Wednesday29 March 2023

Western Digital Enters the Home Networking Market With My Net Line of Routers

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western-digital_logoWestern Digital is expanding their product line. The Hard Drive maker (and maker of home media players) has decided to attempt to dive into the home networking market. To do this they are introducing a new line of routers called My Net. According to Western Digital My Net is designed to optimize the viewing of online streaming media services and online gaming.

The decision to branch out into networking was not a keen jerk move. Western Digital has been pushing in that direction very slowly starting with their WD TV media players. Small High-Definition Media Players are nothing new to disk drive manufacturers (or memory makers either). These products are inexpensive and can bring in good revenue in the right markets. Still Western Digital’s real fascination with home entertainment could be from their new Vice President & General Manager of the Connected Home Solutions Group, Scott Vouri.

We first met Scott when he was working for GlideTV. GlideTV was a small track pad for Home Theater PCs that allowed for significantly better navigation through the “other” side for the HTPC’s interface (we still have one here). Although you had Windows Media Center you did not get everything from that interface. What Scott envisioned was a device that allowed you to access more than just what Media Center had to offer. Including an amazing media aggregation database that let you look for the programs you wanted by title and it would tell you what online services you could find it in, both paid and free. Like we said it was an amazing concept.

So with Scott behind the new Connected Home Group we know that some of the products coming out will be pretty smart and efficient. Scott Vouri is what you would call passionate about the connected home and has been since before his days at GlideTV (before GlideTV Scott was with nVidia in their Multi-Media Division so he has a solid technical background).

Back to the My Net, from the information we have (and we are working to get more) the My Net is a Gigabit router (with up to 7 ports, dual band wireless, and a 2TB HDD in the top end model) which has a home brew of QoS (Quality of Service) profiles to allow for prioritized traffic. The priority right now is set to streaming media services such as Netflix, Hulu and others that are on the market.

The My Net is not the first line of networking devices to have these options, but it is probably one of the first to have them specifically set to enhance these services right out of the box (D-Link had their Gamer Lounge routers with GameFuel that were very popular, but you still had to turn those on). In most other routers you have to manually turn on the QoS profile or even setup a profile which can be a pain to do if you are not familiar with how to work with QoS.

We are hoping to get our hands on one of the new My Net optimized routers to see exactly how they work inside and perhaps even see what WD has put into their QoS profile for streaming video and online gaming. Right now there are only a few reviews of the product and most of those featuring the top-end model (at almost $200) we are interested in see what the $80 entry level model can do as that is the one that most people will end up buying.

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Last modified on Thursday, 14 June 2012 09:41

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