Western Digital My Net N900 Central review

A home-friendly dual-band media-serving master from Western Digital

Western Digital My Net N900 Central review
Western Digital My Net N900 Central

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Without doubt, Western Digital has done an excellent job with the WD My Net N900 Central.

Anyone adding this to, or building a network around it can be sure of getting an up-to-date chunk of networking kit.

Even with the advent of 802.11ac this dual-band, 3x3 antenna device is going to provide long-lasting high-speed network access.

The same goes for the four Gigabit LAN ports and expansion via the USB port.

Of course we shouldn't forget that it comes with an entire 1TB of storage built in, and almost every network sharing protocol you could want to access it, both internally and externally.

We liked

Clearly Western Digital is aiming its new My Net range at the home and so ease-of-use has been a high priority.

We can happily say it succeeded here with the WD My Net N900 Central providing a visual and clear approach to setting up and checking your installation.

The web interface is certainly pretty without compromising features, with Admin features and logging being comprehensive enough.

The sheer range of features is also impressive whether we're talking about the mobile access or the comprehensive dual-band offerings.

Once up and running the device, even with a hard drive inside, is quiet enough to have in a living room, while the blue status lights are sympathetically designed so as not to give a dark bedroom a disco-light effect.

At 5GHz and 450mbps performance is amongst the best we've seen in same-room and middle distance tests.

We disliked

It's not exclusive to Western Digital but NAS access speeds are slow to the point of almost being unusable for larger files, both across LAN and WLAN, but more so via WLAN.

We imagine this is a inherent issue with the hardware controllers but really is that an excuse?

We found the 2.4GHz downstream speeds to be average at best, even at 450mbps.

At distance the router does struggle and even at 450mbps we've seen 300mbps routers such as the Netgear DGND 3700 come very close to it for speed and benefit, by support from the far-wider range of available 2x2 laptops.

Final verdict

In a way the full nature of its feature-set is the downfall of the WD My Net N900 Central.

Including the 1TB HDD significantly bumps the price of this device, doubling it over that of the hard-drive free WD My Net N900 that, with its expanded Gigabit LAN ports, could be a better choice for many people.

While the 450mbps technology means you're not guaranteed to reap the rewards of your outlay, but if you can you'll be very, very happy.