Are you looking for the latest WiFi 6 router with gaming capabilities? You might be considering this one of the ASUS gaming routers under the “The Ultimate Force” TUF brand, the TUF AX5400 WiFi 6 Gaming Router. This mesh-ready router is powered with the next generation technology WiFi 6, giving a more efficient connection, range, and speed for multiple connected devices. A game booster for online games, a USB hub for NAS-like file sharing, a next-level router management, and of course, an RGB. There is also an Advanced Parental control for our gamer parents, a great addition and feature to the router, especially in today’s homeschooling, which helps parents track or filter content, check internet history, and the like for kids.
A gaming router comes at a great price; the ASUS TUF AX5400 WiFi 6 Gaming Router is priced in the Philippines for PHP 9,935.
- Look and Feel
- Gaming Features
This review will check its core features and see if the price is just right for this gaming router. We will also be testing out its Wireless signal performance, how it performs at different distances, and its capability to pass through walls, especially in a concrete house.
Look and Feel
The first stop is the packaging. ASUS TUF AX5400 WiFi 6 Gaming Router comes in elite but straightforward cardboard with its military-like theme color of Black and Silver. It is sealed in a plastic wrap protecting it from possible scratches and paperwork from slipping away. The front shows the router itself and a badge for its main highlight, the WiFi 6.
It shows the hardware specification and detailed features of the products at the back with its 4 features; Faster/stable wired gaming, AiMesh, easy port forwarding, and the 2x faster wireless connection.
Opening the package shows some paperwork, the troubleshooting manual, and a quick start guide. Inside, you’ll find the router, charger, and different plug adapters (Europe, Asia, and USA) in an egg-tray-like molded case.
Compared to some gaming routers that usually have an arachnid-like aesthetic, the Asus TUF Gaming AX5400 router is futuristic but simple. It is covered in an all-blacked design that looks like a batmobile ship from the Batman. With the RGB Logo placed on the top, it perfectly fits for its contrast and kind of a windshield for our batmobile.
The cover is made entirely of plastic with some sleek matte texture. The only thing we don’t like is that it tends to have these kinds of manufacturing blemishes that look uneven though it is only visible from a certain angle. However, this issue is unnoticeable mainly and will be gone over time. The overall look is still attractive and solid.
At the back, you’ll find the six non-detachable antennas that can be adjusted to any axis direction away from the router. You see the physical functions in the lower corner, the power connection, WPS button, USB hub, 4-gigabit port, and WAN Port. For wired connection, it features a dedicated port for gaming wherein your gaming system like PC or consoles (PS5, PS4, XBOX Series X/S) can get the highest priority in the network.
Underneath, you’ll find your portal access including a QR code to download the app, the exhaust ventilation and the four rubber feats. Unfortunately, there are no mounting holes for those who want to hang it on the wall. But given its weight of 600g, you can use double-sided or nano tape to attach it vertically on a flat surface.
Here is a close look at the RGB logo and the glossy “TUF Gaming” on the left corner of the router.
The overall design is decent and futuristic that is specifically geared towards gamers.
Most routers bundled from the Internet Server Provider are usually not speedy to cater multiple devices. The more devices connected to it, the more it becomes congested, especially when using high data applications. This affects the speed of online games, streaming, and even work-from-home tasks. The latest WiFi 6 of Asus TUF AX5400 can handle this kind of situation and can keep the connected devices at an optimal level because of its new technology and improved speed. As advertised, it has a rate of 5.4Gbits/sec connection that matches some of the most expensive gaming routers in the market.
Compared to the previous WiFi 5 technology that can only handle one device at a time in terms of sending/receiving data packets. The new technology in WiFi 6 called MU-MIMO (Multiple-user, Multiple-input, Multiple outputs) is a bandwidth management tool that allows multiple devices (Any WiFi Generation) to communicate with the router simultaneously for both upload and download. It means a significant improvement in connections, reducing latency, and a faster and smoother online experience. It’s like having one router per device in a single router.
A dual-band wireless connection for 5.0GHz and 2.4GHz allows your old and new devices to connect to it. However, the speed provided by the 2.4GHz is limited to 574M/bits, though this speed is already fast enough for non-heavy use. This allows you to utilize the 5.0GHz for gaming, streaming, or heavy tasks and the rest for 2.4GHz.
Straight out of the box, the Asus TUF AX5400 supports the latest WPA3 WiFi security that secures your wireless connection using 128-bit encryption, which takes hackers a billion years to crack. It is layered with a second line of defense against attack using Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) that even using weak passwords, your router is still protected. You’ll know that you’re connected to a secure network because Windows will congratulate you for unlocking this new feature.
AiMesh support, if you already have an ASUS router in your household. You can utilize the AiMesh to connect them as satellite nodes to this router or the other way around.
With all of the mentioned features above, the router needs good processing power to do all the work. The Asus TUF AX5400 is powered by a 1.5Ghz tri-core CPU and 512MB of memory RAM, and 256MB of storage.
To see how it performs in any situation, we tested the signal strength at different distances and its ability to penetrate walls, especially concrete ones. We will also do the internet speed test.
Network Speed Test
Our methodology for this test will be using iPerf 3.1.3 to benchmark the network bandwidth. To make this possible, we set up a computer server using Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with a combination of a client-side for testing. We use an iPhone 11 Max Pro and Macbook Pro 13 M1 2020 Model that supports WiFi 6. As for the comparison, we compare the speed of the Asus TUF AX5400 with the existing router that comes from our Internet Service Provider (PLDT), the Huawei HG8245U.
The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is wired directly to the router to give the highest performance possible for the benchmark. The machine has a max speed of 4.48 Gbits/s in our iPerf test (non-network), so getting below this mark is no problem for this tiny device.
For the iPerf command and those who want to try our methodology, we use iperf3 -c IP_ADDRESS -P 8 -i 1 -t 12 -O 2. This will send 8 streams per second and max out the data it sends to the server for any high-and-mid range devices. The test will take 12 seconds to complete, with the first 2 seconds omitted so that it will not include in the average calculation the slow-start period.
Above is the layout of the house we used on our benchmark. The router is placed on the first floor in the middle to give a good radius signal. This test is good comparison for homes with multiple rooms made in concrete, where the signals are weak, especially behind walls. The concrete walls are 15cm thick and 20cm wide for the 2nd Floor flooring. The first two location tests (L1 and L2) are for the range and max speed with no obstruction; they are 1 meter and 8 meters away from the router. While the other location tests (L3, L4, L5, and L6) are for obstacles through walls 3 meters to 15 meters away.
The benchmark result of the iPhone 11 Pro Max over WiFi 6 (5GHz) shows a significant overall improvement, a big jump compared to our existing router setup. The 1-meter test reached a 525 Mbits/sec bandwidth while the 2.4Ghz also improved, hitting 141 Mbits/sec. From a distance of 7 meters, we see the bandwidth slightly drop to 13%, but when we hide the testing device behind the wall (L-shaped corner), we start to see some separation on our existing router, which drops at 46%. However, the Asus TUF AX5400 manages to resist and can provide 434 Mbits/sec. While for the farthest and upstairs, we began to see the difficulty in getting signals, but still managed to give a decent 161 Mbits/sec for the second floor and 69.1 Mbits/sec on the outside test.
Since every device has a different speed, we tested it on a device with specs close to a gaming laptop and has WiFi 6. The available device for us is the Macbook Pro 13 M1 2020. Compared to the previous bandwidth benchmark, we see a higher speed result for both routers in 5GHz on this device. The close range gives us a bandwidth of 662 Mbits/sec, but for the obstruction, we see lower bandwidth starting at 1 concrete wall at 262 Mbits/sec. The farthest test still gives a decent speed of 144 Mbits/sec outside and 95.2 Mbits on the second floor. While on 2.4GHz, we see similar bandwidth from the previous test.
Overall, the WiFi 6 performance on Asus TUF AX5400 is outstanding, and it manages to pass through thick walls easily. Even if the router is far away, it still gives a decent bandwidth and penetrates every corner. The 2.4GHz did comparatively well against our existing router.
Internet Speed Test
For the internet speed test, we used one device placed at L4 using a desktop computer with a WiFi 6 motherboard, the TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS. We then tested it on the Asus TUF AX5400 and our existing router for both dual bands (5GHz/WiFi 6 and 2.4GHz) with an internet speed bandwidth is 200Mbps.
For the Asus TUF AX5400 at 5GHz (WiFi 6), we were able to get a ping of 9ms, download of 213.94 Mbps, and upload of 176.83 Mbps. While at 2.4GHz, we managed to get 9ms ping, 205.66 Mbps download, and 136.93 Mbps upload. If you notice, the speed is slightly low compared to the 5GHz.
For our existing router at 5GHz, we get 9ms of ping, 205.66 Mbps download and 136.93 Mbps upload which is very close to our maximum internet speed. While on 2.4GHz, the download and upload drastically drop to 74.62 Mbps download and 71.82 Mbps upload, the 2.4Ghz band is causing a bottleneck in our internet speed.
If you scroll back on our network benchmark for our existing router at Other rooms, the bandwidth speed is only 37.7 Mbits/sec because of the wall obstruction. This means the internet speed still depends on the strength of the WiFi signal, wherein our existing router couldn’t penetrate.
Aside from its beneficial performance, the Asus Tuf AX5400 is built for gaming and packs with software-side features that help boost online games, such as their Game Device Prioritization, Mobile Game booster, 3-step Port Forwarding, VPN, and dedicated gaming port.
This portal can be accessed through the router’s dashboard.
Game Device Prioritization
Though the WiFi 6 and wired connection are already fast, there comes a time when your subscription internet bandwidth isn’t enough to cater to the maximum bond to your gaming PC or consoles.
With the Gear Accelerator, you can pick from the list of devices connected to the router and prioritize a device with a better gaming experience up to 64 devices.
Mobile Game booster
For mobile gamers, especially for MOBA like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. It has an app called ASUS Router, which is like an app version of the web browser router dashboard but has a 1-click button where you can optimize your device for gaming.
There is also a selection of what types of internet usage you want to prioritize, like Gaming, Media Streaming, Work-From-Home, Learn-From-Home, Web Surfing, or even File Transferring. The RGB color of the router can also be adjusted on this app.
3-Step Port Forwarding
Have you ever encountered a problem when you’re trying to connect to a new multiplayer or coop game like Watch Dogs 2 or For Honor, and suddenly, an error pops out that your NAT is on Strict mode and unable to join the fun?
Asus simplifies this by having a dedicated page to enable Port forwarding and has a pre-defined list of games that you can allow to your device. This list contains the preferred TCP and UDP ports for the specific games.
VPN at the router level
When you have multiple devices connecting to a region-locked games like the Lost Ark, you need a VPN for each device to connect to it. But when you have a router than can used VPN at the router level, you’ll be able to provide VPN to all devices connected to the router with a single VPN server. Asus has Advanced settings for this, allowing you to add your VPN to the settings, and you’re good to go. The types of VPNs that the router supports are PPTP, OpenVPN, and IPSec VPN.
In addition, you can also add multiple VPN servers via its VPN Fusion up to 16, and the max concurrent VPN is 4. The Instant Guard has a one-click button to enable and disable the VPN via the ASUS Router app and able you to track who is connected to it.
Asus TUF-AX5400 is a massive leap from our existing router, a fast gaming router that can max-out the available internet bandwidth you paid. Overall, the WiFi 6 performance is outstanding, and it manages to pass through thick walls easily. Even in the farthest corner, you still get decent coverage and bandwidth that penetrates concrete floors upstairs and even outside. The 2.4GHz did comparatively well too.
The added gaming optimization gives you a handy tool that you can use when its needed, not just for gaming but for other purposes. Plus, you’ll get a decent and futuristic router that is specifically geared to your gaming lifestyle.
You’ll get uncompromised speed and coverage for the price tag of PHP 9,935. If money is not an issue, we recommend getting this gaming router.
Thanks to Asus Philippines for sending this over to GamingPH for in-depth review.
Here is the complete specification of the Asus TUF AX5400 WiFi 6 Gaming Router.
|WiFi Connections||IEEE 802.11a/b/g, WiFi 5 (802.11n), WiFi 5 (802.11ac) and WiFi 6 (802.11ax)|
|Antenna||External antenna x 6|
|Processor||1.5 GHz tri-core processor|
|Memory / Storage||512 MB Ram Memory|
245 MB Flash Storage
|Ports||RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for WAN x 1, RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 4|
USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 1
AC Input : 100V~240V (50~60Hz)
DC Output : 12 V with max. 2.5 A current