With a smart new design, the Fritz!Box 7590, which is AVM’s new flagship do-it-all wireless xDSL router, adds both faster broadband and speedier wi-fi. But there’s a lot more to it than that.
In the box you receive a predominantly cream, aerofoil-profiled device — a new design — plus an Ethernet cable, a fat power plug, a combination phone/DSL cable, and a micro-filter. Two folded paper guides help with the basics of connectivity, and there’s more on AVM’s website.
The 7590 sports five dimmable indicators: three for the main functions — DSL, wi-fi and DECT — plus WPS active for easier connections, and a multi-function Info light. New buttons below the WLAN, Fon/DECT and Connect/WPS indicators help to simplify configuration and connectivity. At the back you’ll find four gigabit Ethernet ports providing connectivity into your home/small office network, a dedicated gigabit Ethernet WAN port for connecting a fibre or cable modem, and three RJ12 phone sockets. The DSL and power sockets are accompanied by a pair of USB 3.0 ports.
Fired up, the 7590’s Fritz!OS firmware — which will be familiar if you’ve experienced the company’s clean design language — enables easy access to all features via a vertical list on the left-hand side of the web interface.
In terms of new features, the two key standouts are support for VDSL 35b (a.k.a. Vplus) supervectoring broadband, which promises speeds of up to 300Mbps, and MU-MIMO wi-fi (802.11ac) via the 7590’s eight internal antennae. While you can take advantage of the wi-fi speeds immediately (we got 800Mbps-plus over the 5GHz wi-fi network), supervectoring broadband in the UK is not yet available, so we were unable to test this — it’s just future-proofing for the moment.
The remaining features – and it’s a long list – are familiar. The Internet module allows you to dig into the detail of your broadband spectrum, check out the signal-to-noise ratios and other parameters, and to monitor the connection’s utilisation. Filtering profiles are configurable for each individual connected device by schedule, application/port or website. There’s also built-in support for DynDNS — for remote access when using a dynamic external IP address — and for IPsec VPNs.
Even if you don’t use the built-in answering machine, connecting your landline phone through the router means it can notify you by email when calls arrive. It allows you to block spam calls too, either explicitly by number or those with no number, and includes an alarm feature that rings the phone. Other call management features include diversion, blocking, and dialling rules. You can also enable the DECT base station and register cordless phones using the button by the DECT indicator.
Network management is comprehensive, allowing you to configure the built-in DHCP server and other network settings, including DNS, IPv6, and the Ethernet ports’ power consumption — you can reduce power by downgrading them individually to 100Mbps. Other power-saving features include the ability to switch off the wi-fi radio on a schedule.
As well supporting basic networking, filtering, and internet access to internal servers, the 7590 can act as a DLNA media server for storage attached via the USB ports. AVM’s own smart home devices can also be managed from here — although, sadly, the smart home market has yet to converge on a universal connectivity standard.
Security features include a firewall, you can disable ping responses, and filters for NetBIOS, Teredo, and SMTP port 25. The router is also accessible using an AVM iOS/Android app, locally or remotely.
Together with automated diagnostics help you find problems, wizards to enable and configure core features, and yet more features than we’ve outlined here, the Fritz!Box 7590’s ease of use places it at or near the top of the list of broadband routers for anyone seeking a fully-featured home/small office networking device.
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