FRITZ!Box 4060 WiFi 6 Router Review – Tri-band mesh compatible router that competes with the best mesh systems

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AVM FRITZ!Box 4060 Review Rating

Summary

The AVM FRITZ!Box 4060 router is an excellent feature-rich router that is particularly useful for anyone that uses SIP/VOIP phones. The mesh compatible triband WiFi 6 design allows this to compete with the best systems for other big brand names

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Pros

  • Triband WiFi 6 router that can be turned into a mesh system
  • SIP/VOIP phone functionality
  • Extensive router features

Cons

  • No 160Mhz channel width 
  • 2.5GbE would be more useful on the LAN ports

The new FRITZ!Box 4060 adopts a similar approach to most modern routers nowadays. There is no modem, and your Internet needs to be fed into the WAN port.

For many people in the UK, this design makes sense as we are often locked into ISP supplied hardware. All my recent FRITZ!Box reviews have had to use my Virgin Media Hub in modem mode connected to the WAN port.  

While this may lack the DSL/VDSL functionality, it is one of the highest specced routers  FRITZ!Box currently does. It is the first device from AVM I have used that has a 2.5GbE port and the first tri-band router from them I have used.

Specification / Features

  • Compatible with any modem (uses WAN port)
  • 2.5GbE WAN Port
  • 3 x gigabit LAN
  • Tri-band WiFi 6
    • Wi-Fi 6 up to 2400 + 2400 Mbit/s (gross) at 5 GHz and 1200 Mbit/s (gross) at 2.4 GHz
    • Wi-Fi 5 up to 1733 Mbit/s + 1733 Mbit/s (gross) at 5 GHz and Wi-Fi 4 up to 800 Mbit/s (gross) at 2.4 GHz
  • DECT base station for up to six handsets – works with SIP VOIP
  • FRITZ!NAS with Media server makes music, pictures and videos available to devices in the home network (SMB, FTP, UPnP AV)
  • Mesh compatibility

Set-Up

With this system, you will need to retain whatever ISP supplied router you have. Ideally, you will switch it into modem only mode to avoid double NAT.

With the internet coming into your WAN port you can either connect to the WiFi or via Ethernet then either browse to the IP or http://fritz.box and follow the setup procedure.

This has a 2.5GbE WAN port but I am not sure how much use it can be. If you have faster than gigabit Internet you are still going to be limited to gigabit on the LAN ports and the WiFi won’t go beyond gigabit due to the 80Mhz channel width.

Expanding with Mesh Repeaters

The FRITZ!Box 4060 is a tri-band router with two 5Ghz bands and it is then compatible with the FRITZ!Repeater 6000 which is a tri-band mesh repeater/satellite.

This allows the FRITZ!Box 4060 to be converted into a high spec tri-band mesh system which will utilise one of the 5Ghz channels for a dedicated backhaul.

I will review the FRITZ!Repeater 6000 separately but adding it into the system is straightforward, with the devices powered on, you hit the connect button on the Repeater then the connect button on the router. The Repeater should then adopt the WiFi settings of the router and enter into mesh mode.

WiFi 6 Performance

The FRITZ!Box 4060 has a 4×4 radio with a maximum theoretical speed of 2400 Mbit/s. It is limited to 80Mhz channel width, so the maximum speed a 2×2 client can connect is 1200Mbit/s.

Using iPerf and connecting to my server, I was able to achieve a throughput of 872 Mbits/sec.

This is similar to many other WiFi 6 routers at 80Mhz. It performed better than the Netgear Orbi Mini, Unifi 6 Lite and the Netgear WAX214.  But it is not unusual for routers to extend a little beyond 900 Mbits/sec. The Netgear SXK80, Nighthawk MK63, TP-Link Deco X60 all went over 900 Mbits/sec.

The mesh compatible TP-Link Archer AX90 can use 160Mhz channel width and achieved  1217Mbits/sec or 901 Mbits/sec at 80Mhz.

The range is good too, moving downstairs the speed drops to 651 Mbits/sec then moving to my front room which is across the hall and through two brick walls the speed drops to 390 Mbits/sec.

Therefore the router by itself is capable of covering a 4-bed semi-detached brick-built house (if the router is located in the centre of the house.

WiFi 5 Performance

Using the older WiFi 5 I was able to achieve a throughput of 647 Mbits/sec.

This then dropped down to 434 Mbits/sec downstairs and 289 Mbits/sec in the front room.

Router Features & Interface

I am still running the FRITZ!Box 7590 as my main home router, even though the Internet comes through the Virgin Hub and all my WiFi is handled by Zyxel access points.

This is partly because I am too lazy to swap it over for something different, I have been meaning to switch to pfSense/OPNsense for a while now. But also, FRITZ!OS is just good providing me more control and features than many other big brand consumer routers.

The two stand out features you won’t find on other brands is the telephone functionality and smart home features.

For the telephone, the router acts as a DECT base station with answer phone and fax functionality. While this lacks the inputs for ISDN and analogue lines that you have on FRITZ!Box 7590, you can still set up SIP VOIP numbers.

I have not tested any of the smart home functionality as this seems to be geared more towards the German/EU market, but you can integrate things like smart radiator valves.

It is also possible to use this as an access point or mesh repeater and you can set it up to connect either via WiFi or LAN.

Price and Alternative Options

At the time of writing, there is no UK availability for the AVM FRITZ!Box 4060. It is available on Amazon Germany for €230 and there is a €5 shipping fee if you want to import it to the UK. This works out at about £200.

You can then get it bundled with the FRITZ!Repeater 6000 for €440, which is about £375.

If you want a two-pack mesh system there is:

  • ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 for £390
  • Netgear Orbi RBK752 for £330

Both of those systems are tri-band WiFi 6 mesh systems, and the ASUS has a 2.5GbE port. Neither of those systems has any sort of phone functionality that FRITZ!Box routers are known for.

You also have options like the TP-Link Archer AX90 or other OneMesh routers such as the Archer AX73. These can be turned into mesh systems with the RE605X mesh extender. However, these are based on dual-band designs so the throughput will be significantly lower, albeit cheaper to implement.

Overall

The FRITZ!Box 4060 may not offer quite the same WiFi performance or value for money as options from Netgear, ASUS or TP-Link. However, as usual, they make up for it with additional features and extensive controls over your network.

As much as I love Netgear hardware for its cutting edge high performance, they have been slowly dumbing down the router features and implementing paid services. This is fine for most home users but anyone wanting a bit more control over the network may feel frustrated by these limitations.

The DECT base station with SIP VOIP compatibility is something you won’t get with competing brands. While most home users have ditched the landline, this is ideal for small businesses and SOHO use.  

Overall, this is an excellent router, it takes the unique feature set I have loved on previous FRITZ!Box but then modernises the WiFi and network performance with a  tri-band mesh compatible design and multi-gig Ethernet.

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