Review AVM FritzBox 7590: Operation and functional range are the trumps
The design of the Fritz!box is pleasantly unobtrusive and thanks to the missing WLAN antennas it does not disturb optically. Most of the connections are on the back side which makes it easy to hide the LAN cables. The plastic used is not a haptic revelation, but fortunately scratches and dust are not as visible on the white plastic as on the usual black high-gloss surfaces. All in all, the router leaves a very good impression.
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The large Fritzbox offers numerous hardware features as well as an extensive software repertoire. The manufacturer AVM attaches great importance to simple operation. This can be seen from the installation to the subsequent configuration. The web interface accessible via fritz.box is clearly structured and left nothing to be desired in the test. Over-the-air updates, diagnostic functions and app support are among the highlights.
Unfortunately, the 7590 does not yet support the new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), but is still content with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). It can operate simultaneously in the 2.4 and 5 GHz band and optionally only with one SSID and automatic switching between the two bandwidths. However, this only worked moderately in the test with Macs and iPads. In the grey area where 5 GHz can still be received but no good data rates or a stable connection is achieved, the Fritzbox did not switch automatically. This problem is also present with the terminals with separate networks (SSIDs), but you have to manually switch the option to the 2.4 GHz range in the limit range.
At this speed you will notice the missing external antennas compared to our Linksys EA8500 reference router. If there is a concrete ceiling and a brick wall between the router and notebook, we measure much lower data rates than with the Linksys router. Nevertheless, we achieve a stable connection and the performance is sufficient to supply a small single-family house (with central installation).
The Fritz!Box 7590 was relatively hot in the test. We measured 41°C at the white top side and up to 48°C at the ventilation slots. The power consumption is with 10 - 11 Watt in the frame (= max. 96 kWh and thus about 29 Euro at 30 Cent/kWh per year).
Fritz!WLAN Repeater 1750E
If the range is not sufficient, the WLAN network can be extended via mesh. In the test we used the Fritz!WLAN Repeater 1750E to increase the range. The repeater is quickly set up (simultaneous push of a button at the first installation is sufficient at the router and at the repeater) and reliably expands the network. The range of the repeater is however also limited and the position must be chosen well (since it still needs a good reception to the router). Practical is the built-in Gigabit LAN port with which you can also connect the repeater to the router via LAN or create a WLAN bridge to a wired device (e.g. a desktop).
With 3-4 Watt power consumption (= max 10.5 Euro per year) the repeater did not need too much energy in the test, but the surface gets relatively hot. We measure 42°C on the upper side.
Another possibility to expand the network without additional cabling is the 1260E Powerline Set. This allows the existing power cables in the house to be used. In the approximately 15 year old terraced house used for the test, however, this only worked in the same circuit with good data rates. Different electric circuits in different floors led only to low speeds and no advantage to the direct WLAN connection. However, as with the other AVM products, the setup was easy to accomplish.
In addition to the network functions, the Fritzbox and the built-in DECT functions (for wireless telephones) can also be used to implement smart home functions. The Fritz!Dect 200 is an intelligent power outlet that can be controlled via router and app and can also measure the current of the connected devices. Again, the setup was relatively simple and the small plug worked without any problems.
The Fritz!Box 7590 is a current WLAN router with simple operation and extensive functions. Due to the lack of external antennas, AVM achieves an unobtrusive design that can be easily integrated into any home. Therefore you sacrifice some WLAN range and performance. We liked the operation via web interface and app very much in the test and the extensive (optional) accessories like the simple setup and the range of functions. We can therefore recommend the Fritz!box and the accessory products with a clear conscience and are looking forward to the upcoming Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) products from AVM.