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WD My Net N900 Central HD Dual-Band Router with 1TB Storage - 1TB Storage, 4x Gigabit Ethernet Ports, 450 + 450 Mbps, USB, Dual-Band, 2.4/5 GHz, FasTrack Plus WDBKSP0010BCH-HESN
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Western Digital, the storage giant, now manufactures routers with hard drives built into them.The My Net N900 Central comes with 2 storage options; 1 TB and 2 TB. Remember, the N900 is a router first. It employs 2.4 & 5 GHz bands, with max speeds of 450mbps per band.The N900 also has all that you would expect from a router including: Push button WPS connection, Advanced QoS, IPv6 capability, SPI Firewall filters, gigabit Ethernet ports and WPA/2 wireless security.
With only 1 USB available for sharing devices on the network you may feel a little let down. Don’t forget that there is a 1000 GB drive built in to the router, therefore you may not need the second USB port if you normally use it for shared storage.
Installation was a breeze. I plugged in the router and directed my web browser to the default IP for the N900. The html install wizard started instantly and installation was very fast and simple. It walks you through securing your wireless signal and basic WAN setup.
I had a lot of trouble getting the WD 2go app to work on my network. I could get the app to work for about 5-10 mins but if I closed it and restarted the app I would lose the ability to connect again. After contacting WD support they recommended I reset the router back to default settings, unfortunately that didn’t help either. At the time I was flashed to version 1.05.12 and nothing I tried would solve the problem. NOTE: This issue was recently resolved for me after Western Digital released the most recent firmware update (version 1.06.28).
Firewall
The N900’s firewall is very basic. Most users will have no need for specific rules concerning blocking certain ports or setting up port forwarding. WD provides you with 32 customizable firewall rule entries. It’s important to note though, if you wanted to block ports from the wan side, you will need to do so using specific IP addresses or an exact IP range (on the WAN). That’s not really practical. I can understand if you wanted to block a port incoming from a certain IP on the network because there are only so many IPs and you can block the whole range. Blocking on the WAN side however, isn’t going to work that easily. It would be much better if an “Any” option was available for the IP range instead.
Wireless
Having a secure network is important and the N900 tries to fill that need. The N900 has your standard options like guest wireless access, WPA & WPA2 Personal encryption, WPS and MAC filtering. Guest Access is a simple one that allows your friends to use your wireless without giving them access to your N900 shared drive.It’s setup with a separate WPA/2 encryption password from the standard one you made.The Wi-Fi Protected Setup or WPS is a simple way of connecting new devices to your router by pressing only 2 buttons, 1 on the router and 1 on the device you connect. This worked flawlessly on the N900 with my USB N band wireless adaptor.MAC filtering option is typically used to either allow or block specific computers fro

Cons: accessing your wireless network. The N900 provides 24 MAC Address entries and a setting to “only allow” the listed devices or block this list. Unfortunately WD didn’t separate the wireless from the wired users so you will have to add wired MAC addresses if you choose to use this feature. That means that if want to use MAC filtering, you will be limited to 24 devices total. That includes all the phones, tablets, consoles, computers, laptops, webcams, and other wireless devices that can be connected to your router with filtering enabled. This isn’t good and I hope WD will find a way to remove the wired MAC addresses from the MAC filter.
Parental Controls
This is something more parents can and should take advantage of. Parental Controls on the N900 can control the time of day, specific sites that are viewable and the type of site viewable for all computers on the network. You can do all of this after you sign into the router and click the register link under the Parental Controls page. You can block or allow up to 60 sites per device.
WD did design the Parental Control software to separate out the rules for different devices. So you can have a global rule that blocks internet access for all devices after 10pm, but 24/7 internet access for you and your spouse’s iPhones for instance. I tested this feature by globally allowing a site by DNS name (google.com) and blocking another site (yahoo.com) on a specific device (my iPhone). The global Parental settings held fast, but the device was still allowed access to the blocked site. Clearly they haven’t worked out all of the bugs yet.
The “separate device” PC controls may not work, but the category filtering is quite an effective way of blocking content that minors shouldn’t be seeing.The Category filtering can be set to several settings, each stacking on the content of the last. Your options are: none, low, moderate, medium, high, maximum and All. Below is a list of each category and their defined parameters:
All-Blocks all web access regardless of category.
Maximum - Maximum level of parental control with block of High level block plus social network, video, etc. Includes all lower levels.
High-High level of parental control with block of all adult related contents. Includes all lower levels.
Medium-Moderate level of parental control plus block of all adult related contents, gambling, alcohol and tobacco. Includes all lower levels.
Moderate-Low level protection plus occult, illegal acts, etc. Includes all lower levels.
Low-Protects against prnography and hard core adult contents.
None-No blocking. Allows all.
Note: No system is infallible.WD’s PC system can be circumvented by going to a site that isn’t in WD’s Parental Control Database. The reason they are fallible is because no database can have all of the possible sites in the world and keep them up to date.
It’s easy to adjust these settings on the fly too. If you try to connect to a site that is already blocked, you will see a special

Other Thoughts: from WD informing you of this. You will then have the option to allow access to this URL/this category permanently or for a specified time limit. You can choose onetime, 1-2 hours, 1 day or add this site to the safe list (permanently allowed). They system isn’t perfect, but WD has created a tool that can help concerned parents mitigate some of the online risks to their children. Western Digital gets kudos for that.
Speed tests
I tested the download and upload speed of the My Net – N900 using my iPhone 4s and my Acer Aspire Laptop. For consistency I am using Speedtest.net’s App for the iPhone and Speedtest.net on the chrome browser with my Acer Laptop. I selected the same server (Optimum Online) for all speed tests. Each test was conducted within 10 feet (approximately 3 meters) of the router using the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz (N) Spectrum. N Band speed was tested with TP-Link’s TEW-684UB USB Wireless adaptor on the Acer Laptop. I have restricted the N Adaptor to the 5 GHz spectrum for these tests.
WAN Test Setup
iPhone 4s on iOS 6.0.1 with Speed Test App
Acer Aspire 3830T -Win7 64bit –Chrome version 25.0.1364.97 m
WD My Net N900 Wireless Router
My current bandwidth is rated 50down/8up

Internet Speed Results
I averaged the upload and download speed on 6 passes of each device connected to the My Net N900.
N900 via iPhone
Average Download/Upload
30.8Mbps/11.1Mbps
N900 via Laptop
Average Download/Upload
18.11Mbps/7.90Mbps
N900 via Laptop with N band adaptor
Average Download/Upload
59.02Mbps/7.35Mbps

Music Sharing Test
I wanted to test this device as a music sharing device. To test the LAN speeds I recorded the upload and download time required to transfer a 163.7 MB podcast file to and from the onboard 1 TB drive. This test was repeated 6 times and an average was taken. I use FileZilla on the laptop and the WD 2go App on the iPhone. It’s important to use the WD 2go app here because (a) it’s free to the user and (b) Western Digital has created this app to accompany their device.
LAN Test Setup
-All prior setup with the addition of:
FileZilla v3.6.0.2 –used the log files for time and speeds
iPhone 4s -WD 2go APP v2.1.1 –Time acquired via stop watch (no speeds available)
Music Sharing Results
N900 via iPhone WD 2go APP
Download Time (seconds)/ No Mbps available
55s
N900 via Laptop
Download Time (seconds) @Mbps
78s @2.1MB/s = 16.8Mbps
N900 via Laptop with N band adaptor
Download Time (seconds)/Mbps
18s @10.4MB/s = 83.2Mbps
Remember, there is no need to download the files to play them immediately on your iPhone.Music can be streamed to your device on the app and the download is saved once completed. That being the case, this device is perfect if you want to share the same music to multiple devices on your network.Using the app, you setup a rolling buffer of stored music so you don’t have to re-download the same files again.This buffer offers 1, 5, 10, 20 and 32 GB cache sizes.Depending on your iPhone’s free space, yo

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TP-LINK TL-WDR3600 Dual Band Wireless N600 Router, Gigabit, 2.4GHz 300Mbps+5GHz 300Mbps, 2 USB port, IP QoS, Wireless On/Off Switch
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: This slick router is glossy black and fits well with my black themed office. I found the N600 extremely useful and powerful. The range was adequate for my household/office and I really like the wireless radio switch. It also has 2 USB ports used for sharing printers/scanners or a USB memory device for ftp/media sharing on the network.
I tested the printer software on 2 laptops. It works perfectly on my Acer Aspire 3830t. Unfortunately it would crash my other laptop, the Toshiba C655. This didn’t happen often, but it would happen upon printing any document. This only happened on my Toshiba and I am unable to conclude if it is due to my laptop or the printer sharing software. I’m leaning towards it being a problem with my Toshiba because I’ve recently had issues with it.
If you have a storage device you’re currently sharing on your network and want to add a printer or scanner to share on your network then the N600 can help you. Choose 1 printer (or scanner) and 1 USB storage device (flash drive or USB external Hard Drive). Let’s see how the N600 performs around the house.
Connection around the house
I live in a 2 story home with approximately 80 feet from one side of the house lengthwise with a width of about 30 feet. We have a lot of electronic devices (including 2 additional wireless routers) in the house so I do deal with some RF interference. I connected the TP-Link to the center of the upstairs room and I was able to get anywhere in the 1st or 2nd story. I can also get signal in the driveway and backyard.
Remember the Wi-Fi signal will emanate out to your devices in a spherical expanding bubble, so you want to put the router at a centralized point in the house. If it’s a 3 story house you would want it in the middle of the 2nd floor. Under my current configuration, the basement has spotty coverage. That’s because I have it on the top floor forcing the signal to dive 3 stories down to support the basement. Ideally, putting it in the 1st floor in the center of the building would solve this, but that’s not possible in my house because I don’t want it in my kitchen. Also, I don’t need Wi-Fi connection in the basement.
-Review Continued under “Cons Section”

Cons: … Review Continued from “Pros Section”
Speed tests
I tested the download and upload speed of the TP-Link N600 using my iPhone 4s and my Acer Aspire Laptop. For consistency I am using Speedtest.net’s App for the iPhone and Speedtest.net on the chrome browser with my Acer Laptop. I selected the same server (Optimum Online) for all speed tests. Each test was conducted within 10 feet (approximately 3 meters) of the router using the 2.4 GHz Spectrum.
Test Setup
iPhone 4s on iOS 6.0.1 with Speed Test App
Acer Aspire 3830T - Win7 64bit – Chrome version 23.0.1271.95 m
TP-Link N600 Wireless Router
Linksys E4200 Wireless Router (for comparison)
Results
I averaged the upload and download speed on 6 passes of each device connected to the TP-Link router and averaged 6 more passes per device while connected to my Linksys Router.
TP-Link via iPhone
Average Download/Upload – Ping
20.8Mbps/12.5Mbps – 18.7ms
Linksys via iPhone
Average Download/Upload – Ping
15.5Mbps/12.3Mbps – 21ms
So on average the TP-Link is downloading at almost 5MB/s. That’s faster than some Canadians I know can download on their village wired 6internet connection. ;)
The upload speeds are matched, which tells me it’s probably because I’m reaching the limit for my internet connection.
TP-Link via Aspire Laptop Wireless
Average Download/Upload – Ping
58Mbps/8.0Mbps – ms
Linksys via Aspire Laptop Wireless
Average Download/Upload – Ping
57.7Mbps/8.0Mbps – ms
*Strangely the Upload averages are a lot higher while using my iPhone (12 Mbps is a massive difference) vs. my laptop. I tested this on another laptop with similar results.
Aside from that, the laptop results from both routers are basically the same.
I really like the fact that you have 2 USB ports so you don’t have to choose between a printer and a USB stick. The N600 allows both to be installed simultaneously.
-Review Continued under “Other Thoughts”

Other Thoughts: … Review Continued from “Cons Section”
Printing
The N600 uses software that will share the printer to wireless and wired devices connected to it. Everything I printed from my laptop worked perfectly. I’m very impressed with the ability of the N600 to talk to my HP 5360 Printer without the need for additional drivers or firmware. Unfortunately we do not have an AirPrint capable printer. Though it would be nice if a developer made a router that was able to communicate like an AirPrint capable device and translate the print job from iOS to a normal printer.
USB Drive File Sharing
Once you install a USB stick into one of the ports on the N600 the router, one can use FTP on the local network to access those files. For added security, you can give out your guest password for family or friends that are visiting and need internet access. You can disallow access to the files on being shared on your router to the guest users.
This Guest Access isn’t anything new or proprietary, in fact you see this often used in Star Bucks or Dunkin Donuts. When they login to the Guest wireless SSID, they will be asked for a name and Password that you will provide for them. After they login they will have access to use your intewebs & your WiFis. Or you can play the role of Gandalf (YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!) and shut that damn Wireless off, without shutting off the router!
FTP Benchmarking was established by uploading and downloading the same 57 MB file 6 times and recording the time it took to upload (or download) via FileZilla’s FTP program. I then Calculated the speed at which the file was downloaded/uploaded using the average time and file size. For comparison’s sake I converted the results to Megabits per second (Mbps).
FTP Speeds - TP-Link via Aspire Laptop Wireless
Average Download Time/Upload Time
2.36s/15.1s
Average Calculated Download/Upload speeds
23.7Mps/3.9Mbps
That’s Right. In case you’re a paranoid bastard like me, instead of unplugging the router, you can use the handy-dandy switch on the back to shut off the wireless radio. This is a fantastic and utilitarian switch; SO SIMPLE and yet so many manufacturers don’t take advantage of implementing it! This switch allows you to shut off the wireless side of your router without disconnecting you from your wired network/internet. Kudos to you TD-Link!

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Corsair Neutron Series GTX CSSD-N240GBGTX-BK 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Let me start by saying, “wow, this thing is fast.” You’d think I’d be happy about that; I’m not. I’m shocked. It wasn’t that long ago that getting $1/GB purchase on a SSD was a killer deal; you’re getting a great deal for a top performing SSD. It’s also deceptively light compared to my other 2 SSD drives. I image it would be the perfect light weight and low power solution for any Laptop/Netbook. This is also 7mm thick so it should fit all netbook/laptop hard drive bays.

I ran the GTX Neutron through some benchmarks. Here’s my current setup for comparisons sake:

I5 2500K @ 4.20 GHz
Gigabyte UD3H Motherboard
16 GB of 1600 Ram
MSI GTX480
=1920x1080 60Hz
Eset Smart Security*(Being that I want real world performance I need to maintain a real world environment. In this case that means with Antivirus running. This will affect the benchmarks overall performance negatively, but the results will reflect what you can expect under heavy load in the real world.)
Continued in CONS-->

Cons: Benchmarks:
HD Tune Pro 5.00
SiSoftware Sandra 2012

Games:
Modern Warfare 3
Shadows, spec map, DoF = Yes
Ambient Occlusion = off
Smoke edges & Bullet Impacts = Yes
Image Quality = Extra
Texture & both map resolutions = Extra

Battlefield 3
Medium Preset Settings

Sleeping Dogs
Medium

Day Z (Arma II CO Mod)
Quality Pref. = Very high
Visibility = 10000
HDR = Very high

Guns of Icarus
Default

Let’s start with the fun stuff; gaming. FPS benchmarks consist of starting a Fraps Benchmark (duration of 60 Seconds) during a particularly graphics intensive period in the game. I do this 3 times and use the resulting average of the gameplay Frames per second (FPS). I benchmark multiplayer games with an additional test by recording the load times between rounds/server joins.
Battlefield 3 FPS:
82.9 Average | 56Min. | 114 Max.
Joining a server takes 29.9 seconds on average from the time you click join server to the point you are looking at your Squad Screen.

C

Other Thoughts: There’s a new issue forcing those who patch BF3 to verify the install files before you can play. This turned into an impromptu benchmark when I found I was done minutes before my friends had finished scanning. We compared file checking times and found that while my fellow gamers were scanning at 60+MB/s while I was doing 410+MB/s. Thank you Corsair for making an insanely fast 90K+ IOPS SSD drive!

Sleeping Dogs
62.7 Average |47 Min. |73 Max. FPS

Day Z
66.4|80|83.3
We find an average join time of 30.9 seconds starting from the server join screen and ending at the player list screen. From the players listed screen you will wait an average of 9 seconds before you are completely in game and ready to play

Guns of Icarus
113.6|86.5|186


Sisoft Sandra 2012

Physical disks:
read
528.47 MB/s
21 micro sec accesstime
write
471.18 MB/s
36 Micro sec access time

File System:
Drive Score: 508 MB/s
Sequential Read: 532.49 MB/s
Seq. Write: 443.85 MB/s

Removable Storag

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Steve R.'s Profile

Display Name: Steve R.

Date Joined: 05/17/08

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  • First Review: 02/20/09
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