TP-Link Archer AX11000 (also an Editors’ Choice winner). It’s more expensive, but it offers great performance, multi-gig WAN, eight LAN ports, and plenty of gaming settings.
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