The Western Digital My Net Switch is an 8-port gigabit Ethernet switch that provides some nice functionality in a small package.. We purchased the review sample for $30 on Amazon.com which is about $3.75 per port. In this range of the networking equipment spectrum this is certainly very good. Western Digital has been expanding into the home networking and backup segments recently and it seems as though the company is taking an aggressive pricing approach to enter the market. The low end, unmanaged gigabit switch market is very price sensitive because these devices are mass produced and are used in quantity for primary home switches even to quick diagnostic switches for IT professionals. Let us see what the WD My Net switch has to offer.
Look and Feel
Overall the WD My Net Switch feels sturdy. The plastic chassis is lightweight but feels fairly solid given the materials. From an aesthetic point of view, the WD My Net Switch is certainly more attractive than the TP-LINK 8-port gigabit switch we reviewed previously.
The matte and glossy black plastic accents and visible but not blinding LEDs make for a switch that is perfectly at home sitting on a desktop rather than being hidden in a closet.
The WD My Net Switch does not formally advertise its switching capacity like many other 8-port gigabit Ethernet switches in its class. We ran the same simple test we have used in our other reviews. We used our test lab to push eight gigabit links through the switch. Each one doing heavy file transfers to see what type of media transfer rates we got. Overall the switch was able to sustain an average of 103MB/s on each client with 94-111MB/s being the range.
Western Digital also has a built-in QoS feature that we did not test simply because we did not put other switches through the test this year. Each of the colors indicate QoS priority with ports 7 and 8 being the highest priority and ports 1 and 2 being the lowest. Either port 7 or 8 is likely to be an uplink port to other switches or a router which means that there is only really one other high priority switch port available.
WD My Net Switch Power Consumption
Overall power consumption on the WD My Net Switch was better than several other 8-port unmanaged gigabit switches we tested recently. Boot power consumption peaked at 2.2w on the Extech 380803 True RMS power analyzer which is very low indeed. Here are some quick stats:
- Boot power consumption: 2.2w
- Idle power consumption (no RJ-45 active): 0.8w
- Idle power consumption (2x RJ-45 active): 1.1w
- Idle with 8x RJ-45 gigabit links: 2.6w
- Active power consumption with 2x RJ-45 gigabit links: 2.3w
- Active power consumption with 8x RJ-45 gigabit links: 4.8w
Overall, a very impressive showing. That low power consumption is among the best that we tested. That also translates into relatively cool temperatures. One can see in the thermal image of the WD My Net Switch that the switch stayed very close to room temperature hitting 77.1F over the main processor. It registered a 13.1F delta between it and the edge of the chassis.
The unit certainly runs cool to the touch even in this test passing 500MB/s through the switch as shown above. More thermal images are coming in 2014 but we are starting to add a few preview images now. Powering the WD My Net Switch is a small external power adapter.
The only change we would make here is to have a slightly more attractive power adapter that takes up less room around a power outlet.
WD My Net Switch Features
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- 8 x 10/100/1000Mbps Auto-Negotiation Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Port-based QoS
- Small footprint and wall-mountable
- IEEE802.3, IEEE802.3u, IEEE802.3ab, IEEE802.3x
- Power efficiency with auto-power down and cable length detection
- Dimensions: 7.2″ x 4.5″ x 1.1″
- Weight: 0.53 lbs
- 2-year limited warranty
Overall the WD My Net Switch is a simple 8-port gigabit switch that gets the job done. The unmanaged nature means that it will not provide many of the advanced features some administrators may want. On the other hand, if the goal is simply to add Ethernet ports to a network this can be a sturdy and low power device to accomplish that task. The fact that the WD My Net Switch had the lowest power consumption compared to the Netgear, TRENDnet and TP-LINK offerings we reviewed recently makes it an excellent choice and currently our highest rated switch in this segment.