Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: It's always with a bit of trepidation that we align our expectations when a manufacturer ventures out of its comfort zone, as Western Digital did by releasing its first wireless home networking gear. For a first at-bat, however, the My Net N900 is a solid outing. The wireless transfer performance wasn't enough to earn the My Net N900 a best-in-class award, though it's not a slow device, and there's something to be said for the network traffic prioritization that gives streaming video VIP status.
Western Digital's biggest selling point is its FasTrack QoS technology, and towards that end, the My Net N900 is a high-performance router that excels when viewing content from Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and other Web-based streaming services that are becoming ever more popular. Streaming media is where the industry is headed, and Western Digital is trying to position itself to take advantage of that, both in terms of offering a compelling media set-top box line, and now with a wireless router family designed specifically for that purpose. In our tests, the My Net N900 did an excellent job ensuring a jitter-free HD stream from Netflix regardless of what other network activities were going on, including initiating a 3GB download from the Web.
That said, the My Net N900, despite being Western Digital's flagship router (other than the same model that ships with internal storage), isn't the fastest on the block. Signal strength, while more than adequate for a typical household and general use scenarios, isn't quite strong enough to topple Netgear's WNDR4500. If Western Digital is able to address that in future iterations or firmware updates, it might well earn a spot as one of the best consumer wireless routers money can buy. In the meantime, the current (and first) generation My Net N900 will have to settle for being a well-rounded and reasonably fast first effort into the wireless category.