Recently Tested: D-Link top end Wi-Fi 6 router AX-5400
We have previously reviewed the D-Link DIR-X1560 AX-1500 Wi-Fi 6 router which is D-Links’ entry level Wi-Fi 6 router – the beast for this test is D-Link’s DIR-5460 EXO AX5400 mesh Wi-Fi 6 router which is top of the Wi-Fi 6 range. It looks the part as well with an array of antenna that would […]
We have previously reviewed the D-Link DIR-X1560 AX-1500 Wi-Fi 6 router which is D-Links’ entry level Wi-Fi 6 router – the beast for this test is D-Link’s DIR-5460 EXO AX5400 mesh Wi-Fi 6 router which is top of the Wi-Fi 6 range.
It looks the part as well with an array of antenna that would do the Starship Enterprise proud (six large antenna vs four more compact ones for the AX-1500). Both routers are Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) capable but are also backwards compatible with devices running Wi-Fi 5 and older protocols. Currently only the latest devices have Wi-Fi 6 including the just released iPads and latest Samsung Galaxy 10 phones but this router will have you set for when you next upgrade your phone (The next iPhone will almost certainly be Wi-Fi 6 capable)
Apart from the exterior differences a key difference of the the AX5400 is that it can have concurrent dual wireless bands giving a total connection speed of up to 5400 Mbps (600 + 4800). The AX1500 has a total of 1500 Mbps (300 + 1200). With the proliferation of multiple devices on Wi-Fi in most homes, and often several people streaming video simultaneously (It is not unusual for me and both my daughters to all be streaming video at the same time with one on TVNZ On Demand, one on Netflix and one on YouTube all on different devices), having high throughput makes it ideal for modern multiple occupant homes..
The large antenna with built in power amplifiers and beamforming provides excellent coverage even in a large house and you can add an additional mesh unit to further extend this. One other significant difference is that the AX5400 also has two USB ports (one USB2.1 and one USB 3.0) to add storage along with aGigabit WAN and 4 Gigabit LAN ports.
Setting up is simplicity, download the D-Link Wi-Fi app to your smart phone, scan the supplied QR code and the app walks you through setting up the internet connection, Wi-Fi network and admin password for the router. Geeks can still set it up via a browser interface or you can use the browser for fine tuning including turning on the guest network.
If you have a n Alexa or Google Assistant you can also use these to alter settings including turning the guest network on or off using voice commands.
Once set up we tested the wired and wireless speeds. Not yet having a Wi-Fi 6 device these were done using a Wi-Fi 5 iPad but we still saw noticeable speed gains across the house and especially in the more distant rooms that our current router struggles with. In the room with the router speeds jumped from 300/436 (Mbps Upload/Download) to 473/415 whilst in the most distant bedroom they went from 175/69 to 254/297. These were impressive results and we would expect the speeds to be even higher with a Wi-Fi 6 device (We hope to have one latter in the month and will update this test). We also tested speeds on our wired PC, on our old router we got 880/463 whilst the D-Link delivered 918/460, not a huge difference but speed is speed!
If you want an ultimate Wi-Fi setup with the looks to match then the AX5400 is for you – RRP is $529.99, if your needs are not extreme but you still want to future proof your network with Wi-Fi 6 the AX1500 will do the job well at only $279.99 (There is also a mid range AX1800 at $329.99).