Western Digital Steers Wireless HD Streaming into the Fast Lane

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Among the routers in Western Digital’s inaugural launch into networking gear is a multi-talented trio of My Net N900 dual-band models that prioritize high-def video streaming to your smart TV, tablet or computer. The simultaneous dual-band speed makes it possible for you to enjoy smooth, uninterrupted video streaming and online gaming. Two of the routers embed 1 or 2 terabytes of storage for backing up your data or sharing content with all your wired and wireless devices.

Black-topped with silver edges, the N900s are about the size of a hardcover book. Placed flat, they’re only 1.2-inches high. Since they use internal antennas, the only protrusions will be the connecting cable from the yellow-accented Wide Area Network (WAN) port to your broadband modem and an AC power adapter. Still, with multiple local area network ports and Gigabit speed available on every router, users have the flexibility of attaching as many as seven Ethernet LAN cables to the least expensive of the three, the Western Digital My Net N900 Dual-Band Router. This model contains no storage of its own, but it does come with two USB 2.0 ports for attaching external devices for storage, printing or scanning. The other two models, the 1TB My Net N900Q Central HD Dual-Band Storage Router and 2TB My Net N900Z Central HD Dual-Band Storage Router, come with four gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, one USB 2.0 port for connecting additional storage or a multi-function printer, and an embedded hard drive.

All three models share the same wireless technology and are compatible with 802.11 n/g/b/a devices. (While the 802.11a standard may not be as widely used today as 802.11n, it was reliably streaming high-def video when “n” specifications were still in draft form.) As dual-band (2.4- and 5.0 GHz) wireless routers, each N900 can achieve combined data speeds up to 900 Megabits per second (450+450 Mbps).

My Net N900 My Net N900Q My Net N900Z

The N900s are the fastest routers made by Western Digital. They all incorporate Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM), a standard that defines quality of service (QoS) in Wi-Fi networks, prioritizes capability and optimizes video and audio performance. The result is a scarcity of dropped frames and glitches in sound.

In the box with each router are a setup and resource CD, Ethernet cable, power adapter and quick install guide. Getting the router up and running is straightforward. You load the included CD in your computer, power up the router and connect. Upon opening a browser, you type in the address for the manufacturer (check your manual or the WD website for the correct URL) or your router address in the address field (usually 192.168.1.1 or similar). The WD Setup Wizard appears and lets you complete the installation.

You can use the one-touch WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) button on the front of the My Net router to establish a secure connection between it and other WPS-enabled Wi-Fi devices such as tablets and notebooks. The only other external button is a power toggle on the back. There’s also a recessed Reset button, but, hopefully, you won’t need to access it. If you require help setting up the router, Western Digital provides free, around-the-clock phone support.

All the routers are UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) compatible and DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified. The former means that when you plug an external storage device or printer into a USB port, it should be recognized automatically; the latter means that videos, music and photos stored in the router will be accessible for playback from other DLNA devices including connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, computers and smart mobile devices. On the CD are several utilities including WD Print Share, enabling users to divvy up use of a printer, multi-function printer or scanner connected to a USB port on the My Net router. Another is the My Dashboard interface for, among other things, showing the status of network-attached storage devices and opening public folders.

As users have flocked to iPhones, iPads and iPods as well as Android screen phones, tablets and media players, Western Digital has developed a robust group of free apps for use on iOS or Android devices. They include WD Photos, WD 2go and WD 2go Pro. Once downloaded into your mobile device from iTunes or Google Play, you’ll be able to transfer files to and from the “personal cloud” occupying your My Net N900 Central storage/router. If, for example, your mobile device has a built-in camera, you’ll be able to take a photo or video and upload it from the camera roll directly to the N900 Central using the WD Photos app.

The hub of any digital home is an enhanced router that's capable of moving data to and from a device on a desktop, in an A/V rack or in your hands, whether by Ethernet cable or through the air. With these three My Net N900 models, Western Digital provides the flexibility of a hub that doesn't simlpy route, but does so by putting your entertainment needs ahead in the queue. So, if some family members are on Facebook or texting while someone else is streaming a movie or playing an online game, the movie lover or gamer won’t be complaining. Two of the models also serve as central storage vaults for backing up photos, videos, songs and documents and making your content accessible to every device. All together, these new N900s from Western Digital are meant to bring harmony to every digital family.

  My Net N900 My Net N900Q My Net N900Z
Technology IEEE 802.11 n/g/b/a IEEE 802.11 n/g/b/a IEEE 802.11 n/g/b/a
Bands Simultaneous
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Simultaneous
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Simultaneous
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Wireless Data Speeds (Transmit/Receive) 450 Mbps (max link) 450 Mbps (max link) 450 Mbps (max link)
Combined Data Speeds (Maximum) 900 Mbps
(450+450 Mbps)
900 Mbps
(450+450 Mbps)
900 Mbps
(450+450 Mbps)
Internal Storage None 1 Terabyte 2 Terabytes
Wireless Backup No Yes Yes
Compatible with Remote Access Apps (WD 2go, WD 2go Pro and WD Photos apps for iOS or Android) No Yes Yes
Wired Speed Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet
Ethernet Ports 8 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet (7 LAN, 1 WAN) 5 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet (4 LAN, 1 WAN) 5 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet (4 LAN, 1 WAN)
USB Ports 2 x USB 2.0 1 x USB 2.0 1 x USB 2.0
RoHS Compliant Yes Yes Yes
Accelerated HD Streaming Yes Yes Yes
Advanced Quality of Service Yes Yes Yes
iPv6 Yes Yes Yes
UPnP Yes Yes Yes
DLNA Certified Certified Certified
WPA/WPA2 Security Yes Yes Yes
CD Setup for PC Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (SP3) Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (SP3) Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (SP3)
Mac OS Requirements OS X Leopard or higher OS X Leopard or higher OS X Leopard or higher
Supported Browsers for Setup & Advanced Settings Internet Explorer 7, Safari 2, Firefox 2, Google Chrome 7 or higher Internet Explorer 7, Safari 2, Firefox 2, Google Chrome 7 or higher Internet Explorer 7, Safari 2, Firefox 2, Google Chrome 7 or higher
Dimensions (WxHxD) 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.3" (156 x 30 x 237mm) 6.7 x 1.2 x 9.6" (170 x 32 x 244mm) 6.7 x 1.2 x 9.6" (170 x 32 x 244mm)
Weight 1.05 lb (0.48 kg) 1.34 lb (0.61 kg) 1.43 lb (0.65 kg)