A steady hand, quick reflexes, and, most importantly, a good internet connection are all required for enjoyable PC gaming. The Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400 ($249.99) can’t help you with the first two, but it can make sure your network is ready for the best gaming experience possible. This dual-band Wi-Fi 6 gaming router not only comes with tools to reduce latency and provide maximum bandwidth for online gamers, but it also has fast throughput, strong network security, and parental control features. As a result, it’s now our Editors’ Choice for Wi-Fi 6 routers in the midrange.
ASUS ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 SPECS
|Number of Wired LAN Ports (Excluding WAN Port)||4|
|Number of USB ports||1|
|Number of Antennas||4|
|Number of Bands||2|
|Wireless Networking Security||WPA2, WPA3|
|Quality of Service||Yes|
|VPN Client Pre-Installed||Yes|
|Wireless Parental Controls||Yes|
Angles with a splash of color
The GS-AX5400 has an RGB light bar with configurable effects and a beautiful angular design. The black cabinet includes a textured top with a Republic of Gamers badge and LED activity indicators for power, WAN, and both radio bands. It has four non-removable adjustable antennae and measures 2.1 by 10.2 by 7.0 inches (HWD).
A WAN port, four gigabit LAN ports, a USB 3.2 port, a power jack, a power switch, a WPS button, and a reset button are all located on the back. Although there are no multi-gig ports like the 2.5Gbps port on the TP-Link Archer AX11000, the GS-LAN AX5400’s ports can be configured for link aggregation. Furthermore, one of the LAN ports is dedicated to gaming, giving a gaming console or PC connected to it priority.
The GS-AX5400 includes 160MHz channel bandwidth, Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), Target Wake Time, MU-MIMO data streaming, beam-forming, and WPA3 encryption, among other features. It also works with Asus’s AiMesh function, which lets you link multiple Asus routers to form a whole-home Wi-Fi mesh network.
A 1.5GHz tri-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 256MB of flash memory power the GS AX-5400. It can reach maximum data speeds of up to 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 4,804Mbps on the 5GHz band as a dual-band AX5400 router.
The Asus GS-AX5400 can be installed and managed via a web console or the Asus mobile app for iOS and Android. Both include plenty of options for fine-tuning your network for best gaming performance, but the mobile app has a more appealing layout than the web console. It starts with a great game-inspired background theme on the Home screen. A panel displaying the network name, IP address, and SSID for both bands is located at the top of the screen. A game controller icon leads to a screen where you can prioritize one of various apps, including gaming, media streaming, online browsing, and file transfer.
A status circle in the center of the Home screen displays a vivid real-time network traffic chart. The circle will display the network name and SSID names, CPU and RAM consumption, the number of connected wired and wireless clients, and Aura RGB settings if you tap the arrow on the left or right.
Below the circle are icons for configuring a mesh network and turning on Mobile Game Mode, which increases bandwidth allocation and reduces latency when playing mobile games.
Devices, Insight, Family, and Settings buttons are located at the bottom of the Home screen. The Devices button brings up a screen with a list of all your linked devices. To examine real-time traffic utilization, set bandwidth limitations, apply QoS settings, and check the device’s IP and MAC address details, tap any device.
The Insight panel allows you to look for available routers to add to your AiMesh network, share Wi-Fi access with a QR code, check the strength of your password, and view security events such as blocked malicious websites or infected devices.
The Family option takes you to a screen where you can create profiles for family members and set age-based parental control filters to prevent access to social media and websites that contain violence, gambling, or adult content.
Finally, the Settings button takes you to a screen where you can set up parental controls and AiProtection (the router’s anti-malware feature), run network diagnostics, configure Open NAT (port forwarding), enable and configure application-based QoS settings, update the router firmware, and configure Wi-Fi, LAN, and WAN settings.
Easy to set up, with enough of gaming throughput
The GS-AX5400 router was simple to set up. I disconnected my modem and attached the GS-AX5400 to it as well as a neighboring desktop PC, then turned on the modem and router. You may now install the router using either the mobile app or the web console. I chose the latter and ran the setup software by typing http://router.asus.com into a browser bar on the connected desktop. I chose to divide the two bands, assigning them names and passwords before being requested to update the software. The update and installation were completed in a matter of minutes.
In our throughput performance testing, the GS-AX5400 performed admirably. It outperformed the TP-Link Archer AX90 AX6600 (109Mbps), Linksys MR9600 AX6000 (111Mbps), and Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 in the 2.4GHz close proximity (same room) test, scoring 128Mbps (122Mbps). With a score of 133Mbps, the TP-Link Archer AX11000 took the lead. The GS-AX5400 achieved 44Mbps at a distance of 30 feet, surpassing everything bar the TP-Link Archer AX11000 (67Mbps).
The GS-AX5400 performed admirably in 5GHz throughput tests. It outperformed the TP-Link Archer AX90 AX6600 (841Mbps), Linksys MR9600 AX6000 (840Mbps), and TP-Link Archer AX11000 (831Mbps), but fell short of the Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 (865Mbps). However, its 424Mbps performance on the 30-foot 5GHz test claimed first place.
We used an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic equipment and the Survey mobile app to measure wireless signal strength. This combination produces heat maps that indicate the signal strength of the GS-AX5400 at 2.4GHz and 5GHz throughout our test home. On the map, the white circle shows the router’s position, and the colors represent signal strength, with darker greens indicating the strongest signal. Grays indicate no signal reception, whereas yellows suggest a weaker signal.
The GS-AX5400 did a good job of delivering a consistent 2.4GHz signal throughout the house, as shown by the maps, but the 5GHz signal was weaker in the far corners.
In order to test file transfer performance, we transfer a 1.5GB folder containing photos, video, music, and office document files back and forth between a USB 3.0 drive and a desktop PC that are both connected to the router.
The GS-write AX5400’s speed of 69MBps was somewhat quicker than the TP-Link Archer AX11000 (68MBps) and 15MBps faster than the TP-Link Archer AX90, but it couldn’t match the 73MBps of the Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 and Linksys MR9600 AX6000. On the read test, the GS-AX5400 scored 85MBps, matching the TP-Link Archer AX11000 and outperforming the TP-Link Archer AX90 (58MBps), Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 (76MBps), and Linksys MR9600 AX6000 (70MBps).
Compare with similar items
|Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400||ASUS AX5700 (RT-AX86U)||ASUS AX5700 (RT-AX86S)||ASUS WiFi 6 Router (RT-AX3000)|
|Customer Rating||4.6 out of 5||4.6 out of 5||4.6 out of 5||4.6 out of 5|
|Connectivity Technology||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet||Wi-Fi, Ethernet||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi, Ethernet|
|Item Dimensions||10.56 x 7.08 x 6.53 inches||9.53 x 3.94 x 12.8 inches||12.8 x 3.94 x 9.53 inches||8.82 x 6.06 x 6.3 inches|
|Item Weight||1.55 lbs||1.83 lbs||1.80 lbs||2.67 lbs|
|Wireless Communication Standard||802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11ac, 802.11a, 802.11ax||802.11a, 802.11ac, 802.11b, 802.11ax, 802.11n||802.11ac, 802.11a, 802.11g, 802.11ax, 802.11b||802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11n, 802.11ac, 802.11ax|
Serious Gamers Get a Big Upgrade
The Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400 router can assist you in improving your online gaming performance. It performed well in our performance tests and provides free lifetime network security tools as well as strong parental controls. It also includes many gamer-friendly programs that optimize bandwidth and reduce lag to offer you a competitive advantage. Even though it lacks multi-gigabit connectivity and only has one USB port, its overall performance and features earn it an Editors’ Choice.
Check out the TP-Link Archer AX11000 (another Editors’ Choice winner) if you need a router with more connectivity possibilities. It costs more, but it provides superb performance, a multi-gigabit WAN, eight LAN ports, and a variety of gaming options.