AVM Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7390

AVM Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7390

Summary: As a domestic or small-office telephony gateway, the Fritz!Box 7390 delivers evolutionary improvements over its 7270 predecessor. It has all you need to set up a small yet powerful PBX system, and its impressive ease of use makes it eminently suitable for non-specialists.

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TOPICS: Reviews
3
  • Editors' rating:
    8.5
  • User rating:
    5.0
  • RRP:
    £235.00

Pros

  • Excellent VoIP capabilities
  • 3G support
  • NAS and media streaming
  • TAPI support
  • Easy to configure and use
  • Desktop or wall mounting

Cons

  • Lacks advanced management capabilities
  • Lightweight construction
  • No 3G failover
  • No user-level file sharing

AVM isn't a particularly well-known brand in the UK, but in Germany it's the top ADSL router manufacturer, with over 50 percent market share. The Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7390 adds several new features to those of the ageing flagship model, the WLAN 7270, while retaining much of that device's styling.

Speed is the main theme of the 7370: it features four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, support for 100Mbps VDSL2 internet connections, plus concurrent 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networking, courtesy of two Atheros AR9220 chips. The external 2x3 MIMO antenna configuration of the 7270 has been replaced by an internal 2x2 setup, with each radio having a dual antenna PCB located under the small case 'fins'.

The Fritz!Box 7390, which now uses internal antennas, supports dual-band (2.4/5GHz) Wi-Fi via a pair of Atheros chips

There's an integrated modem supporting ADSL, ADSL2+ or VDSL2 services, or alternatively it can connect direct via ISDN, a cable modem or a 3G USB dongle in one of the two USB ports. The analogue phone line port is shared with the DSL port, necessitating the use of a proprietary Y-cable (supplied) if you want to integrate fixed line telephony with the VoIP functions. For cable modems, one of the LAN ports has to be sacrificed. The rear port layout is identical to the 7270, with two analogue phone ports and an ISDN S0 port. The second USB port is located at the side of the unit; both ports support printers (via a supplied software applet) or USB storage devices.

AVM has made sure that setup and configuration is as simple as possible, with a connection wizard kicking in the first time you launch a browser after commissioning the router. Wizards are also used to setup the telephony features that are one of the 7390's prime strengths — although they are little changed from those found on the 7270.

In addition to eight ISDN devices, an analogue line and two analogue telephony devices, the 7390 supports up to 10 SIP accounts and has five built-in answering machines plus fax reception. An integrated DECT base station can handle up to six GAP-compatible handsets. Call diversion is easy to setup, as are dialling rules. Failback to the fixed line in the case of VoIP failure can be enabled, but if router power fails analogue phones aren't passed through to the fixed line.

The 7390 is mainly focused on consumers, so digging down to more advanced networking settings requires the 'Expert' mode to be enabled. This gives additional menu options such as port forwarding and static route creation, but this isn't a router with advanced traffic management capabilities. A 'Child Protection' feature simply restricts web access per device on a customisable schedule. There are basic bandwidth management features, allowing you to define TCP/UDP port ranges or specific protocols (GRE, ESP or ICMP) as 'real-time', 'prioritized' or 'background'. Eight simultaneous Ipsec VPN connections are supported, using AVM's own free client software and configuration wizard. The manual and context-sensitive help are commendably clear and concise.

The Fritz!Box 7390 is mainly consumer-focused, but an 'Expert' mode is available for those requiring advanced networking settings

We tried out a 3G connection with Huawei E160G and ZTE MF627 dongles, but only the Huawei unit was recognised. 3G can't be used as an automatic backup connection, though — it has to be enabled manually. Wireless settings are comprehensive, with a handy site monitor. Transmit power can be managed automatically and the radios scheduled to shut down at night. Using Passmark Software's network throughput tests, we found 2.4GHz performance to be on a par with the 7270, achieving a respectable 60Mbps at 1m and around 10Mbps at 25Mbps in a noisy domestic environment; 5GHz performance tailed off rapidly over about 10m.

Unusually, the 7390 has 512MB of internal Flash file storage, enabling the NAS and media streaming options to be tried out without adding an external device. It's also used by AVM to store some of the product documentation. Storage can be accessed via Samba or FTP, although there's only a single level of password protection available. Media files can be streamed to any UPnP device.

AVM tends to add lots of new features via firmware updates, and the 7390 is due a major new revision almost immediately it starts shipping to the UK. This adds a guest wireless network capability and some enhancements to the NAS features, as well as full IPv6 support. There are some major tweaks to the user interface too, although as we only saw a beta version we're not sure of the full extent of these.

Specifications

General
Dimensions (W x H x D) 210 x 25 x 155 cm
Form factor desktop/wall mounted
LAN
LAN standards 10Base-T, 100Base-T, 1000Base-T
DHCP server yes
LAN ports 4
WAN
WAN ports RJ-45 (Ethernet)
Modem ADSL2+
Wireless
Wi-Fi 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n
Wireless security WEP, WPA, WPA2
WEP key length 64, 128 bits
Antenna type internal
Number of antennas 2
Management
Web-based management yes
Firmware in flash memory yes
Power
Power source AC adapter
Power switch no
Power consumption 7 W
Miscellaneous
Package contents router, 4.25m DSL & landline cables, 1.5m LAN cable, TAE/RJ-45 adapter, AC adapter, printed installation poster
Other features DECT base station, integrated answering machine, fax support, USB storage sharing (2 ports), UPnP media server, eco DECT mode
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Topic: Reviews

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3 comments
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  • 8.0

    AVM 7390 FRITZ!Box - 12 Jan 2011 arrived (with UK plug).
    Installed - It prompted me to set the password - went through the wizard to input the account & Password etc. BUT No connection. Double checked everything and watched the DSL diagnostics.
    The AVM 7390 shows 'Training' - 'Connected' - 'DSL synchronised' (reporting DSL 1.68.13.15 and speeds 8128/448). Then after about six seconds the connection dropped, sometimes with a report of PPPoE Timeout. This cycle continued, about two or three cycles per minute. Overnight the error log showed something got bored after about 3 hours!

    Temporary solution: re-configure the AVM7390 as a cable router and re-configure its predecessor, an AVM 7050 FRITZ!Box, as a cable modem, linked by an RJ45 patch cable. Everything connected, logged in and and worked perfectly. The only difference seemed to be that the AVM 7050 reported DSL 1.35.51.10.
    The account and password were correct in the 7390, since it passed them to the 7050. It would seem that something at the Openreach/BT exchange might not like the newer DSL version. Both modems identified the DSLAM at the exchange as 'Texas Instruments 0.0'.
    AVM requested a diagnostic dump - but they are still analysing it.

    Reason for upgrade: 24 Jan 2011 Openreach came to switch ADSL to FTTC and VDSL2. As soon as the engineer switched the copper at the Fibre Cabinet I re-configured the AVM 7390 as a modem router. It successfully trained and synchronised as VDSL2 - reporting:
    DSL version 1.68.16.14 DSL enabled VDSL2 Annex A
    It identified the FTTC modem as :
    Broadcom, 161.136 - H0 0, B5004244434D, 7631302E, 00
    and reported
    DSL data
    Max DSLAM Throughput 40000 9984
    Attainable Throughput 39984 15912
    Current Throughput 39984 9984
    However login to the ISP failed, with PPPoE Timeout.
    The Openreach Engineeer arrived and installed an Openreach modem (re-badged Huawei HG612). I re-configured the AVM 7390 back to a cable router and logged in successfully. Everything works. Thinkbroadband speed test now shows 32671 Kbps 8009 Kbps.
    The excellent AVM modem diagnostics and usage monitor are not available. However the 7390 does everything else claimed. Direct support for DECT handsets - Voicemail & FAX delivered as email and multiple VoIP SIP registrations.
    MJEdmunds
  • Last Friday I bought a 7390 (4th FRITZ!Box in succession, FritzFon, 7050, 7270,...). Didn't get the darn thing to connect. Found this brandnew firmware on http://www.avm.de/en/... (v84.04.88 Feb 01, 2011) and Im back in business!

    Regards, Peter
    petervanbussel
  • 2.0

    Beware, I bought both the Fritz!Box 7390 and the FritzFON.

    The audio quality of the FON was so bad that I had to send it back (with much difficulty in being refunded, finally was thanks to Visa's help).

    The Fritz!Box in itself works fine for the VDSL (though I had to wait for a firmware update first). The phone number recognition stopped working pretty soon though, and the call list gets polluted with fake numbers, which makes the phone functionality (filter, DECT, ...) pretty much useless.

    I would avoid buying from this brand yet, it's just not mature enough quality-wise.
    noahfb