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Western Digital Enters Router Market with WD My Net Family

Western Digital is a company that most of us know for hard drives, both internal and external. Yes, they’ve broadened their horizons with products like the WDTV Live media players, but it looks like they’re networking out even further. As of today, Western Digital is in the router business with the My Net HD router family.

I attended a special event in San Francisco earlier this month, but now I can finally talk about it. They say that their family of HD dual-band routers (up to 802.11n) are better than the rest for several reasons. They’re easy to use for people who want simplicity, but there are just as many advanced options in there for people who prefer to have more control. There’s also a feature called FasTrack and FasTrack Plus that allows for the automatic prioritization of sessions that are more time-sensitive.

What this means is that if the router detects that you are streaming a video on your tablet while casually browsing the web on a computer, the tablet bandwidth gets priority so that the video stream remains smooth. In the context of Netflix, where the video downgrades to SD if it detects the connection is poorer, the Western Digital My Net family will bolster that connection and allow you to continue enjoying the HD stream instead. The same can be said about online gaming.

Western Digital Enters Router Market with WD My Net Family

There are four main products in the new family, starting with the My Net N600 on the low end at $69.99 MSRP. These ramp up to the My Net N900 ($179.99 MSRP) with its seven gigabit ports and dual 450Mbps connections. The MyNet N900 Central adds internal storage with your choice of 1TB or 2TB at $299.99 and $349.99, respectively. The internal storage is great for Time Machine and other automatic backup functions, as well as cloud storage with remote access.

I hope to get my hands on one of these routers very soon so that I can provide you with a more in-depth review. In the meantime, check out the press release and photo gallery below. All Western Digital My Net HD routers, with the exception of the My Net N900 Central which ships in the next quarter, are shipping to retailers as of today.

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WD ENTERS WIRELESS HOME NETWORKING MARKET, USHERS IN NEW ERA OF BLAZING FAST HD ENTERTAINMENT STREAMING

My Net Family of Dual-Band Routers with Exclusive FasTrack Technology Accelerate Video and Games using Intelligent, Real-time Entertainment Prioritization

IRVINE, Calif. June 14, 2012 Western Digital (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions and maker of the popular WD TV media player family, today unveils its first line of wireless home networking products, designed specifically to accelerate movies, video and gaming, delivering a premium high-definition entertainment experience. With the My Net family of powerful and easy-to-use home networking products, WD debuts its exclusive FasTrack technology that instantly detects entertainment traffic on the network and fast-forwards it to gaming consoles, media players, smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, computers and other Wi-Fi connected devices.

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 todays connected home has grown exponentially, states Jim Welsh, executive vice president for WD’s branded products and consumer electronics groups. 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, and 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.

Accelerated Entertainment

According to Nielsen and NM Incites recent U.S. Digital Consumer Report1, data from the fourth quarter of 2011 shows that 33 percent of consumers streamed a movie or TV show from the Internet through a subscription service such as Netflix or Hulu Plus. Internet video services, multi-player online gaming sites, and live video chat services, combined with the explosive growth of tablets, smartphones and other devices that connect to the home network, have created a new model of home entertainment and Internet usage.

With the industrys only full line of HD dual-band wireless N routers, My Net users can fully enjoy this new age of home entertainment. WDs exclusive FasTrack optimization technology intelligently and automatically prioritizes Internet favorites like Netflix, Hulu Plus, VUDU, YouTube, Xbox LIVE, Skype and others, to create a smooth streaming experience in up to Full-HD 1080p quality. By using real-time analysis to maximize bandwidth for entertainment services, My Net routers provide a premium entertainment experience on any screen in the home that is connected to the router.

Streamlined Setup and Ease-of-Use

The sleek hardware design of the My Net family of routers is complementary to the devices friendly and intuitive user interface, which was designed by a veteran team of developers to enable quick router setup from wireless or wired devices such as iPad and other mobile devices, as well as PCs and Mac computers. The streamlined router setup is designed to make it easy for novice users to be up and running in minutes, while also providing all the customization tools expert users crave. The included My Net Dashboard makes it easy for users to customize, monitor or change the settings of the network, including setting parental controls, Internet security, guest network access, network name and password, printer and scanner settings, and mapping storage drives, all in one easy view.

New Combination Router, Personal Cloud and Automatic Wireless Backup

In addition to getting a premium home entertainment experience with My Net routers, customers can centralize storage and backup for all the computers in their home, as well as create a personal cloud for their digital media and remotely access those files anytime, anywhere. Part of the My Net family, My Net N900 Central is WDs all-in-one N900 router with an integrated 1 TB or 2 TB internal hard drive. Remote access to My Net N900 Central is available on any computer through www.WD2go.com and with WD mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or Android smartphones and tablets.

In addition to keeping content safe at home and always accessible while away from home, users can rely on My Net N900 Central for automatic wireless backup with the included WD SmartWare software for Windows, while Mac users can utilize all the features of Apple Time Machine backup software. Additionally, any WD external hard drive with SmartWare software can connect directly to a My Net router to wirelessly backup all PC computers in the home.

My Net Router Family

My Net N900 Central The My Net N900 Central HD dual-band storage router provides accelerated HD streaming plus integrated storage for wireless backup and remote access. With FasTrack Plus optimization technology, My Net N900 Central delivers high quality, accelerated HD entertainmentthat is intelligently and automatically prioritized to ensure smooth streaming. The Wireless-N storage router features fast wireless performance with speeds up to 900 Mbps (450 + 450 Mbps on the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands combined), as well as integrated 1TB or 2TB internal storage for automatic wireless backup. My Net N900 Central includes 4 LAN and 1 WLAN Gigabit Ethernet ports for up to 10/100/1000 Mbps wired speeds, 1 USB port for additional storage, printer and media share server use, and range amplifier antennas for extended range. Additionally, My Net N900 Central is Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certified for easy detection and connection of Wi-Fi devices.

My Net N900 The My Net N900 HD dual-band router also provides a premium entertainment experience for movies, games, video, music, video chat and more. The My Net N900 offers the ultimate performance for all connected devices in the home, even while streaming to multiple devices at the same time. The exclusive FasTrack Plus technology provides intelligent, real-time traffic prioritization for simultaneous HD and 3D media streaming and online gaming. The Wireless-N router features high wireless performance with speeds up to 900 Mbps (450 + 450 Mbps on the 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands combined) and also includes 7 LAN and 1 WLAN Gigabit Ethernet ports for up to 10/100/1000 Mbps wired speeds, 2 USB ports for additional storage, printer and media share server use, and range amplifier antennas for extended range. Additionally, My Net N900 is UPnP and DLNA certified.

My Net N750 The My Net N750 HD dual-band router is optimized to deliver multiple simultaneous HD media streams on the network, delivering accelerated video to all connected wireless and wired devices. WDs exclusive FasTrack technology detects entertainment traffic and prioritizes bandwidth on the network to smoothly stream multiple HD movies, shows, games and more to connected devices. The router provides a combined data rate of up to 750 Mbps (300 + 450 Mbps) and features 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports.

My Net N600 The My Net N600 HD dual-band router is ideal for simple and fast web surfing and entertainment streaming with FasTrack technology for a smooth HD viewing experience. The router provides an combineddata rate of up to 600 Mbps (300 + 300 Mbps) and features 5 Fast Ethernet ports with 1 USB port.

My Net Switch My Net Switch is an 8-Port Gigabit home entertainment switch, ideal for instantly expanding your wired connections with super fast Gigabit Ethernet up to 10/100/1000 Mbps.

Pricing
My Net Switch – $69.99 MSRP USD
My Net N600 – $79.99 MSRP USD
My Net N750 – $119.99 MSRP USD
My Net N900 – $179.99 MSRP USD
My Net N900 Central (1TB) – $299.99 MSRP USD
My Net N900 Central (2TB)- $349.99 MSRP USD


Availability
My Net N900, My Net N750, My Net N600 and My Net Switch will be available June 14 at select U.S. retailers and online at wdstore.com. My Net N900 Central will be available next quarter.
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