The AVM Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7140 has every right to be a mouthful. Its compact chassis contains a four-port Fast Ethernet switch, ADSL2+ router, SPI firewall and a 54G Wi-Fi access point, not to mention quite extensive telephony and VoIP (voice over IP) support.
The 7140 looks identical to the 7050 we covered a few months back, but its rear panel reveals the differences. The newer model lacks an ISDN (integrated services digital network) port, but it gains two more ethernet ports, making four in all. You also get a USB port, which can accommodate a printer or a storage device. That's a useful bonus, although you need to use FTP (file transfer protocol) to access storage – that's not so good.
This port is also used by AVM's Stick & Surf feature, which is similar to Windows Connect Now. Last but not least there's an on/off button for the Wi-Fi – again, a nice but non-essential touch.
Setting up the Fritz!Box is much the same as before – a setup wizard talks you through connecting up the device. A pair of ordinary phones can be plugged into it, and from these you can make conventional or VoIP calls. Like previous Fritz!Boxes, the 7140 supports VoIP using SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), and an introductory offer of 555 free minutes from VoIP service provider Sipgate comes in the box.
The benefits of uniting your PC and phone are remarkable, but be warned that you'll need to invest some time to make the most of the arrangement. You can specify which numbers dialled go through VoIP, block calls, set up call diverts and cut off the phones when the office is unmanned.
And the features don't stop there. Call logging, naturally, is extensive – you can track all of your missed calls, for example. You can even monitor ADSL broadband data usage – which is useful if you have a capped connection.