D-Link DIR-X5460 Review (Page 2 of 5)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware

The D-Link DIR-X5460 is a big boy of a router as it has a decently-sized footprint. The router has a full-black exterior, though there are some notable angles and lines to make it look a bit more enthusiast looking. In some ways, it reminds me of a laptop cooler that I reviewed way back when, the Deepcool M6, but this is probably more for its shape and fully ventilated top. The plastic exterior has both glossy and matte finishes in various areas. D-Link logos can be found on the front and on each antenna. Overall, the dimensions of the D-Link DIR-X5460 is approximately 339mm in width, 244mm in depth, and 207mm in height with all six antennas installed. As such, this router does take up quite a bit of space. In addition, this router weighs around 718g with all antennas installed.

Ideally, the D-Link DIR-X5460 lays flat on your desk rather than aligned vertically. This means this router will take up a lot of space. As you saw from the first page, there is a total of six dual-band antennas, although only two of them are detachable. This should allow for good multi-user multiple-input and multiple-output wireless communication. All of the antennas can be moved about and rotated so that you can better point the antennas around. As you can see from the photo above, all of the indicator lights can be found on the front part. These include indicators for power, Internet, 2.4 and 5GHz network bands, and USB indicator lights for both ports. Inside, the router is powered by a Broadcom BCM6750 system-on-a-chip, which has a 1.5GHz tri-core CPU and 512MB of memory.

Looking at the backside of the D-Link DIR-X5460, we can get a better look at the antennas attached at the back as well as the array of ports and switches. These include a USB 2.0 port, USB 3.1 Type-A port, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, one Gigabit uplink port, WPS button, reset pinhole button, 12V DC power input, and a power on/off button. The power supply that connects here is an external brick manufactured by Shenzhen Gonjing Electronics. The S24B72-120A200-0K is a 12V power supply specified for up to 2A of current. This means it can deliver a maximum wattage of 24W. Otherwise, this back shows some more ventilation slits for better cooling and airflow internally.

You might be wondering, why do we need six antennas? As per the Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Kwan, the use of multiple antennas for communications has been the foundation of many modern wireless technologies; ranging from short range unlicensed bands such as Wi-Fi to long range licensed bands like LTE cell phone networks. The fundamental principle lies in the fact that multiple antennas allow the designer to enhance performance using beamforming and diversity techniques. Beamforming, in the simplest explanation, allows power to be directed towards a certain direction. Diversity exploits multipath -- where the same signal can arrive via different paths due to reflection and refraction in the propagation channel -- to enhance the received signal quality. Multi-user MIMO, otherwise called MU-MIMO, lets multiple antennas from multiple users to communicate with multiple antennas on base station. Obviously, the more antennas on the access point the better, but we are bound by the laws of diminishing returns.

The D-Link DIR-X5460 is advertised as an AX5400 router. This operates at 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band via the 40MHz channels with two streams, while the 160MHz channels with four streams on the 5GHz band provides 1201Mbps for a total of 4804Mbps theoretical throughput. We will evaluate the performance of this router shortly.

At the bottom of the D-Link DIR-X5460, you can find even more ventilation slits for a mostly hole-filled base. Four integrated plastic feet can be found here with rubber bottoms providing about half a centimeter of clearance between the router and the surface it sits on. Two mounting holes can be found in between the feet, which will let you wall-mount the router if you so desire. In the middle of the base is a label showing information like the serial number, default SSIDs, and default Wi-Fi password. I would probably tell you to change your password and SSID, which is possible using the web configuration interface, but you will start off with these configuration settings.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Performance Tests
5. Conclusion