Back in 2010, I purchased Apple’s Airport Extreme wireless router for my daily Internet perusing purposes. I was so satisfied with the purchase that I haven’t even looked at any other options. However, Western Digital, the manufacturers of storage and networking products, reached out to me to review their My Net N900 wireless router, and while I don’t find it as aesthetically pleasing as it’s Apple counterpart, there are a lot of great features that keep in on par with the Airport Extreme in many ways.
Hit the jump to read my thoughts.
The My Net N900 is an attractive router when compared with others in the market. Although it’s constructed fully of plastic, the router doesn’t feel cheaply made.
The front of the unit features various lights for power, wireless connectivity, and Internet access. There is also a WiFi Protected Setup button.
The top of the router is pretty, too. There is a small amount of branding in the lower lefthand corner, along with a pleasing design that covers the entire top of the unit. It’s nice to see a little bit of effort put into making a router actually look good, not just functional.
The bottom of the device features four rubber feet to ensure that the My Net N900 doesn’t slide around on surfaces. There is also a vent with a fan to dissipate heat away from the device. Lastly, there is a reset button to easily restore the device to factory settings.
The back of the device is where the My Net N900 actually beats the Airport Extreme. There are two USB 2.0 ports that can be used for network storage or printing, along with seven individual ethernet ports, to ensure that all of your device can be hardwired in. There is also the DC power plug, along with the power button. Overall, the My Net N900 stands out aesthetically when compared with other devices in the market.
The My Net N900 also has some features that make it stand out as well. First off, the router is dual band, which means it operates on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. This is advantageous during situations when you have a lot of wireless devices using the router, as you can prioritize which devices operate on which frequency. This results in a less “crowded” Internet browsing space. The My Net N900 can handle speeds up to 450Mbps, meaning, for most consumers, this thing can go as fast as you can push it.
The My Net N900 also features Western Digital’s prioritization service, Fastrack+. They define their service as: This is what makes our My Net N900 and N900 Central routers very smart. FasTrack Plus doesn’t just recognize pre-identified services, or standard data packet types like traditional routers. Instead, it instantly recognizes all movies, videos, games and voice-n-video chat sessions on your network. In other words, it knows it’s a movie and knows it needs to be prioritized so you get a smooth streaming experience, just like watching a DVD.
At the end of the day, the My Net N900 is a fantastic solution for the Internet power user that wants deep features, speed, and a good-looking design. While I don’t find it better than Apple’s Airport Extreme, my hestitance comes strictly from a design standpoint, becuase the My Net N900 performs every bit as well. With MSRP of $169.99, the My Net N900 is $10 cheaper than the Airport Extreme, which effectively makes the price difference a matter of aesthetic preference. I’ll add that my experience with all of Western Digital’s products (I’ve owned several of their hard drives) has been absolutely spectacular. I haven’t had a single WD hard drive fail on me, and I get the same feeling for the My Net N900. Feel free to check it out on Western Digital’s website.
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Pros: Better aesthetics than most routers in the market, fantastic performance.
Cons: Isn’t, in my opinion, as well designed as Apple’s Airport Extreme.