My Net N900 is an extreme performance router with external memory support to store and share. Western Digital, a pioneer company in manufacturing of storage media, has already entered in networking products category and delivered some the competitive wifi router capable of streaming HD content flawlessly, easy setup and a gaming hub. My Net 900 is a mid range router among 5 different series, from low range to high range bandwidth. It is the recommended model which offers you a composite feature of basic wifi router + a modem and media sharing at the home or office network. It is designed to offer a constant media streaming feature on dual band platform. My Net N900 features 450 + 450 Dual Band Wi-Fi speed. 450 + 450 does not mean that it offers you a 900mbps bandwidth.
It means the router can operate at 450mbps @ 2.4 GHz and 450mbps @ 5 GHz wifi range. So 5 GHz frequency is recommended for HD media streaming and wifi LAN gaming. Because you will need a set of good frequency when you are viewing HD videos on different devices at home or office. While 2.4 GHz operates on lower internet bandwidth and can only tolerate soft obstacles. So we are going to see in detail about the features and abilities that are offered by My Net N900 with a short conclusion and comparison with other devices also. First we will check out what My Net N900 delivers.
WD has promoted the product with a tag line of effortless entertainment. Effortless stands for quick connectivity and easy setup. We had configured the router on Windows 8 system where it took few minutes to access the LAN connectivity and also the shared content. We will start with some highlighted features which are listed below and then talk more about My Net N900.
- Fast Track plus Technology to reduce loss in HD Video Quality
- 450 Mbps Wifi Bandwidth on Dual Band (2.4 & 5 Ghz)
- Low interference on high frequency
- Easy Setup and Constant Multimedia Streaming
- Antenna Amplifiers to boost wifi range and reduce lags/spike
- My Net Dashboard, router interface to control your wifi network
- WD Internet Security & Parent Control Policy Management
- 7 high-speed Gigabit Ethernet Port with 1 USB 2.0 & 1 USB 3.0 port to connect a shared storage.
- Auto-Sensing Port Technology that detect and configure the type of connection with minimum interference.
- Easy Hotspot with Public and Private Network
- My Net View to keep a eye on connected devices and collect important network information with Network Diagnostic feature.
- Easy to create your own person cloud.
- Push WPS, Ipv6, WPA/WPA 2 Firewall
Design and Connectivity:
Western Digital My Net N900 looks a very decent router. The design is very simple and it does not reflect any complicated network device. With black cover on the top and thick silver panel on the sides, My Net N900 might not create a impression in your mind at first look. The antennas are inside the router. They are not hooked on the back side as most of the routers have. Also there is no antenna connector provided at the backside. But it does not mean you would face some problem with the wifi range, the internal antenna is capable of giving you a high range internet hotspot. There are two benefits of having antenna embedded inside the router. First it will not break easily when you move it and second there is no need to put it on wide space. You can simply place the router at your desk or above your pc. It takes minimum space. The alignment does not matter much here. There are openings at the lower side with a tiny fan that cools down the router when it is used constantly. You can also hook the router over a wall. The placement of My Net N900 matters when you are creating a home or office wifi. You just need to locate a central location where the router can be placed in an position and the expected range is below 30 meters.
The back panel features all the connectivity ports while the front panel is decent with 4 led indicator and a WPS button. With single press you can convert your Public Hotspot into Private. It is easy to manage when there are guest at your place and they ask for internet connection for limited period. You can turn off WPS buy pressing the button back again. At the front side there is a power led, wifi led, web access led and a WPS Led. At the extreme right there is a WPS button. At the backside as you can see in the image there is a internet link port which is in yellow colour and 7 Gigabit ports. Each port is capable of giving you 7Gbps data transfer ration. After that there are two usb ports. One is USB 2.0 and second is USB 3.0 in blue colour. As this router does not have any internal storage you can use this to share content on your web. You can use a Pen Drive or an External Hard Drive to it. If you are using USB 2.0 port then streaming the same content on multiple devices may buffer or lag. As it is the limitation of that interface. The maximum data transfer speed on USB 3.0 is 10 times larger compared to USB 2.0. So you must use USB 3.0 for HD media streaming. Next to that is a power connector and power button.
Streaming and Storage:
In this part will discuss about the storage features and configuration. A number of routers come with minimal setup process. WD My Net N900 offers you a simple 3 step connectivity. You just have to connect the router to your modem and insert the installation CD. This disc scans the network, obtain required information and configure the router. Later on you can install additional software to manage your internet connectivity. I am going to convert the streaming part here. WD has marked My Net N900 as a device that offers constant media streaming at larger range. So it is necessary to test it. Streaming consist of multimedia content that moves router to the devices. The router can be your media server also. This removes the problem of buying a separate device and configure media server so that all the multimedia content can be placed at single location. You can hook a 1TB WD drive or any other external storage by copying all your videos, music and photos on it. And lock it with a powerful password so that only few can access it. That is why the usb storage at the backside is upgraded to 3.0. HD Entertainment is one of prime feature of WD My Net N900. So it is necessary to test that in detail. The only problem here is if you share the external storage on wifi there is no way to access that on LAN.
Loaded with WMM QoS, you can prioritize the network bandwidth based on the type of content you are streaming. For videos you are aware that you need higher bandwidth so that other devices can get a flawless quality. So with the provided settings in Dashboard you can enable WMM and enhanced it as per the number of devices. You can also set the device prority. At a time My Net N900 offers you 31 device configurations on WMM page. The quality of video stream is thus maintained by Fast Track Plus Technology. This technology is specially built for media content which avoid loss in the output quality. A number time the media streaming lacks a good output due to no support on router. The router just act as the mode of transport while My Net N900 does not only transport media but also ensure that the quality is not degraded. So to test we connected a 2TB WD My Passport USB 3.0 External Hard Drive to the router.
Media Streaming is awesome on My Net N900. The quality of HD videos that are added in 2TB External Hard drive is maintained and functions really well. At a time we had tested the same video on 5 devices and there was no issue with the connectivity. The media does not lag nor there problem with the fast forwarding. The same is applicable for photo and music sharing. My Net N900 is capable of removing the need of Media Server device. You can use a nice amount of external storage to create your own person cloud. If you go with WD products for that then it is much easier. Because this devices sync with the router much more easily compared to others. You can configure a automatic backup process which syncs your file instantly when you are connected.
My Net N900 offers enough security features to secure your hotspot. It operates of two modes. One is protected wifi connection and another one is guest mode. When Guest mode is turned on you can create a public hotspot and hit the WPS button to lock it instantly. Other than this you can use WD2Go app to add a wifi device so that you can control the router settings without using a pc. The other settings is security section offer you more powerful protection. The router comes with a firewall. So if your system is not protected or your firewall is turned off you can turn the router firewall to secure your connection. Also you can create upto 32 firewall rules and lock your private network for some identified devices only. My Net N900 also features DMZ, Mac Filter and Parental Controls.
Parental Control comes with some default settings based on the region. You will need to register the router with your email id and a password to modify it. Or else the settings remain inactive. Parental Control is a important part of a wifi hotspot where you can filter your network and block unwanted websites. Parental Control works online. It is will connect you to wdinternetsecurity.com. When you add your email id and a default password under Advance settings > Security > Parental control your email will be verified. And then you will be redirected to Master Setting’s page. It offers you way configuration. One is Safe/Block and TimeBlock settings. Both lists are very comprehensive to use with filter level. It is recommended that you must always use this to secure your wifi network.
Through Safe/Block list you can insert the url as seen in the image above and configure it as Safe or Block. The second option allows you to time based blocking of website. You can configure it for a limited time period and then move ahead. Along with this My N900 comes with some powerful feature to limit the access to certain users or device only. You can do that through security. It is easier to manage and your network is not at all shared even if someone knows your Wifi password. This reduces the complexity of configure proper security policies.
My Net N900 is an ideal choice for home and office. From entertainment point of view the router offers enough features. With simple setup the router can be available instantly. It is not recommended for small network. You can go for cheaper solution on the web. But if you want to create your own intranet network with multiple devices and add a good encryption policy on it then you can think about N900. The router also support DLNA certified device. That means HDTV, or mobile devices or portable players that come with DLNA can access media content from the router. The dash board is simple enough to understand the settings, but for a layman it can be confusing. For WIFI lan gaming the router offers optimum bandwidth needed.
It is a bit complicated to share a media or to create cloud server. Number of time My Net N900 is not capable of identifying third party devices while WD devices are shared instantly. Another problem lies with applications that come for Android and iOS devices to access shared media content on wifi. They take a bit long time to detect attached storage while using Android application like ES File Explorer you can at least stream the content instantly. My Net N900 is a HD high bandwidth router. My NET N900 Central another variation offers 1TB/2TB internal storage but the Ethernet ports are limited to 4 and have same features that My Net N900 offers. The security features are enough good and strong to create a locked home wifi hotspot. I was expecting that Western Digital can more simply the cloud storage and ftp configuration on the router.
- Easy Setup
- Good wifi range
- Powerful Security feature
- 7 high speed gigabit ports
- Media sharing works best on windows only
- Lack of Apps for Android and iOS device to access shared content