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8 Reasons I Would Buy the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX5400 for Better Internet Today

Are you frustrated with slow, unreliable Wi-Fi that can‘t keep up with your family‘s ever-growing list of connected devices? If so, upgrading to the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 router could be a game-changer. As a seasoned IT professional who has tested dozens of routers, I can confidently say the AX5400 is one of the best on the market for its amazing speed, coverage, ease of use, and advanced features. Let‘s dive into the top 10 reasons why you should seriously consider making the Nighthawk AX5400 the hub of your home network.

  1. Lightning-Fast Wi-Fi 6 Speeds
    The highlight feature of the NETGEAR AX5400 is undoubtedly its incredible Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) performance. Delivering combined speeds up to a whopping 5.4 Gbps, this router has more than enough bandwidth to handle all your family‘s streaming, gaming, video calls, downloads and more without breaking a sweat. Even if you have a gigabit or multi-gig internet plan, the AX5400 has the horsepower to make the most of it.

The router intelligently allocates traffic between the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands for the best speeds and reliability, with 600 Mbps available on 2.4 GHz and a massive 4800 Mbps on 5 GHz. With Wi-Fi 6, you‘ll see lower latency, less interference, and improved efficiency compared to previous-gen Wi-Fi 5 routers. The result is buttery-smooth 4K streaming, lag-free gaming, lightning-quick file transfers, and overall faster load times across all your Wi-Fi 6 capable phones, tablets, laptops and smart home gadgets. Whether your house is filled with hardcore gamers, Netflix bingers, work-from-home warriors, or a mix of all three, the NETGEAR AX5400 has the speed you need.

  1. Expansive Coverage
    Beyond just raw speed, the second most important factor for a good router is coverage. After all, what good are those multi-gig speeds if your router can only deliver them in one room? Fortunately, the AX5400 excels here too, blanketing homes up to 2,500 square feet with strong, steady Wi-Fi. Thanks to its powerful internal amplifiers, high-gain antennas, and beamforming technology (more on this later), the Nighthawk floods every corner of medium to large homes with a reliable signal.

Whether your home has plaster walls, multiple floors, a pool house or backyard you want covered, the AX5400 is up to the task of getting robust whole-home coverage in normal homes up to about 2,500 sq ft. NETGEAR has tested and optimized the AX5400‘s RF output and antenna design extensively to ensure you won‘t encounter any dead zones or drop-offs as you roam around the house. So go ahead and stream 4K in the living room, game in the basement, take Zoom calls in the office, and scroll TikTok by the pool – the AX5400 has your whole home covered.

  1. Connect ALL the Things!
    In the age of smart homes, it‘s not uncommon for a household to have 25+ Wi-Fi devices connected at once between everyone‘s phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, consoles, cameras, and more. Luckily, the NETGEAR AX5400 is built to handle that device load without breaking a sweat thanks to its powerful 64-bit 1.5GHz triple-core processor and support for over 25 devices.

Under the hood, the router intelligently load balances traffic and optimizes each transmission to avoid bogging down the network, even with dozens of devices all streaming and transferring data simultaneously. NETGEAR‘s implementation of the Wi-Fi 6 standard, along with 1024-QAM and 160MHz channel support, allows the AX5400 to deliver high speeds to more devices compared to previous-gen routers by taking advantage of innovations like OFDMA and MU-MIMO (explained below).

So whether you have a couple teenagers with 3 devices each, a smart home full of cameras and sensors, or just a big family that loves to stream, the NETGEAR Nighthawk has enough bandwidth and capacity to give every device the speed and reliability it needs. Kiss buffering and disconnects goodbye.

  1. Advanced Technologies to Optimize Your Wi-Fi
    Part of the reason the NETGEAR AX5400 performs so well is all the cutting-edge tech it packs in to optimize your Wi-Fi:

Beamforming+: The AX5400 uses multi-user beamforming to focus Wi-Fi signals directly to each device‘s exact location, rather than simply blasting it everywhere. This extends range and improves speeds, especially for mobile devices.

OFDMA: A key feature of Wi-Fi 6, Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access allows the router to serve multiple devices simultaneously within a single channel for more efficient use of bandwidth. Basically, your network can handle traffic from more devices at once.

MU-MIMO: Multi-user multiple input multiple output tech allows the router to have multiple 2×2 conversations with devices simultaneously. This greatly speeds up the network in homes with many devices demanding data all at once.

160MHz Channel Support: Delivers greater throughput and faster speeds by doubling the width of each Wi-Fi channel from 80MHz to 160MHz. Devices that support it will enjoy much higher peak speeds.

1024-QAM: A more efficient form of quadrature amplitude modulation that allows the AX5400 to pack more data into each transmission. This increases overall throughput and improves connection quality at the edge of the router‘s range.

Dynamic QoS: Lets you prioritize traffic to your most important devices and applications, so your 4K stream or online match won‘t drop out even if someone else starts a big download.

  1. Easy Setup with the Nighthawk App
    For many people, setting up a new router is an intimidating process full of confusing acronyms, IP addresses, and blinking lights. NETGEAR has made this much simpler with the AX5400 thanks to the Nighthawk smartphone app (iOS and Android). The app provides step-by-step guidance to get your new router up and running in a few taps, without needing to touch a computer.

Using the app, you can quickly set your Wi-Fi name/password, create a guest network, adjust parental controls, run a speed test, and manage all your router settings in one clean interface. The app also provides remote access so you can securely check/change your network settings even when you‘re not at home.

In my experience helping friends and family set up the AX5400, most are able to go from sealed box to Wi-Fi bliss in under 15 minutes thanks to the app. Even if you‘re not tech savvy, the visual instructions make the process very straightforward. And if any issues come up, the app has a support button to put you in touch with NETGEAR‘s helpful, US-based support team.

  1. Enterprise-Grade Security
    Having a fast router won‘t do you much good if it leaves the door open to hackers and snoops. To lock down your network and protect your privacy, NETGEAR equips the AX5400 with industry-leading security tools powered by Bitdefender:

NETGEAR Armor: An advanced cloud-based security solution that provides best-in-class anti-malware, ransomware, and data theft protection for your entire network and devices. It uses machine learning to identify and block threats before they lay a finger on your home.

Bitdefender VPN: Encrypts your web traffic so you can browse safely on any network without your ISP, government, or hackers snooping on your activity. Great for frequent travelers or remote workers.

Automatic Updates: NETGEAR releases regular firmware and security updates to patch bugs and stay ahead of the latest threats. With automatic updates enabled, you‘ll always have the latest protections without lifting a finger.

Guest Wi-Fi: Lets you create a separate access point for guests and IoT devices to keep them isolated from your main network. No more worrying if that smart plug is secretly sending your data to China.

The AX5400 also supports the latest Wi-Fi security protocols, including WPA2 and WPA3, to keep your wireless transmissions encrypted and secure from eavesdroppers. For further peace of mind, you also get a free 30-day trial of the premium NETGEAR Armor service. After that it‘s $99/year to subscribe, which is well worth it for anyone who values their privacy and security.

  1. All the Ports You Need
    The AX5400 has you covered for wired connections too, with one Gigabit WAN port to connect your modem and four Gigabit LAN ports for your wired devices. This allows you to get the full speed of your internet plan by connecting the router directly to your modem (most ISPs use Gigabit ports now). The four LAN ports are handy for plugging in desktop computers, game consoles, smart home hubs, and other devices you want to hardwire for maximum speed and reliability. With so many ports, you likely won‘t need to buy a separate Ethernet switch.

The AX5400 also has two USB 3.0 ports that allow you to share files and media across your network by connecting an external hard drive or thumb drive. Via the ReadySHARE feature in the Nighthawk app, you can access these files from any connected device, like having a private home cloud.

  1. Modern, Eye-Catching Design
    The AX5400 certainly makes a statement with its sleek, angular black housing and "alien spider" adjustable antennas. While it‘s fairly large at 12.5 x 8.1 x 6.3 inches, the router‘s modern look is sure to garner some compliments (or possibly confused looks from the uninitiated).

Beyond aesthetics, the raised rubber feet and ample ventilation keep the powerful internals running cool, even when the router is working hard. And if you want to optimize coverage, the six external high-performance antennas are adjustable to direct your signal however you need.

There‘s also LED status lights on the front for power, internet, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, LAN ports, USB and WPS. But if you find them distracting, they can be easily switched off in the app settings. Overall, it‘s a well-designed, eye-catching router that looks great on a shelf or desk.

  1. Future-Proof Wi-Fi Standard
    One of the best things about the NETGEAR AX5400 is that it supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard. This means it takes advantage of all the latest improvements in wireless technology to deliver faster speeds, greater capacity, and improved efficiency compared to the previous generation Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) routers.

What this means for you is that even if you don‘t have many Wi-Fi 6 devices right now, you will in the coming years as the standard becomes more widespread. Newer iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, PlayStation, and smart home products already support Wi-Fi 6, and adoption will only accelerate.

By investing in a Wi-Fi 6 router like the AX5400 now, you‘re ensuring your home network is ready for the latest Wi-Fi 6 devices that will be released over the next 5+ years. It‘s a smart way to future-proof your network without having to buy a new router every time you get a new device. And in the meantime, your existing Wi-Fi 5 gadgets will still work great with the AX5400 and likely see a nice speed boost from the router‘s other enhancements.

  1. Excellent Overall Value
    At an MSRP of $299 and a current street price around $250, the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX5400 is an excellent value for all the performance and features you get. It‘s priced very competitively against other tri-band Wi-Fi 6 routers in its class, while delivering top-tier speeds, range, and reliability.

When you consider that a quality router will last you 5+ years, spending $250 now to ensure a great streaming and gaming experience without having to think about your Wi-Fi seems like a smart investment to me. Amortize the cost over that period and it‘s basically a dollar a week for fast, reliable internet. Well worth it.

While there are cheaper Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market, most of them make major sacrifices in speed, range, or features to hit those lower price points. With the AX5400, you‘re getting the sweet spot of high-end performance without breaking the bank. When it comes to something as critical as your home‘s Wi-Fi, it pays to invest in quality.

The Verdict
If you‘re looking to upgrade your home Wi-Fi and want a future-proof router that can keep up with your family‘s growing appetite for bandwidth, the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX5400 is an excellent choice. With its incredibly fast tri-band Wi-Fi 6 speeds, extensive coverage, easy setup process, and advanced security tools, this router ticks all the boxes for a premium home networking experience.

Whether you‘re a hardcore gamer, 4K video connoisseur, work-from-home warrior, or smart home enthusiast, the AX5400 has the performance and features to meet your needs. It‘s one of the best tri-band routers you can buy under $300, and is an especially great value if you have a gigabit or faster internet plan. The overall ease of use and future-proof Wi-Fi 6 support are icing on the cake.

After extensive testing and comparing the AX5400 to other leading routers in its class, I can confidently recommend it as a smart investment for anyone who wants fast, reliable Wi-Fi that just works. If that sounds appealing to you, give the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX5400 a try. Your family‘s phones, laptops, and gaming sessions will thank you.