Western Digital My Net N900 HD dual-band router review: Western Digital My Net N900 HD dual-band router

FastTrack Plus is turned on by default, requires no user interaction, and worked as intended in my testing. I downloaded multiple large files on a computer, and when I started to stream from other devices, the download speed got noticeably slower, but the streaming was never interrupted. Obviously, FastTrack Plus doesn't help if you have a slow Internet connection and many devices trying to stream at the same time. In this case, you are better off turning it off and using the manual QoS settings instead.

The router offers excellent support for external hard drives and worked with all portable drives I tried, including those not made by WD. You can easily use any hard drive that already contains data, plug it into one of the USB ports, and have that shared across the network. By default, the content of the drive is shared with full access to everybody, but you can restrict the access via user account. Other than sharing data, you can also use the router to stream digital content to DLNA-enabled network media players, such as the WD TV Live Hub. There's no easy way to connect to the router's shared storage via the Internet, however, other than the FTP feature, which is generally not easy enough for home users to use. WD said that the cloud-based storage features will be available with the My Net N900 Central that comes with built-in storage.

Other than that, the My Net N900 HD also supports IPv6 and has a good set of other common features, such as port forwarding, parental control, firewall, and so on. For security, the router supports all existing wireless encryption standards and also offers MAC filtering.

Performance
The My Net N900 HD offered mixed performance in my testing. Note that I tested the router prior to the date it's available to the market, meaning it might come with on-release firmware. Generally, routers get better with firmware updates.

At close distance, about 15 feet away, the My Net N900 HD offered stellar performance on the 5Ghz band, averaging 195Mbps. This speed topped the chart of N900 routers on this band at this range. When I increased the distance to 100 feet, however, the router's data rate was lowered to just 74Mbps; still fast, but slowest among N900 routers.

On the 2.4Ghz, the router's performance was about average at both 15-foot and 100-foot ranges, registering 58.1Mbps and 16Mbps, respectively.

I noticed that the 2.4Ghz band didn't do very well with range, either; the signal got hard to reach starting at about 200 feet away. The 5Ghz band, however, did much better with the stable range as far as 270 feet way. Note that the router was tested at CNET HQ, where there are many other Wi-Fi access points and clients, which interfere with the router's signal.

In stress tests, the router's 5Ghz band passed my 48-hour trial easily without disconnecting once. The 2.4ghz band, however, disconnected once after a few hours.

The My Net N900 HD did well as a network storage server when coupled with an external hard drive. In tests via Gigabit Ethernet, it scored about 15MBps (or 115Mbps) for writing and around 20MBps (or 160Mbps) for reading. This was fast enough for casual sharing of data and media streaming and comparable to the performance of the Asus RT-66U or the Linksys E4200 v2.

Overall, I wish the My Net N900 HD's performance were better, though it's already very decent. Hopefully the router will get more stable and offer better performance with updated firmware.

NAS performance (in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
Cisco Linksys E4200 v.2
202.8 
171 
Asus RT-N66U
88 
131.9 
WD My Net N900
158.9 
114.6 
Apple Time Capsule
114.2 
81.2 
Netgear WNDR4500
65.6 
63.2 
Netgear WNDR4000
57.6 
51.8 
Netgear WNDR3700
40 
17.8 

2.4Ghz Wireless-N performance (in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Range  
Throughput  
Cisco Linksys E4200 v.2
35.8 
148.5 
Trendnet TEW-692GR
31.3 
77.8 
Netgear WNDR4000
23.9 
67.8 
WD My Net N900 HD
16 
58.1 
Asus RT-N66U
45.5 
55 
Belkin N750 DB
26.6 
50 
Netgear WNDR4500
31.1 
45.3 

5Ghz Wireless-N performance (in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Range  
Throughput  
WD My Net N900 HD
74 
195 
Belkin N900 DB
138.2 
189.6 
Cisco Linksys E4200 v.2
122.2 
185.6 
Asus RT-N66U
155.3 
181.8 
AirStation WZR-D1800H
120 
172 
Netgear WNDR4500
92.7 
152.8 
Trendnet TEW-692GR
105.8 
116.1 

Conclusion
With decent performance, nice design, and novel features, the one-of-a-kind My Net N900 HD makes an exciting router for home users. You might want to wait for a firmware update to get the router at its full potential, though.

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Western Digital My Net N900 HD dual-band router

Part Number: N900 Released: Jun 14, 2012
MSRP: $179.99 Low Price: $80.79 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jun 14, 2012
  • Weight 16.9 oz
  • Data Transfer Rate 450 Mbps
  • Connectivity Technology wired