Western Digital My Net N900 HD Router Review
Wired and Wireless Performance / Parental Controls
*Edit* - Reader TheBradyReport below asked about Parental Controls, which I dove into and appended below.
First up: wired performance to network attached storage. We copied large files from a local Samsung 830 SSD to a USB 2.0 connected 32GB Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate. Neither should have been the bottleneck for this test. LAN speed was 1 Gbit.
Reading from the N900:
Writing to the N900:
Next up: wireless performance. For the moment the fasest thing we had handy for WiFi testing was an Asus Ultrabook equipped with am Atheros AR9485WB-EG which is more like a 1x2 configuration. While it definitely can't hit 450Mbps, it does allow us to see just how much performance can be squeezed out of it when linked to the My Net N900. As a point of reference, this same Netbook yields a 65Mbps link when connected to my own personal Linksys WRT400N (2x2, configured at 20MHz channel width on the 2.4GHz band). Here we see the very same Ultrabook achieve just under 90Mbps when paired to the N900:
With the slower link being the bottlenect, we verified this by repeating our copy from above:
This was as good as we could get, but we were clearly limited by the Atheros radio in the Ultrabook. That said, the N900 was able to get an otherwise free 50% performance gain as compared to the same connected to a decent 2x2 router. Switching the N900's 2.4Ghz radio to 40MHz channel width enabled a full 90Mbps link:
We're working on getting a high end 3x3 host machine for testing the maximum possible speeds, but remember these are standard mini-PCIe network radio cards, so they should perform just as well here as they do on any other Atheros driven 3x3 array equipped router.
*EDIT* New content below:
I half expected the Parental Controls to be just like any other router, but when I dove into it a bit further, I realized it had a rich web-based interface that extended via Western Digital's servers. Here's the concept: The admin (read parent) registers the MyNet router, via the firmware, with a special WDC-hosted site. The same page also allows connected devices to be reported and linked to the user-created account as well:
Once registered and linked, the firmware Parental Controls page contains a link that goes straight to the hosted site, where you login with the credentials you created when initially setting it up. Their web interface neatly matches that of the router firmware itself, making for a seamless experience. Once there, you can configure 'Master' (default) rules that apply across all links, or additional rules can be set by individual devices, provided they were previously registered to the site via the firmware interface:
Master and per-device settings can be configured with safe / block lists:
...or with a very slick time block interface:
The parental controls were very cool to check out, and it appears the interface can be logged into from anywhere, and those changes would presumably sync back down to the MyNet router. This means parents can change rules or lock out interfaces while traveling or away from home, without needing to remote into the network by other means. Good stuff indeed.
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