D-Link Global launched a few networking gears utilizing Wi-Fi 6 (‘802.11ax‘) technology including Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh products at CES 2020. Among those products, COVR-X1870, DIR-X1860, DIR-X5460 and etcetera’s, was displayed to the public. Fortunately, D-Link Malaysia sent me a unit of mid-tier Wi-Fi 6 router, the DIR-X5460 ‘EXO AX5400‘ to be reviewed.
The DIR-X5460 is the next generation of Wi-Fi 6 technology utilization with WPA3 encryption technology as an answer to provide a secure home networking experience. Powering the DIR-X5460 up, is a tri-core Broadcom BCM6750 clocked at 1.5GHz each. The same processor utilized for ASUS’s RT-AX82U, making the competition between these rivals, tough.
The DIR-X5460 features 512MiB memory with 128MiB of flash memory. By looking at the design, the router is just a grown-version of DIR-X1560 and DIR-X1870. On top of the case, a large potion of ventilation holes exposing the internal components can be seen. This is somehow not good if you use the router in an open space which will eventually clogs up the holes with dusts for long-period of time. From the appearance, the router has a lot of ventilation holes designed to allow better heat dissipation flow from the components. A few LED status indicators present with internet LED will lights up in red color if the router is unable to connect to the internet through the provided ISP modem.
I personally liked the non-removable antennas since I wanted to reduce the wear-and-tear of RF connectors. Fortunately, the DIR-X5460 features two removable antennas and the remaining four is non-removable. The D-Link branding on each antenna makes the router to feel premium.
The input and output option is very important for a mid-tier router. The DIR-X5460 features five-gigabit RJ45 port, a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, a WPS button and a reset button.
The DIR-X5460 comes with a pretty standard user interface for administering to access to the provided settings to alter it to fit to the requirement. Unlike COVR-X1870 or DIR-2150, the DIR-X5460 don’t have the pause mode for the internet. The router currently running on the latest firmware issued, 1.04. Since the DIR-X5460 is a mesh-certified router, you can additionally add another compatible mesh into your home network by tapping to the extenders button.
Additionally, D-Link also firmly designs the landing page of the admin interface to be as informative as possible, requiring fewer clicks to access to the information on the router status.
It is a shame if a router doesn’t feature IPv6 support by default, especially at this time. Fortunately, the DIR-X5460 has IPv6 support. I can confirm the router able to obtain the IPv6 address even though I do many changes in changing the DNS providers.
The DIR-X5460 features a standard QoS settings. Similar to other D-Link routers, you can drag your preferred device into the provided column to set the bandwidth priority. There is a internet speed checkup feature to allow you to check your current internet speed, if you need it. If the speedtest is inaccurate about your current fibre broadband subscription speed, you can manually key in your internet subscription speed into the provided box.
The parental control settings provided in the DIR-X5400 are pretty basic. All you can do is to filter the website URL and scheduling time of the internet access. However, the good thing about this feature is, it actually saves your time from examining on each devices that currently set to follow the parental control rules (Refer to Figure 14 for D-Link Router App’s parental control version).
I do torrenting most of the time, and I do require a good amount of bandwidth to download the file. D-Link has one of the decent built-in firewall embedded in the firmware, thus using this feature really helpful. Since the DIR-X5460 powered by a tri-core processor, I able to max out my torrenting files up to 30 through my NAS (Refer to Figure 8 – “NAS was set to lowest priority so it won’t hog into my bandwidth while doing my daily work.”).
The DIR-X5460 utilizes the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology with WPA3 wireless encryption protocol. In other word, you won’t get fast roaming support by trading in speed for a secure network experience. Just like TP-Link, D-Link routers tend to have a great amount of wireless coverage. Tweaking the router to meet the optimum use case scenario for the wireless throughput test to be analyzed, I’ve used a suitable Wi-Fi 6 client. Over the LAN connection, I able to hit 800Mbps and above easily and I able to maintain the speed through 5Ghz mode with ax mode enabled. Over the ac mode, I able to hit over 700Mbps for 5Ghz. Probably the best wireless reading succeeding even RT-AX82U‘s wireless throughput result.
We buy a new router, spend a couple of time to set it up and we won’t touch the router, say for the next 2 to 3 years, speaking from a general consumer point of view. Looking at the home router security breaches took place recently, D-Link opt for a counter measure to provide an auto-update bundled. One of the advantages of this feature is, you can actually set your preferred time to allow the router to check for the firmware and if issued, will proceed to update in the programmed period of time.
D-Link Router app is a universal app provided support for both androids and iOS systems. In other word, you can use a single application to control multiple D-Link models provided they act as your main router. The features provided in the application is pretty easy to access. You can certainly alter any settings you wish from the smartphone app itself without logging in to the web admin panel.
Referring from Figure 9 on above, you can set the internet access time for each device under a dedicated profile. Say if you couldn’t login to the web admin interface, you can manage the access time through the application itself.
To conclude my article, DIR-X5460 is decent upgrade from any Wi-Fi 5 D-Link routers out there. Since the pricings haven’t been confirmed yet by D-Link Malaysia, this router maybe cheaper than the Archer AX73 (AX5400) and ASUS’s RT-AX82U in the Malaysian market. So, do I recommend the router? Yes, based on the expected price. This router is suitable to be used by home consumers and small business owners. Provided with its mesh capabilities and stronger wireless encryption protocol, the DIR-X5460 certainly a good budget mid-tier investment on a router.