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Western Digital launches 802.11ac Wi-Fi router and media bridge

Not to be outdone by Cisco Linksys, Netgear, Buffalo, and D-Link, Western Digital has announced a new router that uses the latest 802.11n technology, 802.11ac.

The My Net AC1300 HD Dual-Band Router integrates next-generation 802.11ac with Western Digital's proprietary FasTrack Quality-of-Service feature designed to optimise multimedia streaming.

As with other 11ac routers on the market, Western Digital's product is pre-draft 11ac, since the 802.11ac standard has yet to be ratified and is not expected to be until later this year.

Supporting up to a theoretical 450 Mbps on the 2.4-GHz band, and 1300 Mbps at 5 GHz, the new router has four Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 2.0 ports to which users can connect printers, hard drives, scanners and other USB devices.

The management software in the My Net Dashboard allows users to configure settings, including parental controls and security. The My Net AC1300 also supports UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) and is Windows 8-certified.

In addition to the My Net AC1300, Western Digital also launched the My Net AC Bridge. The bridge allows home network users to leverage 802.11ac speeds for devices such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, media players, and more. The My Net AC Bridge pairs with the My Net AC1300 router and other brands of 11ac routers via WPS (Wireless Protected Setup).

"The recent introduction of our My Net family of routers brought several new breakthroughs to the market, including our acclaimed FasTrack prioritization technology, amazingly simple setup and the My Net N900 Central router with storage," said Scott Vouri, general manager for Western Digital's connected life solutions group. "The My Net AC1300 and My Net AC WiFi Bridge build on those breakthroughs, setting a new standard for wireless speeds and delivering maximum HD streaming performance for our customers, while driving multiple devices on the home network at the same time."

Both the My Net AC1300 router and the My Net AC Bridge are available now at a price of $189.99 (£120) and $149.99 (£95), respectively.