Western Digital Unveils New My Net Line of Wireless Routers and Home Networking Devices

by Reads (3,866)

Western Digital? Routers? Get used to the connotation, because the storage company has chosen wireless networking as the next big thing to get into, with the new My Net line of consumer-grade networking equipment.

“With so many people within the home simultaneously watching movies, playing games and browsing the Web via their iPad, iPhone, Xbox and other devices, the network demands placed on today’s connected home has grown exponentially,” said Jim Welsh, WD’s EVP for consumer electronics.

It’s not the first time that the company has strayed from its hard drive roots and dipped a toe into the consumer electronics space – not by a long shot. Western Digital has rolled out some extremely successful – and extremely good – products over the last several years, like the WD TV Live series of products. 

Western Digital My Net N900Western Digital My Net N900

They’ve also done some experimentation with home networking products, too – to go along with their network-attached storage appliances and WD TV units (which only recently started to get built-in Wi-Fi), WD has put out some interesting powerline equipment, which transmit a networking signal over the existing copper electrical wiring in your home.

What makes the My Net line of routers so attractive is the work that Western Digital did in craft a really solid quality of service, or QoS setup. QoS rules let you set up a router so that it gives different kinds of traffic different priorities. It’s designed so that if you start to download a giant file, your online gaming or video streaming experience won’t be affected.

Western Digital promises that their home-baked solution requires no effort on the part of the end user – just plug in and go, and the router automatically optimizes traffic to prevent stuttering and slowdown on streaming video services. 

We’ll be sure to test this in our review next week (come back and read it!)

It’s a good time to get into the market, too, with data showing that in Q4 of last year, one in three Americans streamed video from the Internet via paid-for services such as Netflix or Hulu Plus.

The new lineup includes six different devices. From the high-end down, there’s the My Net N900 Central, which combines the N900 with a 1TB or 2TB built-in hard drive (think the WD TV Live Hub) – in addition to being hosted storage on the network, the N900 Central lets you access stored content on the go via the web or one of WD’s mobile apps on just about any platform.

Past the N900 Central, there’s the regular N900, which serves up 7 LAN and 1 WLAN Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as wireless performance with claimed speeds of “up to 900 Mbps (450 + 450 on 2.5GHz and 5GHz)”. There are two USB ports that let you tack on additional networked storage, or another device, such as a printer.

The My Net N750 takes things down to 300 + 450Mbps, offering 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports, while the My Net N600 gives up 300 + 300 Mbps, 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports and still 2 USB ports.  At only $79.99, this one is a real steal.

If all of the ports included with these routers aren’t enough, Western Digital also introduced the My Net Switch, which, for $69.99, gives you fully 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports to hook up all of your non-wireless devices.

My Net Switch

My Net N600

My Net N750

My Net N900

My Net N900 Central (1TB)

My Net N900 Central (2TB)

$69.99

$79.99

$119.99

$179.99

$299.99

$349.99

WD’s new family of My Net routers are mostly available now. The My Net N900, My Net N750, My Net N600 and My Net Switch can be picked up starting today at Western Digital’s online store (WDStore.com) or at select retailers. The My Net N900 Central, which comes with built-in storage, will be available sometime next quarter.

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