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WD My Net N900 Central makes a great mini home entertainment hub

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Editors’ note: This review was updated on July 20, 2012, to add information about the router’s support for Time Machine.

The My Net N900 Central is almost identical to the previously reviewed My Net N900 HD with two exceptions: the new router has only four LAN ports and one USB port (the HD has seven LAN ports and two USB ports) and comes with built-in storage (the HD has none). This means the two routers are basically the same in terms of networking, but the Central offers much more in terms of storage features, including the capability to stream media over the Internet to mobile devices.

As a wireless router, the My Net N900 Central is a true dual-band N900 router with a top 450Mbps speed of Wireless-N on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. It comes with a powerful QoS (Quality of Service) feature that automatically detects and prioritizes Internet bandwidth based on the type of traffic. In my testing, the My Net N900 Central offered fast Wi-Fi speeds, stable signals, and a long range. The router’s network storage performance was also decent among similarly configured routers.

At a street price of $290 for the 2TB version or $230 for the 1TB version, the My Net N900 Central makes a great router for those who also want to have a mini personal online server. If you just want a great Wi-Fi router and don’t have much interest in network storage, also check out the list of the current top five wireless routers.

Design and ease of use
The My Net N900 HD Central shares the design of the My Net N900 HD, electron bch wallet with a relatively large footprint, about the size of a Netbook. It’s slightly heavier than the previous router, due to the included 2.5-inch hard drive on the inside. This hard drive is not user-serviceable, so make sure you pick the right capacity. For most homes with casual data-sharing needs, 1TB is enough. If you have lots of content to share, however, you might want to consider the 2TB version.

On the back the router has four Gigabit LAN ports, for wired clients, and one Gigabit WAN port to connect to an Internet source, such as a broadband modem. There’s also a USB port to host either a printer or another storage device.

On the front the router has four small LEDs that show the status of the router’s power, wireless network, Internet connection, and Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), with its button also on the front. With WPS you can quickly connect a WPS-enabled client to the network simply by pressing the buttons on the router and on the device at the same time.

On the bottom the router has four large rubber feet to help it stay put on any surface, as well as a relatively large ventilation fan, which never seemed to kick in during my time with it. The router is also wall-mountable.

Like the My Net N900 HD, the My Net N900 Central is very easy to set up. You can run the setup software on the included CD, and it will guide you step by step. Or just hook the router to a computer and point its browser to website or website (the default log-in credentials are admin and password), and there will be a similar Web-based wizard. It took me just a few minutes to get the router up and running.

Since the router has built-in storage, it also comes with a new section on the Web interface, called Remote Access. Here, you can turn on or off a service called WD 2go. The first time you turn it on, you’ll have to provide your e-mail to sign up for a free account with WD 2go (you receive an e-mail to finish the sign-up process). After that you can connect to the router from anywhere, using the newly created WD 2go account from a Web browser or a mobile app.

The router’s Web interface is organized, responsive, and friendly to mobile devices. When opened from a mobile browser, the interface looks like it’s a native app. In fact, you can perform the entire initial setup process with a smartphone. To do this, you just need to connect the mobile device to the router’s default and open wireless network, named “WesternDigital.”

Features
The first main feature, electron bch wallet and also what differentiates the My Net N900 Central from previous routers, is its built-in storage and what you can do with that. For the local network, the My Net N900 Central offers an excellent data-sharing mechanism that allows you to either share everything with everyone or limit access (read/write, read-only, or no access) to certain folders based on user accounts that can be created by the admin log-in. You can also stream digital content to network media players and make the router support Time Machine backup for Macs natively by turning on the AFP server feature. I found it interesting that Time Machine support wasn’t turned on by default and the setting to turn it on is buried rather deep in the router’s interface. Once turned on it worked well, however, in my trials. This makes the My Net N900 Central a great alternative to Apple’s <a website Capsule.

Time Machine support isn't turned on by default; you will have to do that manually, via the AFP server feature, using the router's Web interface.
Time Machine support isn’t turned on by default; you will have to do that manually, via the AFP server feature, using the router’s Web interface.
Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET

But the storage features of the My Net N900 Central don’t stop there; it has a lot more to offer with the Remote Access feature.

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Eyes on Norway to boost electric car sales

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Norway has the way to boost electric car sales and Australia should follow its policy highway, a think tank argues.

The Australia Institute has released a paper looking at the policies Norway has used to give it the highest share of electric vehicle sales per capita in the world.

The Scandinavian country has an ambitious target of ending the sale of all new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2025.

Last year 42 per cent of new car sales were electric, while Australia’s rate was 0.6 per cent.

Norway’s policy incentives include reduced one-off registration tax, GST exemption, circulation tax waivers, reduced fees for toll roads and ferries, and access to bus lanes.

Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association head Christina Bu says Australia can do it with government support.

“It’s simply ridiculous that Australia, with an embarrassingly low level of electric vehicles, would tax them instead of incentivise them,” she said.

The Morrison government hasn’t released a policy to increase electric car sales despite promising one in February last year.

A consultation paper on the strategy has been flagged for release by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Victoria and electron bch wallet South Australia have ruffled the sector’s feathers by announcing electric vehicle charges to offset losses in fuel excise.

The Electric Vehicle Council says this is at odds with the states’ aims of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The council has released University of Queensland research showing the tax could reduce electric vehicle uptake by 50 per cent.

The study shows 90 per cent of cars on the roads must be electric by 2050 for zero emission targets to be viable.

Electric Vehicle Council chief Behyad Jafar compares the measure to replacing declining tobacco excise with a tax on nicotine patches.

“You’re either for an electric vehicle tax or you’re for a 2050 zero target,” he said.

“You cannot be for both.”

Electric hypercar maker Rimac says SPAC funding hype could damage…

FRANKFURT, Dec 3 (Reuters) – A surge in the use of special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) for raising money for electric vehicle start-ups could harm the long-term prospects of the industry, Mate Rimac, founder of electric hypercar maker Rimac, said on Thursday.

Managers of SPAC companies are not held to the same level of liability about potential growth prospects as managers who raise cash via an initial public offering (IPO) on equity markets, spurring concerns about an investor bubble.

“You can get so much money now for companies that do not have a product. Personally I am scared a little bit,” Rimac told the Financial Times Future of the Car summit on Thursday.

“When we go public, I want to show the numbers, to go public on reality, and not on hype,” Rimac said.

“I hope that these SPACs will be successful. A lot of them won’t. I hope it won’t hurt the industry too much.

SPACs are small companies with an established track record of filings at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which are then used to buy up promising companies in high-growth sectors.

Wall Street has used SPACs to sidestep the IPO process, with their shorter preparation time and fewer legal hurdles making it easier to tap the investor optimism towards electric vehicles that helped Tesla reach a $554 billion valuation.

“We were profitable last year, and we want to be profitable this year as well,” Rimac said, adding that he built up his company, which was founded in Croatia in 2009 and now employs 900 people, by focussing on profitability rather than growth.

“For a start-up, bch electron wallet we have built up steam the hard way,” he told the FT’s web based conference, adding that sometimes he feels like he is missing out by not pursuing the SPAC path.

Rimac had a hard time raising money in 2011 after electric car maker Fisker went bankrupt and with Tesla yet to establish itself as a high growth company.

Rimac was thus forced to raise money by taking on development contracts for other carmakers. Today Porsche, Kia and Hyundai are shareholders and Rimac makes electric powertrains for supercars built by Aston Martin, Koenigsegg and others.

“We started with hypercars and we are now working with more mainstream vehicles,” Rimac said. “Want to be the leader in high performance electric vehicle components.

Want to be the intel inside.”

Rimac declined to comment on speculation that he would buy Bugatti, but added cryptically “maybe soon”. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)