TP-Link Archer C5400X Review (Page 4 of 5)

Page 4 - Performance Tests

For the tests, the wireless router was placed in the middle of the main floor of my house. An ASUSTOR AS3202T network attached storage equipped with a single Seagate NAS HDD ST4000VN000 4TB was connected to the router via a CAT5e cable on a Gigabit Ethernet connection. On the client side, a 2015 13" Apple MacBook Pro running Totusoft's LAN Speed Test application was used to transfer 500MB test files to evaluate real-world throughput. In our results, "upload" is defined as data transfer from the client to the server via the wireless router; conversely, "download" is defined as data transfer from the server to the client via the wireless router.

A brief description of the test locations is as follows:

- Location 1: Line of sight to router, approximately 2m distance
- Location 2: Non-line of sight to router, bedroom, one floor up
- Location 3: Non-line of sight to router, driveway in front of attached garage, same level
- Location 4: Non-line of sight to router, near end of backyard, one floor down
- Location 5: Non-line of sight to router, open area, one floor down

Compared Hardware:
- TP-Link Archer C5400X (AC5300)
- D-Link Covr (AC2600 Router, AC1300 Extender)
- D-Link DIR-867 (AC1750)
- Linksys Velop (AC2200 Mesh)
- Linksys WRT3200ACM (AC3200)
- TP-Link Archer C2300 (AC2300)
- TP-Link Archer C3150 (AC3150)
- TP-Link Deco M5 (AC1300 Mesh)

Since wireless channels are generally characterized by path loss, large scale fading, and small scale fading, the router was tested in five different locations described above to comprehensively measure its true throughput performance. This includes a combination of line of sight and non-light of sight spots, different distance and positions relative to the router, as well as shadowing caused by objects between the laptop and the router. In order to overcome inconsistencies due to small scale fading, a relatively large 500MB test file was used. Furthermore, movement of people and objects within the vicinity of the devices during testing was eliminated whenever possible.

In Location 1, the TP-Link Archer C5400X delivered the second highest download throughput; besting even the venerable Linksys WRT3200ACM and fell only behind the D-Link DIR-867. The upload speed was close between the top performing units, where the C5400X came in at a close third. In Location 2, the TP-Link Archer C5400X came in first in download speed and fourth in upload. Again, it is important to note the upload speed among the top performing routers were very close -- the fourth place C5400X was only 4Mbps behind the third place D-Link Covr. Location 2 and Location 5 are almost just above or below the router, respectively, showing the C5400X's antenna array strength when the MacBook Pro is not just adjacent to the device, but also on top and below. The TP-Link Archer C5400X seemed to do very well when the laptop is below it, with its download speed in excess of 550Mbps in both scenarios. In Location 3, TP-Link's Archer C5400X came just behind the Archer C3150 and WRT3200ACM in download, albeit by a small margin, and fourth place in upload, which was about average. Location 4 is a tricky scenario, where the distance is not only the longest compared to all the other locations, but the laptop is also located a level below the router. That said, a few glass windows in between help with the signal. In this case, the TP-Link Archer C5400X was by far the best performing router in download speed by a large margin. Upload was also pretty decent; coming in just behind the Linksys WRT3200ACM.

All in all, the TP-Link Archer C5400X is a high performance router that simply rocks the competition in challenging tests. At close range, it was fast but not particular outstanding compared to other models. However, the wall penetration power and long distance throughput is among the best of any router we have tested here at APH Networks.

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