Getting all your media beamed around your home isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Generally speaking it requires the investment in a decent wireless router and a NAS enabled hard drive. Alternatively, you can score a router with a USB port, but then you’ll need to ensure that the hard drive of your choosing, which will hold all of your media, is file system compatible and can be nimble enough to not require a whole lot of juice. Yes, it’s a daunting proposition and is why most people opt for Sonos or other systems such as Airplay, which eliminate all the confusion and required investment (time and money).
Enter Western Digital’s line of My Net Family of Dual-Band Routers with Exclusive FasTrack Technology. Lacie took a stab at this market a few years ago, but we couldn’t ever get our hands on the review unit, and it would seem that the router part was an after thought on their behalf. Nonetheless, Western Digital has 5 new routers and a switch for you to ogle at, all of which use their FastTrack technology, which in essence prioritizes bandwidth heavy services accordingly, such as Netflix and such. This way you shouldn’t experience lag on playback when you’re trying to stream a movie and your son is trying to download a torrent.
In terms of hardware, the granddaddy of the four routers is the N900 Central. This dual band router packs a 1TB or 2TB drive for storing whatever content you’d like – it can even complete a wireless back up of your computer’s hard drive – and can move data at up to 900mbps by combining the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz spectrum. Furthermore, you can access the drive’s contents using WD’s website, as well as on your iOS or Android device. Rounding out the feature list are 4 Ethernet ports capable of carrying 1000mpbs, DLNA and UPnP support, and 1 USB port for adding a printer to the network or perhaps even an additional hard drive if the 2TB flavor doesn’t suit your needs. Price is set at $299.99 for the 1TB and $349.99 for the 2TB. They N900 Central will be available sometime next quarter.
Second up is the N900. It’s essentially the N900 Central minus the storage array, but there is however 2 USB ports for adding whatever external drive you’d like. Western Digital has also packed in 7 Ethernet ports for those who prefer the wired option, all of which that can support 10/100/1000 Mbps wired speeds. It will cost $179.99 and is available now.
Third and fourth in line is the N750 and N600. The N750 supports a 750mpbs throughput, and sports 5 Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports. In a shocking turn of events the N600 supports 600mpbs throughput, 5 Ethernet ports and 1 USB port. They cost $119.99 and $79.99 respectively, and are available now.
Lastly, is the Switch, which provides wired support for up to 8 devices. Who will use this is beyond us. It costs $69.99 and is available now.