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D-Link DIR-X5460 Review: A Reliable, Relatively Fast, but Boring Home Router

I’d say this the D-Link DIR-X5460 EXO AX AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router is basically the lesser model, the DIR-X1560, plus some extra. And that’s true mostly in the physical size and performance.

At the core, though, the two are essentially the same, including the old web interface, the lacking feature set, and the familiar odd impression that it could use some love. Nothing is exciting about the DIR-X5460.

But the router does have enough to get into the realm of my recommendation, albeit with some reservation.

The bottom line is if you’re looking for a frill-free Wi-Fi 6 router for a small or medium who that only needs a single broadcaster, this latest D-Link will get the job done. You can even call it a good buy considering its relatively friendly sub-$250 price tag — as long as you don’t count on its mesh-readiness notion.

On the other hand, if you are looking to get the most out of your network work, including top performance, extra features, or a tad of excitement, consider other AX5400 broadcasters on this list of best Wi-Fi 6 routers instead.

Dong’s note: I first published this review on February 25, 2021, and updated it on March 28 to correct an error in testing that didn’t reflect the router’s top performance when using the 160MHz channel width.

D-Link DIR-X5460 Wi-Fi 6 Router
The D-Link DIR-X5460 EXO AX AX5400 looks like a typical Wi-Fi 6 Router.

D-Link DIR-X5460 EXO AX AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router

$248.83
7.9

Performance

8.5/10

Features

7.0/10

Design and Setup

8.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Reliable Wi-Fi performance, excellent range
  • Easy to set up, relatively compact and light, wall-mountable
  • Decent NAS performance when hosting a portable drive

Cons

  • Comparatively modest Wi-Fi speed
  • No multi-gig, Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation, or 160MHz support
  • No mesh option for now
  • Spartan feature set, no performance-favored Wi-Fi settings

The D-Link DIR-X5460 is an AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 router. So it’s similar to the Asus RT-AX82U, Netgear RAX50, and Netgear XR1000 in terms of hardware. When it comes to home Wi-Fi, it’s always the software (or firmware) that matters. And on this front, the D-Link is a bit of a snooze.

Familiar design, no Multi-Gig

Take the DIR-X1560 and stretch it out by some 40 percent, and you get yourself the DIR-AX5460. The new router looks like a typical one with an all-plastic chassis and six antennas ticking from its back and sides.

The router has four non-removable antennas and two removable ones. It seems somebody decided to make these detachable just to fit the router inside its retail box.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Ports
The D-Link DIR-X5460 has no Multi-Gig port.

On the back, the D-Link DIR-X5460 comes with the usual four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port. It has no Multi-Gigi port, which is always disappointing for a Wi-Fi 6 broadcaster. There are two USB ports (USB 3.0 + USB 2.0) for storage hosting.

The router has four rubber feet on the underside to stay put on a surface but it’s also wall-mountable.

D-Link calls the DIR-AX5460 a “mesh-ready” router, suggesting that it can work as part of a mesh system when supported extenders are put in the mix — something similar to the OneMesh approached of TP-Link.

As of right now, though, there’s no such extender. Also, on the router’s interface, I found no mesh section or mentioning of the notion. This might change in the future, but for now, don’t expect any mesh functionality out of this router. 

Model DIR-X5460
Full NameD-Link DIR-X5460 EXO
AX AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router
Dimensions
(Without Antennas)
10.38 x 8.25 x 2.57 inches 
(318.69 x 241.35 x 61.5 mm)
Weight1.60 lbs (725.74 g)
Wi-Fi TechnologyDual-band Wi-Fi 6 
(802.11ax) AX5400
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs4×4 AX: Up to 4808Mbps
Channel Width: 20/40/80/160MHz
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs2×2 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 576Mbps
Channel Width: 20/40 MHz
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac 
Wireless SecurityWPA / WPA2 / WPA3
Mesh-ReadyYes (D-Link Wi-Fi Mesh)
Web User InterfaceYes
Bridge ModeNo
AP ModeNo
USB Port1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
(Storage)
Processing PowerUndisclosed CPU, 128MB Flash, 512MB RAM
Gigabit Port4x LAN, 1x WAN
Link AggregationNo
Dual-WANNo
Multi-Gig PortNone
The D-Link DIR-X5460 Wi-Fi 6 router’s hardware specifications

The D-Link DIR-X5460 is a 4×4 broadcaster on the 5GHz band with a top speed of 4808Mbps. By default, though, it has the support for DFS channeled disabled, meaning it won’t support the 160MHz channel width.

DIR X5460 Wi Fi Settings
The D-Link DIR-X5460 has no speed-favoring option in its Wi-Fi Settings. Note the lack of the 160MHz channel width when the DFS channel setting is disabled.

The point is you’ll need to manually enable the DFS support before the router can perform at its best in terms of Wi-Fi speeds.

D-Link DIR-X5460: Detail photos

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Retail Box
The D-Link DIR-X5460 Wi-Fi 6 Router’s retail box.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Box Content
Out of the box, the D-Link DIR-X5460 comes with a small power adapter, a network cable and a quick installation guide. Note the two detachable front antennas.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Angle
The D-Link DIR-X5460 has an all plastic chassis.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Top
On top, the D-Link DIR-X5460 has ventilation gills to keep itself cool. The router has no internal fan.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Back Side
On the back, the D-Link DIR-X5460 has the usual set of ports, including four LAN, one WAN and two USB.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Under Side
On the bottom of the D-Link DIR-X5460, you’ll note that it’s wall-mountable.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Front
Though larger than some previous models, the D-Link DIR-X5460 is relatively compact and light.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Right Side
D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Right Side

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 6 Router Left Side
For the most part, the D-Link DIR-X5460 is a typical Wi-Fi broadcaster.

The same old web interface and feature set

The D-Link DIR-X5460 shares the same web interface as all previous D-Link routers released in the past five years or so. And that’s not a bad thing — you’ll have a continued easy experience when upgrading.

DIR X5460 Web Interface
The D-Link DIR-X5460 shares the same web Interface as previous routers. Note the old 2016 in its copy right notice at the bottom.

The issue is that the overly-simplified web interface is literally the same as that routers released five years ago. In fact, like the case of the previous router, at the bottom of the DIR-X5460’s web interface, you’ll see “COPYRIGHT © 2016 D-Link”. Somebody didn’t bother to update the year.

With that, it wasn’t a surprise to me that the new router shares the same setup process, Wi-Fi settings, and features as its older cousin.

Here’s the recap:

Standard setup process, Internet works with default settings

You can set up the D-Link DIR-X5460 the way you do any router with a web interface. From a connected computer, navigate a browser to its default IP address, 192.168.0.1, or dlinkrouter.local, and the rest is self-explanatory.

The router’s default password is “password“, which you want to change right away. Unlike most routers, the D-Link DIR-X5460 will work right away and allows clients to connect to the internet with its default security settings. This is never a good idea for security reasons.

Compatibility-first Wi-Fi settings

The D-Link DIR-X5460’s Wi-Fi settings clearly favor compatibility over performance. You cannot make the router work exclusively in the high-performance settings but only the slow ones.

DIR X5460 QoS
The D-Link DIR-X5460’s QoS is easy to set up but proved to be ineffective in my testing.

Spartan, limited feature set

The D-Link DIR-X5460 doesn’t have much in terms of features. The most notable is the QoS, where you can drag connected clients into slots of different prioritization levels. I tried them out, but they made no difference.

What also didn’t work is web-filtering. Supposedly, you can manually block up to 24 websites by entering their domain. I tried, facebook.com, youtube.com, google.com, and others. None was blocked.

DIR X5460 Web Filtering
The DIR X5460’s web filtering doesn’t work at all.

Other than that, the router does have some useful settings, including the support for Dynamic DNS — that is if you use a third-party service since D-Link dropped the support for this service last year — and a VPN server.

And you can also easily set up IP reservations, port forwardings, and so on.

In all, I tested the DIR-X5460 for a combination of about two weeks publishing this updated review. During this time, I used it exclusively for work, and it proved to be reliable. I had no connection issues in general.

However, the router wasn’t exactly fast, especially on the 2.4GHz, as shown in the numbers below.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi Settings
The support for the DFS Channel must be turned on for the router to deliver its best performance.

As mentioned above, for the router to perform at its best, DFS channels’ support needs to be turned on, which I did. Note that in this case, it’s still up to the router itself to decide whether or not it’ll use the 160MHz channel width. The good news is in my test, that proved to be the case.

D Link DIR X5460s Wi Fi6 Performance

Indeed I was able to connect my 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients at 2.4Gbps of negotiated speed. Due to the lack of a Multi-Gig port, though, in the way I test Wi-Fi, the router still capped at sub-900Mbps of sustained rates on the 5GHz band. That wasn’t bad but not impressive either.

The router performed similarly with Wi-Fi 5 clients. At a close range of fewer than 10 feet (3 meters), my 4×4 clients managed to get about 700Mbps, and at 40 feet (12m) away, my 3×3 laptop averaged faster than 650Mbps.

D Link DIR X5460 Wi Fi 5 Performance

The DIR-X5460 did the worst on the 2.4 GHz band with just some 100Mbps at the close range and 44Mbps. The latter was the slowest I’ve seen among Wi-Fi 6 routers, even slower than the lesser DIR-1560. However, the 2.4GHz band has always been problematic in terms of speeds, at least where I am.

D Link DIR X5460 2 4 GHz Performance

To make up for the slow real-world data rates, the DIR-X5460 has an excellent range. It was about as good as that of any other AX5400 routers, like the Asus RT-AX82U or the Netgear RAX50.

If you live in a home of around 1800 ft2 (167 m2), this router will likely be able to blanket it with decent performance throughout. Keep in mind, though, that Wi-Fi coverage varies depending on the environment.

OK network storage speed

The DIR-X5460 comes with two USB ports and can work as a mini NAS server. In this case, you can share the data via the popular Samba network protocol or media streaming.

D Link DIR X5460 NAS Performance

I tested out the former, and the performance was decent. Specifically, the router did well in reading, but its writing could use some improvement. Specifically, when coupled with the WD My Passport SSD via a Gigabit wired connection, it has sustained speeds of 102MB/s and 30MB/s, respectively.

That said, if you’re looking to share casually, the DIR-X5460 can get the job done. For more, it’s better to get a real NAS server.

Conclusion

The D-Link DIR-X5460 EXO AX AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router is another decent Wi-Fi 6 option. The new router has nothing to wow anyone. In fact, it’s probably the most mundane among all AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 machines I’ve worked with.

That said, if you’re looking for one that will get the job done, well, it’ll do just that. If you want a bit more excitement, though, I’d recommend the friendlier-priced Asus RT-AX82U instead.

See also  Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers of 2021: Pick One for Your Home Today!
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2 thoughts on “D-Link DIR-X5460 Review: A Reliable, Relatively Fast, but Boring Home Router”

    • Thanks for the input, David. Looks like it might have been an oversight on my part… I’ll test the router again and update the review….

      Reply

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