Asus AX5400 High Speed Gaming Router
Asus is well established in many aspects of the PC/game console market, selling a wide range of motherboards, monitors, laptops, networking devices, and more. Today we turn our attention to the modern mid-range gaming router, the RT-AX82U. It offers Wi-Fi 6, easy setup and powerful performance on the table, along with a typical stealthy exterior, complemented by some bright RGB colors that look good, and are easy to turn off.
At times, it can be hard to tell exactly what a gaming router is, unlike its more common siblings. However, the Asus RT-AX82U does not cause such confusion, and ticks all the right design boxes. This starts with four vertical antennas, then moves on to a matte black, with an angular body that strikes a successful balance between dexterity and aggressiveness. Dimensions are 10.8 x 7.3 x 6.5 inches (275.5 x 184.4 x 165 mm) with antenna, and it weighs 1.6 pounds (740 grams).
There are four status LEDs that provide contact information at a glance. This determines the power, the WAN connection, and both Wi-Fi frequencies.
Perhaps the signature feature of the gaming router is the LED lighting. For those who are looking for this feature, and would like every accessory to have RGB lighting, the RT-AX82U offers merchandise with a ‘Vivid Lighting’ option. This includes several multi-colored modes that have different lighting effects, which can be matched to different situations or applications.
The flip side of this is that not everyone wants such a colorful router, and would rather their networking hardware be more…unobtrusive. For those in the hidden orientation camp (eg for a bedroom post), one of the modes completely disables the light show.
The Asus RT-AX82U sticks to its mid-range aspirations in the specs department. From a hardware perspective, it is based on a 1.5GHz triple-core processor, with 512MB of RAM and 256MB of flash storage. It runs the Asus operating system.
Asus AX5400 Features and Specifications
Going from out of the box to running (or more specifically, running and routing) only took a few minutes. As we saw above, once plugged in, the router automatically goes through a setup process that prompts the user to go through the basic setup steps. This includes setting passwords for each Wi-Fi network.
As usual, the back of the router houses the communication ports. This includes one WAN port and four LAN ports, one of which is designated as a dedicated gaming port. Each Ethernet port supports 10/100/1000 transfer rates, although hopefully no one will use anything less than a gigabit device. The USB port is 3.2 Gen 1×1 (effectively rebranded 3.0), and there’s also a handy power switch to restart the router. Fortunately, we had no issues that required a manual restart during our testing.
Wireless, the big news is that this router supports the latest generation of wireless connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, previously designated 802.11ax, and has 160Mbps channels. This translates to speeds of up to 5400Mbps, if you combine both the 2.4GHz frequency which has a maximum speed of 574Mbps, and the 5GHz frequency which reaches 4804Mbps (dual band). Modern wireless standards are supported, including OFDA, MU-MIMO, Beamforming, and the latest WPA3-Personal security standards. The router is also fully backward compatible with 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) and 802.11n (Wi-Fi 4) devices.
Asus AX5400 Performance
When it comes to bandwidth, the Asus RT-AX82U performed well. We test the routers at a “near” location, 8 feet away, as well as at a “far” location, 36 feet away, on a higher floor, with ductwork in the way. The bandwidth test uses NetPerf with a Wi-Fi 6 client. For the latter, we have a laptop with an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201160MHz wireless adapter, set to use the widest 160MHz channel width at 5GHz. (Note that Game first VI was disabled during testing, which can provide further client-side traffic shaping.)
Asus AX5400 Pros & Cons
The Asus RT-AX82U is a powerful mid-range gaming router that offers a myriad of features at a reasonable price. It also proved to be stable during testing and offers the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology.
- Supports Wi-Fi 6.
- Programmable RGB LED lighting.
- Excellent set and fast transfer.
- Integrated Security.
- Easy setup.
- Precise control of QoS modes.
- Four Ethernet ports only.
- 1 USB port.
- There is no integrated WTFast.
- Dual-band only.
- Minimal effect with a game port.