FRITZ!Box has been a firm favourite hardware provider with me for router products in recent years. The FRITZ!Box 7490 is still my main router in the office. In my experience, they have always offered high-end features, including VDSL modems, as well as a decent user interface and usability.
At the time of reviewing the 7490, it was one of the few products out there that had a VDSL modem, but the market has grown a bit since then, so the FRITZ!Box 7560 I have today has a bit more competition.
Priced at around £160 it is on the more expensive side of the market, and more importantly, availability doesn’t appear to be that great in the UK. I have spoken with AVM and they say this will improve in the future Zen.co.uk will likely stock it soon, and they currently stock the Fritz!Box 3490 for £138 and Fritzshop.nl seems to be the only store selling the 7560 with a UK plug for now, it is 169 Euros and then an additional 17.50 Euros shipping
Unfortunately AVM FRITZ!Box don’t seem to have penetrated the UK market much yet, even though AVM is the biggest supplier of routers in Europe.
The 7560 has both ADSL and VDSL modem, it is also equipped with a DECT telephone system you’re all set for IP telephony.
The FRITZ!Box uses Wireless AC in the 5-GHz band and transmits data with up to 860 Mbit/s. At the same time, it uses Wireless N with up to 450 Mbit/s in the 2.4-GHz band. If desired, the smart auto channel search will find the optimum radio channel. This should be more than adequate for most users, but it less than competing brands that are cheaper.
Thanks to the recognised industry standard IPsec, you can establish a virtual private network to connect with your FRITZ!Box or company network. The settings can be configured on your FRITZ!Box and transferred to smartphones, tablets, and computers. In a growing world of data privacy issues, this will no doubt be very appealing to many.
The box also the MyFRITZ! Service which is basically a NAS built into the router.
One of the main selling points of FRITZ!Box is the built-in phone functions, you can connect normal analogue phones, as well as IP phones. It is even compatible with up to 6 cordless phone using DECT. The router also has contact synchronisation and can send and receive faxes. This goes a long way to justify the increased cost compared to other brands.
On the rear of the device, you will find 4 gigabit ports as well as your connections for VDSL/ADSL and a FON port for analogue phones. There is also a USB port which can be used for storage or printers. Within the admin, you can actually select the data speeds of the ports and this will reduce power usage.
The software running on the router is identical to that of the 7490 which is excellent. I have had no issues using it, and connecting was very quick.
Within the admin, you can see all your connected devices, and you can assign them the same IP each time they connect, which I find extremely useful as an alternative to doing static IPs on each device. Within each device, you can easily set up port forwarding, and the router even has a wake on LAN function that can wake devices if they are compatible with this.
Within the admin, you can also manage your USB devices, and storage if you have some attached You can also set up the media server for things like internet radio.
There is also a useful diagnostics section where you can identify issues with your connection or potential security issues. Under the system menu, you can also set up email notifications for a general daily report, Wireless guest access, calls etc.
Overall, this is exactly the same as the excellent 7490 but with slower WiFi, fewer USB ports and less analogue sockets. The 7490 £200 on Amazon, so if you don’t mind slightly slower Wifi then the new FRITZ!Box 7560 should definitely be worth considering. Also, when buying the 7490, if you are from the UK you will need aticle number 20002647 which is the UK/international one.