AVM Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7390 review
A well priced wireless router that's packed with features. It may not be the fastest , but it has an excellet range
Review Date: 2 Aug 2011
Reviewed By: Ian Marks
Price when reviewed: £175 (£210 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Fritz!Box routers, appropriately made by German firm AVM, have a cult-like status: many people have never heard of them, but its loyal customers swear by them. The 7390 only reinforces this reputation.
It’s one feature-packed router, offering dual band so you can have 2.4GHz and 5GHz devices connected at the same time, which is useful for schools that need to add more users without performance suffering. Connection to the internet is by ADSL or via Ethernet to your network, but if you want to connect both simultaneously then you’ll need to sacrifice one of the Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configuration menus are straightforward, allowing quick access to both basic and more powerful features.
A USB socket can be used for adding a printer or an external hard disk, and both of these worked reasonably well in testing. The Fritz!Box also features connections for DECT phones for use with VoIP software.
In test, the Fritz!Box performed well, showing a good range. Although the speeds dropped at the far reaches of the school, there were no problems getting a signal within the building – something other routers on test didn’t manage. Connections were reliable with a whole class able to use the internet without any dropped connections or problems. Data transfer speed depended on how close to the router pupils were. Near to the box they reached speeds of 60Mbit/sec, but this dropped to around 30Mbits/sec at the far reaches of the signal.
In terms of security, the Fritz!Box features all the standard WPA2 and MAC address filtering options. There’s also a built-in firewall should you wish to turn it on. While it lacks the advanced security features such as content filtering included in some of the routers on test here, it’s perfectly serviceable for school use. We also appreciate its excellent reporting tools, including live bandwidth graphs about your internet connection.
While it wasn’t the fastest or the most secure router on test, the Fritz!Box’s VoIP features coupled with its excellent range means it’s a fine alternative to the DrayTek.
Author: Ian Marks
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