Hot on the heels of the launch of the entry-level Fritz!Box 3270, German manufacturer AVM has added two more models to its range of consumer VoIP routers. The new Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7330 and 7360 are both based on the top-of-the-range Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7390, and use an identical casing, but each offers a different subset of the 7390's features.
The Fritz!Box 7330 and 7360 use the same case, offering different subsets of the high-end 7390 model's functionality
The WAN and LAN connectivity is slightly different for each model. The 7330 has an ADSL2+ modem supporting services up to 24Mbps, whereas the 7360 also supports VDSL connections up to 100Mbps. Both models can use one LAN port as a WAN connection, making them suitable for cable or BT Infinity services. The 7360 has four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, but the 7330 has just one, plus a 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet port. Each model features twin USB 2.0 ports for connecting printers, storage devices, or a 3G broadband dongle.
The big difference between these routers and the budget 3270 is their telephony support. Although lacking the ISDN ports of the 7390, they have a single analogue phone port, plus an integrated DECT base station for connecting up to six handsets (three simultaneous conversations). Five integrated answering machines can be assigned to any of the 10 possible SIP accounts.
Inside the PCI Fritz!Box 7330 (top) and the PCI Express 7360 (bottom)
Wireless capabilities are also curtailed, with both models offering just a two-stream (2x2 MIMO), single-band 2.4MHz 802.11n radio for link speeds up to 300Mbps. As can be seen from the internal pictures, both use Atheros chips, but the 7330 uses an older AR9227 model with a PCI interface, while the 7360 uses the AR9287 with a PCI Express interface. The use of small bent metal antennas on the main circuit board gives a very neat and tidy internal layout.
Fritz!OS provides a straightforward management interface
The new version of the Fritz!Box firmware, now called Fritz!OS, is used, with its simple graphical interface and useful WLAN and DECT signal monitoring tools. Both also support the MyFritz remote access service.
We ran performance tests (using an Intel Ultimate N Wi-Fi Link 5300 3-stream client and the Advanced Networking Test in Passmark Software's Performance Test suite) on both models, and found that they delivered fairly similar throughput of around 30-35Mbps at 1m, which is nothing special. We repeated the tests with a Fritz!Box 7390 and measured around 45Mbps. At 25m range, the 7330 marginally outperformed the 7360, but neither could manage more than 10Mbps, a similar figure to the 7390 model.
These new routers are cheaper than the Fritz!Box 7390, but are still pricey at €149 inc. VAT (around £119) for the 7330 and €198 (£158) for the 7360. They will appeal to those attracted by the excellent telephony features of the 7390, and who don't mind losing ISDN support or 5GHz Wi-Fi.