N900 Central - Failure at its best - Next steps?

I bought my N900 central June 14th 2012.  It operated flawlessly as part of my network until about 3 months ago when I updated the firmware.  When trying to get to the bottom of the issues I went systematically through the interfaces, disabling features one by one and testing.  

No matter what it seemed there was no going back from my issues. The main ones being constant DNS issues, 5GHZ range, mater password being reset back to defaults, as well as the wireless clients being disconnected and not reconnecting.  All of these issues seemed to get worse and worse with firmware updates and rolling back seems to not fix the issues. 

Upon testing (I come from a QA background) we discovered that when my wife and I browsed the web simultaneously from my macbook pro and her Ipad, the network instantly seized.  This was something we could repeat time and time again with other devices.  For the purported quality of the router, I found it to be lesser than the Cisco E-3000 it replaced, and even my old reliable Linksys WRT54GL that had been running for the last 3 years.  

Finally after reaching my limit I decided to give it one more try and did an expedited RMA this week for a new unit.  I set it up from scratch and gave it another shot.  I disabled every extra feature just to be sure it wasn’t some micro config causing this.   My wife and I tried again and again but our procedure of both surfing the web at the same time on her Ipad and my macbook…instantly the wireless crashed, as did my hopes for resolution.

I’m really not sure what to do anymore.  I have two of these sitting in my living room, and instead of just sending one back I want to send them both back.  Right now I’m having to resort to an airport extreme I had leftover from a project but have no idea how to salvage my n900 in AP mode, or even just as a NAS.

Does anyone have any ideas how to set this up?  My config is Ubee Modem in bridge mode >Airport Extreme as Router > N900 central as AP.  Once its in AP mode can I still use the wired connections on the back? It seems like a waste if I have to eat up another ethernet port from the airport, I’d rather just use it as a network drive worse case scenario.  

I’m really sad, I had high hopes for this product but despite my best efforts and poor QA on WD side, we couldn’t save it.  

“Failure at its best”


That is a very appropriate subject line…  My solution so far has been to retire my N900 to only AP duty.  Even though it was reviewed by numerous websites as being the best.  It is far from it.  My 2nd N900 has performed better, but this equals daily lockups instead of hourly.  I have RMA’s my original suspecting a possible flaw or manufacturing issue.  This was not the case.  My 2nd N900 operates almost identical to my first.

My solution, that has worked 100% of the time is to purchase a linksys or a netgear router.  I have 2 netgear’s that are 7 years old and 1 new linksys wireless and 1 linksys hardwire router.

Due to WD and my lovely N900 fiasco, I have opened a cardboard box with my old, faithful linksys wired router inside and have removed the N900.  When I am feeling bored and wanting to complain about my experience on this forum, I dig the N900 out and play.  I have invested more time into this N900 router than my previous engine rebuild.  I cannot think of any other appliance, electronic gizmo that I have spent more time on.  I am quite technical and can solve almost anything, but this router is the worst electronic device I own.  Most electronics decay or fail over time, making some of my gadgets obsolete.  This router was non functional day two, and after numerous complaints, this forum, multiple post, multiple RMA’s, multiple phone calls to WD since November of last year, It is still broke, not usable and essentially a waste of time and electricity.  It is sad to say all of this due to their HDD quality, and my love of them.  I will switch to seagate now as a result of this router.  If WD makes and introduces new HDD’s like they do routers, I would never buy another HDD from them.  my recent purchase of 6TB for my server went to Seagate.

My suggestion is to donate your two devices to me so I can have more WD routers to stick into the blender.  My solution is to make a youtube video titled “WD Routers - Do they blend?”  they certainly do not operate, that’s for sure…

In my communications today with tech support they suggested I wait for the next firmware because it would “solve the issue I’m experiencing.” 

I wrote them back saying if they knew that then why would they send me another with the same problem.

I also suggested they send me a newer AC model instead and they again admitted it would have the same isssues…

I’m not just out a router but now have to pay to send it back.  

What models would you recommend?  I’ve decided the N900 I have is more useful as a doorstop and now I need a new router. 

My router recommendations…  Non-WD of course… In order of recommendation

  1. Asus - I have heard good things and bad things.  They do have open source code so they can be tweaked.  I have never owned one, but should have purchased one over my WD N900.  I would have been happier.  It was my number 2 on my list when I pulled the trigger on the WD.  The ONLY REASON I BOUGHT WD WAS THE 7 LAN PORTS.  Little did I know I can never use them due to locking up all of the time, nor do they all operate at full bandwidth.  I should have bought a switch and a stable router.

  2. Linksys - how can you go wrong?  I have limited experience with their new stuff, their older hardware was bulletproof.  My new one had a simple lockup once, a simple, single firmware upgrade later - no problems.  I am not a fan of the smart app routers as I will never pay for an app for my router.  Marketing gimmicks for simple home users, not nerds.

  3. Netgear - I own two of their older G routers.  Essentially impossible to lock up.  I cannot even make these routers fault.

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We just release a firmware update for the N900 and N900 Central.  You could try it and see if it works for you. 

I was wondering how Bill felt when he read these posts… I am also having major issues and starting to regret going down the WD router route (ha!) - i have the N900 central… endless problems with a Virgin Superhub modem…

I made the mistake of buying the N900, it shuts down, causes time outs and performance is horrible, it also drops connections to my devices, I was using a super old Pre N belkin router and it stayed connected un touched for 3 years.

I guess I will hook the old one back up because it was faster than the 5GHZ at this point. I think I know now why it was on sale.

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After being as patient as possible with my expensive WD MyNet 900 router, I finally gave up. I tried several different high-end routers, but then finally went with a Apple Airport Extreme. I am not an Apple user, but I had read good things about this router and decided to try. It has been superb. I have the 5th generation model. There are a few bells and whistles that it doesn’t have since it’s a 2011 model, but it is so, so reliable and very fast. It never cuts out on me.