Review Index:

Western Digital My Net N900 HD Router Review

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Western Digital


A few weeks ago I witnessed a technology demo by Western Digital. I arrived expecting to see something storage related, but what I saw was completely different - a new line of routers!

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The new 'My Net' series of Western Digital routers are intended to cover the mid to high end of the home usage spectrum. Models start with 4 ports of Fast Ethernet and scale all the way up to 7x GigE switching. All models support some form of simultaneous dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz), with a minimum of 2x2 and scaling up to 3x3 configurations (more detail / explanation on that later).

Read on for our full review!

While all models have USB 2.0 connectivity for storage devices, the top tier will be available with an integrated 1TB or 2TB 2.5" Hard Disk that can be used for NAS and local backup duties. Here's a simple feature layout as seen on the back of the My Net N900 Central's box:

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The sample we will be evaluating today is the My Net N900. This is the top tier without an integrated HDD:

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Flip the page to watch me void the warranty!


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June 14, 2012 | 02:59 PM - Posted by PCskillet

Besides carrying over the horribly insecure WPS "feature," looks great! Can't wait to play with one.

June 14, 2012 | 07:51 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Good call there. I've requested an answer from their team. I'd imagine there is some simple brute force prevention I place, but it never hurts to ask.

For those unaware of this potential vulnerability:

June 15, 2012 | 12:37 AM - Posted by Mangix

or they could simply disable external registrar functionality thereby making the whole vulnerability non-existent. case in point, i have WPS enabled on my 2Wire and it is not vulnerable to reaver style attacks(I tried for 30 minutes with the correct pin)

June 15, 2012 | 03:06 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

For those curious, WPS *can* be disabled from within the firmware.

February 4, 2015 | 04:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Any chance you have some screen shots or details on the Parental Controls or Access Restrictions? One of the main reasons I use Tomato today on my NetGear is the ability to limit access to my kids computers by time table etc. Also web usage logs is another big one. And last, real time network graphing?

I'd just about given up on an off the shelf router being useful but I may have to take a look at this one.

December 3, 2017 | 09:02 PM - Posted by ForTheWin (not verified)

I have this router, and it might work well as a wired router, but the wireless is weak,and with no way to adjust the power output of the wifi. I have my main router in the garage(R7000), and this N900 in the living room. The wireless signal coming from the garage is still stronger. Use of a wifi signal meter shows it goes just below the ideal strength starting at 4 feet away. I'm disappointed in this router. I need a router to use as a range extender, and I already had this one. I'm thinking of taking the cover off to see if the transmitter is physically adjustable.

June 17, 2012 | 05:00 AM - Posted by Tasos (not verified)

It's a shame that with all those ports they didn't think to add 802.3ad (link aggregation). If it had this, it would really be really hard to beat.

June 17, 2012 | 06:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are these routers using Broadcom chips?
I hope they do. Then I could use Tomato firmware on them.

June 18, 2012 | 11:39 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It's Atheros throughout. Check the pics on page two for the gory details.

June 18, 2012 | 02:14 PM - Posted by TheBradyReport

Any chance you have some screen shots or details on the Parental Controls or Access Restrictions? One of the main reasons I use Tomato today on my NetGear is the ability to limit access to my kids computers by date/time etc. Also web usage logs is another big one. And last, real time network graphing?

I'd just about given up on an off the shelf router being useful but I may have to take a look at this one.

I just wish I could afford to buy a copy of ixia Chariot for testing :-)

June 18, 2012 | 11:19 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

I'll see if I can get some for you :)

June 19, 2012 | 12:30 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Ask and ye shall receive: (scroll down)

The Parental Controls are pretty darn sweet, now that I've took some additional time and dug into them. Thanks for the question there. Access restrictions are covered there, and MAC filtering should be able to cover any unregistered devices.

Haven't found any network graphing as of yet...

June 20, 2012 | 11:05 PM - Posted by TheBradyReport

Thanks Allyn. Good stuff. I'll have to review one of these. I used to work for USRobotics and 3Com so I've been looking for a better router for 10 years. After 30-40 of them I'm still looking :-)

The QOS looks great but I'd like to see how much control I can have over it. I want to be able to manage the QOS by protocol, IP, maybe even time. I can do it in Tomato today pretty well.

The network graphing is a standard feature now on most open source router firmware, it would be nice to see them add it in or even better, create an API so you could make an app for your mobile/tablet/desktop gadget to see the traffic.

Parental Control looks decent. I'll have to check it out.

June 23, 2012 | 11:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wish this had ac. It's a bit late in the game to buy an n router.

June 25, 2012 | 08:58 PM - Posted by Senzar (not verified)

Two aspects concerns me.

Potential breakdown of the cooling fan in the long run in dusty environment. Fans do fail in time being mechanical.

When you lay the router on a flat surface, air circulation at the bottom may not be sufficient in unclean industrial environment. WD could have provided optional 1/2 in legs with self adhesive tape to provide better clearance at the bottom. I have used a mod with 1/2 in plastic end caps (4) on pancake type routers from Linksys.

June 26, 2012 | 05:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The fan should only come on during extreme heat situations. It's not configured to run constantly.

August 17, 2012 | 11:01 AM - Posted by Senzar (not verified)

I have it on my desk with good ventilation and the still fan comes on probably to keep innards cool. We will have to wait till users find the failing fans. Still I feel the designers could have avoided the cooling fan.

June 28, 2012 | 11:23 PM - Posted by Someone (not verified)

Besides remote management (which can be done without a middle man server) why are the Parental Controls configured outside of the router? From the images in the article it doesn't appear to be doing anything that exciting. To me allowing a remote server push a configuration to my router is a security liability, especially if the router is hosting storage devices. The Cisco Connect Cloud which just started rolling out is this way. You configure that router on their site and can't connect directly (without disconnecting the internet connection and then it is limited what you can do) which seems like a terrible idea since all you need is your account hacked for someone to get full access to your storage devices. I'm hoping the Cisco Connect Cloud idea doesn't catch on.

July 4, 2012 | 11:53 AM - Posted by Mum (not verified)

I am researching routers as our current one seems to be getting tired and we are having to re-set it all the time. I have alos been looking to buy a back up storage device. We have 3 computers and 2 laptops in our household. We watch movies via netflix and take hundreds of photos a month. Would this device be the answer to both my needs?
One last question: our current place for router is in basement - I have heard it should be up top in attic?
thanks for your answers, "Mother learning technical stuff"

August 10, 2012 | 05:58 PM - Posted by Curtis (not verified)

Mum - Dont put it in the attic, this introduces a lot of extra heat that can break the device down prematurely. I suggest somewhere in the middle. With the multi directional antennas nowadays, dead center of the house should provide the best coverage.

Hope this helps.


Thank you for an awesome write up. Helped me decide to keep my new WD MyNet N900 2tb Central :).

November 19, 2012 | 05:44 AM - Posted by Darrell (not verified)

hope this helps I have a 50mbps line which goes into a real cisco 3000 series router. From there I go into a gb layer 3 procurve switch. I have 254 static ip's one of wich goes to the n900 for my lan internet. The rest used by servers in my server farm in my basement. The gb wan port is a must have in my network configuration as I transfer large files from my desktop to various web server in my farm. One thing the wan port default is at 512kbps which is horrible so I manually set it to 20000 which is about 20mbps. I have no issues with streaming from any service. I have tried the netgear 900 and its horrible at transferring large files across the wan port to my servers. Hope this helps.

May 7, 2014 | 08:13 PM - Posted by Scott (not verified)

The 1tb built-in HDD model I have absolutely destroys my Linksys EA4500 that I used before this. And I mean that!

November 21, 2015 | 08:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Super !!!1

July 7, 2016 | 04:50 PM - Posted by Roadapthy (not verified)

Hey all!

I love this router but it has some issues. First, that fan inside doesn't work. I have never seen it working. I removed the cover and never any fan turning. Not during startup, not when it's hot, never. Poor design.

Second, those chips run hot and they have a terrible cooling design. The engineers were over-paid for this job. I'm currently ordering PROPER heatsinks and I'm removing the IC cover inside and making sure the chips are properly cooled.

I believe the cooling of this device is the main issue. When it's hot, my connection drops. I knew this would be a problem when I purchased it due to it's power requirements but I believe I can correct the mistakes of the poor engineers.

Still, it's a great device! I have a WD Media device with 1Tb hdd. It has lasted for years!

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