TP-Link Archer C5400


PC & Tech Authority - - REVIEWS INTRO -

With its slim, square de­sign and eight ip-up an­ten­nae, the Archer C5400 cer­tainly looks the busi­ness. And in­ter­nally, it boasts two 5GHz ra­dios, each with a max­i­mum band­width of 2,167Mbits/sec, for a huge to­tal through­put that’s matched only by D-Link and Linksys this month.

Un­for­tu­nately, as we’ve seen in this Labs, such gures don’t al­ways trans­late to real-world per­for­mance. Over a same­room con­nec­tion, the Archer C5400 gave us dis­tinctly slower down­load speeds than its ri­vals, and while that head­line speed didn’t fal­ter as we moved to the bed­room, the TPLink slumped far down the ta­ble when we moved away to the bath­room.

It’s a shame, be­cause the Archer is oth­er­wise a rather snazzy router. The web por­tal is one of our favourites – it’s easy to nav­i­gate, per­fectly re­spon­sive and even fairly taste­ful. The Sta­tus page is de­tailed yet clear, and the links down the side pro­vide quick, log­i­cal ac­cess to all the core set­tings.

There’s a good set of fea­tures too. File-shar­ing and print server func­tions let you make good use of the unit’s twin USB ports, and the TP-Link Cloud ser­vice al­lows you to ac­cess your les over the in­ter­net too. Set up the built-in OpenVPN server and you can con­nect di­rectly to lo­cal shares and NAS ap­pli­ances while you’re out and about – and to make this easy TP-Link of­fers its own dy­namic DNS ser­vice.

TP-Link’s parental con­trols mean­while are among the best we’ve seen. You can eas­ily set up de­vice-speci c us­age lim­its and sched­ules with a few clicks, and TPLink’s HomeCare ser­vice pro­vides three years of free cat­e­gory-based re­stric­tions. The com­pany hasn’t yet de­cided how much it will cost to con­tinue the ser­vice af­ter that – but by then you may well be ready to re­place your router any­way.

When you’re pay­ing this much, you’re en­ti­tled to ex­pect top-class per­for­mance, and based on our ex­pe­ri­ence the C5400 sadly doesn’t de­liver that. Nev­er­the­less, it’s an un­de­ni­ably lik­able router, es­pe­cially if you have kids; if cov­er­age isn’t your top pri­or­ity, it’s well worth a look.

$459 •

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