The FRITZ!Box 7390 is a Wi-Fi modem with a bold design to match its big claims. The red and silver colour scheme is certainly not designed to sit unobtrusively in a living room like iiNet's BoB, but there is plenty of substance beneath the flashy exterior.
Internode and PCRange have brought the FRITZ!Box over from Germany (hence the tongue-in-cheek name) and although initially the Fritz was sold exclusivley to Internode customers, it is now available through PCRange resellers.
The FRITZ!Box is available in two models, the 7270 for $299 and the 7390 for $399. Both designs are similar, although the 7390 reviewed here has dispensed with aerials, giving it more of a streamlined appearance.
Although pricey, the FRITZ!Box is designed to support VoIP and IPTV, and has an integrated media server with 512MB internal storage. With a dual WLAN N with wireless speeds of up to 300Mbps, streaming HD video over a home network should be seamless.
It's suitable for work as well as home, with ports for a fixed-line phone, a fax machine and an ISDN PBX. There are up to five answering machines integrated, plus fax-to-mail and voice-to-mail.
There is an integrated DECT base capable of connecting up to six handsets, although these are sold separately. The integrated base means no need for an external base. AVM also have an app so you can use your iPhone as a home phone with its own extension, when connected by WLAN.
This is in addition to the four Ethernet ports and two USB ports for printers or storage.
FRITZBox maker AVM boasts this is the first modem to integrate all DSL standards, including VDSL for connections up to 100Mbps, so it ideal for businesses with a VDSL connection who want to make the most of their speed.
The FRITZ!Box will even work in combination with a 3G or cable modem. It even has the capability to connect to the NBN, once the fibre-optic network is rolled out across Australia.
Setting up the FRITZ!Box was surprisingly simple given the sheer amount of technology the device boasts. Once the power and the DSL line has been connected, the modem can be set up wirelessly or with the Ethernet cable included.
Using the Configuration Wizard, the modem can be configured for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) in a matter of minutes, with very few steps needed. The instructions included in the box are very clear and take you through the set-up process step by step. Even if you are connecting a VoIP handset as well, the set-up time is under ten minutes.
Value for money
The FRITZ!Box has been labelled a 'kitchen sink' device by Internode's Simon Hackett and this is a very apt description. There isn't much the FRITZ!Box can't do, and it is a cutting piece of technology for serious home networkers, as well as a networking and telecommunication hub serving all the needs of a small business. In other words, it has found the perfect work/life balance and if you are looking for the same, you have the excuse you need to buy one.
Internode has super-fast ADSL2+ and Naked DSL plans, which are ideal for use with the FRITZ!Box. Check out the plans online or call Compare Broadband on 1300 106 571.