AVM Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7390 review
AVM may not be well-known in the UK, but the German company's latest wireless router is packed full of telephony features. Should smaller businesses and branch offices buy it? Kat Orphanides and Andrew Webb take a closer look.
With the growing popularity of consumer oriented VoIP services, an increasing number of small businesses are using internet telephony to save money. We tested AVM's Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7390 to see if it can make this transition easier. Though aimed at the domestic user, it has a host of features that make it ideal for the small branch or home office. The router can handle both ADSL and Ethernet WAN connections, as well having integrated Wi-Fi and support for VoIP, analogue and BRI ISDN telephony.
The 7390, as we'll refer to it, supports ADSL and VDSL connections, and can also be set to use one of the 4 LAN ports as a WAN port for connecting to a cable modem. If you already have a firewall or router that you don't want to replace, you can turn off the all routing and internet access functions on the device, leaving it to function as a client device on your network, providing telephony and NAS services.
There are four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back, but only three are available for your local network if you're using the router in Ethernet WAN mode. There are also two USB ports, two ports for analogue phones or fax machines, a BRI port for an ISDN device such as a class 4 fax machine or small ISDN PBX, and an RJ45 socket which connects to both your ADSL line and your phone line by means of a splitter cable.
Integrated 802.11n wireless supports simultaneous dual-band connections, allowing newer devices to make use of the less crowded 5GHz band whilst still supporting older equipment using the 2.4GHz band. The USB ports allow the router to act as a NAS device, sharing access to any USB drive connected to it. There is also an internal 512MB of storage available, but that is too small to be of much use as a NAS device on its own - the space just gives the 7390 somewhere to save faxes and voicemail messages.
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