I ,like many others ,made a decision to buy this item based on advertised hardware specs. My entire home network is gigabit. To make a machine that has a gigabit port and then not give it a processor that has enough power to be able to make full use it is just building to the lowest common parts price. In my opinion, one that might backfire. I am now very gunshy about buying ANYTHING by WD. I used to always buy WD hard drives but now I will think twice on my next purchase. I suspect that many other people will also think this way. This might be a marketing ploy by WD but it was wrong.
My question is, would you have purchased the hub if it was only 10/100 vs gigabit? The concern would have been "wow, gigabit has been around for years, why doesn't WD support it". 10/100 would have been more in line with it's true capabilities.
There as basic misunderstanding about the speed of Ethernet, SATA, USB, etc that many people don't appreciate. The signaling runs at these speeds and it supports the protocols of those speeds but the device USING the interface many times can't either fill or empty the pipe at those rated speeds.
This is true of all networked devices. Check back in this post for the numbers on the PC<->MAC numbers, they don't' approach full gigabit capability. Why? Because even those devices can't fill the pipe! Yes, it's much better but PCs have multiple high speed internal interfaces and a processor and heat sink the size of your fist to boot. Don't forget about the dedicated northbridge/southbridge controllers, GPU chip, and etc that support the processor. These are different classes of machines than the little SoC-based hub. What do you expect for a box with a 1T notebook drive and a street price of ~170?
When products are designed, it's a tradeoff between performance and price. Would you have been willing to pay more for the hub for higher network performance? Sounds like it. But would everyone else want to pay more? Apparently WD said no.
Personally I find the performance to be fine as it's a copy once and done thing. It is painful up front but after an initial loading, you tend to forgot it. BTW, I wouldn't have paid more than ~200 for the box. At higher prices, one can kludge a HTPC together. I suspect WD had that in mind.