Better known for its hard discs and media players, Western Digital has launched a range of dual-band WiFi N routers capable of wireless streaming at up to 900Mbps.
The My Net family’s flagship device is the £350 My Net N900 Central, which has up to 2TB of internal storage and four Gigabit Ethernet ports plus Gigabit WLAN, a USB Port, wireless backup and remote access.
Dual-band wireless allows compatible 802.11n WiFi devices to connect on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz with up to three antennas.
All the My Net routers include FasTrack technology, which automatically detects and prioritises audio and video streams from services like Netflix or Skype to reduce buffering and interruptions.
The range also supports IPv6 internet addressing, UPnP and DLNA media streaming, and advanced quality of service, and a streamlined setup for use with both mobile devices and PCs.
Jim Welsh, executive vice president for WD’s branded products and consumer electronics groups, said: “With so many people within the home simultaneously watching movies, playing games and browsing the Web via their iPad, iPhone, Xbox and other devices, the network demands placed on today’s connected home has grown exponentially.
“Our successes in creating Connected Home solutions with our WD TV media players and personal cloud products have given us valuable insights into the network-overload problems of home wireless users.
“Entering the wireless home networking market offers WD an exciting opportunity to strengthen our Connected Home offerings that are aimed at enhancing the home entertainment experience for consumers.”
The My Net Dashboard is intended to makes it easy to monitor or change network settings such as parental controls, internet security, guest network access, network name and password, printer and scanner settings, and mapping storage drives.
The My Net N900 Central includes the Personal Cloud features found on Western Digital’s My Book Live network hard discs, for connecting remotely from PCs or mobile devices.
It also has WD SmartWare for Windows backups, while it’s also compatible with Apple Time Machine – other My Net routers can provide a pathway for WD drives with SmartWare to backup via wireless.
Elsewhere in the range, the N900 (£170) has all the features of the N900 Central, without the internal storage, but with an extra USB port.
The N750, at £100, supports up to 750Mbps dual-band wireless and has four Gigabit Ethernet ports with two USB ports; and the N600 costs £80 for up to 600Mbps, with has four 100Mbps Ethernet ports and one USB.
* Most WiFi N chipsets in phones and tablets only use 2.4GHz and have one antenna, limiting them to under 100Mbps.