Western Digital My Net N900 Central Review

Most people tend to look for the cheapest alternative for their home networking solutions. Want to share the home connection to the family? Head to your nearest computer store and buy the most affordable router you can get. It's fair to say, however not in general, that a cheap router will give you a limited experience. Sure it delivers on its intended use, but we could always for something a little extra.

The My Net N900 Central is among Western Digital's top-of-the-line routers. At a couple of months old, it still probably is one of the Lamborghinis of this niche. It comes equipped with all the bells and whistles of a premium router, features 802.11ac support, and sports a 1TB/2TB storage. If you're interested a router that will also serve as a personal mini-cloud, read our Western Digital My Net N900 Central review.

Design

The first thing you'll notice about the WD My Net N900 Central is its cleanliness. It doesn't come with anything glitzy, it doesn't go over-the-top with its design, but it's clean, which is great, at least for me because it needs to go blend with the other equipment it's going to be used in combination with.

Western Digital My Net N900 Central Review

At the top you have this dotted design with the glossy/matte shell going inwards. I'm personally against the semi-concave top, as this device after setup, will be gathering a lot of dust. Nobody moves their router from place to place, so you get the idea. That concave top meanwhile is surrounded by what's seemingly a heat vent.

The front of the router features the five small LED indicators that show the device's power, wireless connectivity, internet connection, WPS, and storage activity. A WPS button is also present for easy, push-button connection.

Western Digital My Net N900 Central Front Western Digital My Net N900 Central Back

The back of the router meanwhile carries the power button, the DC IN port, four gigabit wired LAN ports, one gigabit WAN port for your modem, and a USB 2.0 port (presumably for another external storage device, for direct printing off of the internal storage, or what have you).

The bottom of the device sports four rubber feet, a dotted design (continuing what's found on the top), a dedicated vent fan, and a reset button. The sticker to the right side of the vent fan contains various info including the router's default PIN.

Western Digital My Net N900 Central Bottom

For what it's worth, it's moderately light, even with the non-serviceable built-in storage inside.

Performance

With near high-end routers, you're guaranteed to have a good time. Installation was a breeze. I plugged all the wires and the electricity in, pressed the WPS button, let my computer recognize it for a while, and voila, instant connection. I didn't even need to use the included CD; I logged in via http://wdrouter and set it up from there (the default IDs are admin and password).

Western Digital My Net N900 Central Dashboard 1

Connecting wireless devices were easy through the WPS Push-Button Method the My Net N900 Central featured. Via the PIN method, not so much; devices always returned an "authentication problem" error from the getgo (which was solved later anyway).

The My Net N900 Central consistently delivered good performance in my time using it. It maintained a stable connection, a good data delivery rate even at long distances (its signal reaches outside my house to the street). Sans using synthetic benchmark measurements, I can subjectively conclude—performance-wise—that it's vastly superior to the two current routers I'm using (a TP-Link and a CD-R King). That, plus the mini personal server (1TB internal) you can access makes for a great home router.

Features

1TB/2TB internal storage, fantastic for sharing files across the network for wireless devices; access can be limited based on administrator's user restrictions.

Western Digital My Net N900 Central Dashboard 2

AFP server feature for Mac OS X and original Mac OS and for streaming digital content with media devices across the network.

Remote Access feature via a WD 2go account (PC/mobile). As long as you have your WD My Net N900 Central connected to the internet, and provided you have already registered for a free WD 2go account, you can access your 1TB internal storage anywhere. Think your own personal Dropbox or Google Drive.

Western Digital My Net N900 Central WD 2go Setup

Sports a true dual-band feature that supports 450Mbps on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands when used as a wireless router.

Automatic internet bandwidth priority via the FastTrack Plus QoS feature (on by default). If you have a moderately fast internet connection (by Philippine standards anyway), and you have mutiple devices connected to your network, the Fastrack Plus prioritizes internet bandwidth dynamically according to a device's needs. Say, you're watching YouTube HD videos on your PC, and 3 mobile devices, also connected to the network, are just using Twitter and Facebook, the My Net N900 Central will prioritize the PC and will allocate considerable bandwidth to it, regardless of clients connected. That is to say, again, that this depends on how fast your internet is (or else you wouldn't feel the difference at all).

IPv6 support, port forwarding, parental control options, firewall options, MAC filtering, 1080p playback

Verdict

People looking for a great all-in-one wireless and network solution for home and mobile should consider getting the WD My Net N900 Central. Its plethora of features offers a wonderful combination of network connections, dynamic user-friendly and user-centric options, and a built-in (cloud/access anywhere) storage to boot.

Western Digital My Net N900 Central Review

The 2TB Western Digital My Net N900 Central is available in the Philippines for a price of P10,788.

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