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Zoom 5363 AC1900 Review - Performance, Value & Verdict Review

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Zoom 5363 ACStill if we can see past the design, absence of USB and ropey setup process on paper there should still be enough to recommend this router on performance alone, right? Not so fast.

At our test distances of 2m and 10m line of sight and 15m behind two standing walls, the 5363 delivered 802.11ac speeds to our Turbo QAM-compatible Asus PCE-AC68 receiver of 46.1MBps (368.8Mbps), 35.6MBps (284.8Mbps) and 15.6MBps (124.8Mbps). In isolation these are perfectly decent and may be more than enough for most users, but they are slower than most midrange 802.11ac routers and around 50 per cent behind other AC1900 rivals we have tested.

Zoom 5363 5GHzThings hold up a little better at 802.11n 5GHz where the 5363 managed 39.8Mbps (318.4Mbps), 27MBps (216Mbps) and 9.94MBps (79.52Mbps). At 2m the router is not far off what we would expect from an AC1900 device, but it drops away rapidly at distance being 30 per cent down at 10m and more than 50 per cent down at 15 metres.

Where the 5363 was closest to its peers was 802.11n 2.4GHz (graph found in ‘Photos’ tab above). Here Turbo QAM delivered a good peak speed at 2m of 20.1MBps (160.8Mbps), on par with many of its rivals and even fractionally ahead of some. Again with range there was a drop off, however, and it was 20 per cent down on other AC1900 routers at 10m and 15m and 50 per cent down against the best performing AC1900 router we have seen at this band, the D-Link DIR-880L.

Zoom 5363 AC1900

And yet despite poor looks, a ropey setup and performance which is consistently down compared to its peers we cannot write-off the 5363 entirely for one big reason: price.

Having been on sale only in the US up to now, Zoom will bring the 5363 to the UK soon for just £99.99 excl. VAT (roughly £119). For an all-in-one DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and AC1900 wireless (even if subpar) this is extremely tempting, especially with big UK cable ISP Virgin Media having yet to step up and deliver a cable modem and router combo that has 802.11ac.

That said it is important to stress that you will get far more for your money if you can put up with having two boxes instead of one, especially considering the Virgin Media Super Hub has a dedicated modem-only mode. This is because our favourite router right now is the D-Link DIR-880L which looks great, is simple to setup and amongst the very fastest routers we have tested yet significantly undercuts its rivals to retail for just £129.50.

If you’re a cable customer who craves the convenience of single box, the Zoom 5363 is a half decent option. But it doesn’t push the boundaries of performance at all, which is a tad disappointing.

Next, check out our pick of the Best Routers

Trusted Score

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Score in detail

  • Performance 6
  • Value 7
  • Features 8
  • Build Quality 5
  • Usability 6
  • Design 6

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