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We have been very fond of products by FRITZ! Recently, there are a relatively unknown player in the UK, but massive in Europe.
Today we have a slightly niche product from them the FRITZ!Box 6820 LTE, as the name suggests this is a 4G/LTE based router that eschews landlines altogether. This is not simply a mobile hotspot though, it isn’t specifically designed for mobility, there is no battery, you need to plug it into the mains. It is small enough to carry in your luggage easily though, so for regular travellers it could work out fine for this use. Therefore, the main target appears to be users with no access to regular ADSL/Fibre but do have access to a decent 4G network. In the UK that could account for quite a lot of semi-rural users though, so the potential user base could be decent.
The router covers 6 4G bands, Band 1, 5, 7, 8, and 20, with a speed up to 150 Mbit/s, it will also connect to 3G for speeds up to 42Mbit/s. It uses wireless N which allows connection speeds to the router itself of up to 450 Mbit/s.
There is just 1 LAN port, so you will need a switch if you want to connect much to it through ethernet.
You can manage everything via the FRITZ OS which is not the most attractive of web based systems but it is functional and relatively easy to use. FRITZ do provide a lot of options, so it can be a little confusing to technophobes, but in general we love the various settings.
4G performance of the router seems to be excellent, I live in an area with reasonable reception, so it connected to 4G fine. It also connected faster than my phone, presumably due to the larger antennas that will be used on this device vs my phone.
The Wifi performance didn’t seem quite as good, the overall connection speeds were less than the excellent Fritz!Box 7490 I have previously reviewed when connected using the 2.4ghz band. The 6820 omits 5ghz which is unfortunate.
Overall this appears to be an excellent LTE router for what it does. It is a little hard to compare it to anything else, it seems to be quite a niche product, or maybe I am just spoilt with VDSL. Most users wanting a LTE device are probably wanting it as a mobile hotspot more than anything, and in this case there are cheaper and better suited devices. If you are in an ADSL blackspot, or have terrible line attenuation then this could very well be a viable option for you.
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