The FritzBox 7390 is one of the most comprehensive all-in-one ADSL2+ modem/routers on the market.
The FritzBox 7390 ADSL2+ modem/router is a little more advanced than the Fritz!Box 7270 that we reviewed at the start of the year. It has internal Wi-Fi antennae and supports Gigabit ethernet in addition to many other great features. It's one of the best all-in-one networking devices on the market, and possibly a perfect device for a networking enthusiast who wants to know every little intricate detail about their internet connection and local network.
The FritzBox 7390 works with (and is available for) any ISP (we used it with iiNet) but it was originally offered by Internode. If you're in the market for an all-in-one device, it's well worth a look. It's a unit that has just about every home networking function under the sun: it's an ADSL2+ modem/router, a 4-port Gigabit switch, an 802.11n wireless access point with simultaneous dual-band support, a VoIP base for DECT phones, an ATA for analogue phones, and it can even be used to share a USB hard drive or printer.
And there's plenty more, too, such as VPN support, parental settings, comprehensive call features, traffic monitoring and extensive logging.
Setting up the Fritz!Box 7390 for internet and wireless usage isn't difficult thanks to the included wizards in its web interface - we were up and running within a few minutes to start our tests. Both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks can be set up to run simultaneously, but security for them has to be enabled from a different page, and you have to use the same password for both networks. In our tests, the wireless performance of the 7390 was on par with the 7270, but it produced slightly better results than the 7270 from 10m away.
Using the 2.4GHz radio, the FritzBox 7390 recorded a rate of 7.78 megabytes per second (MBps) from 2m away and 6.8MBps from 10m away. Using 5GHz, it recorded 9.8MBps from 2m away and 7.78MBps from 10m away. Simultaneously transferring data from 2m using the 5GHz network recorded 9.18MBps while media was being streamed on the 2.4GHz network. The 5GHz network seems to give better performance overall and we recommend using it wherever possible, especially if you live in a large apartment block that has many 2.4GHz networks surrounding your own network.
We had no problems at all wirelessly streaming HD video from a laptop to an A.C Ryan Playon!HD2 media streamer and the FritzBox proved to be reliable throughout our tests. A USB port on the rear of the router allows a hard drive to be plugged in and shared across the local network (or even made accessible over the internet). Because the router supports UPnP, a media streamer will see the attached storage device and will be able to play files off it directly (of course you could also browse to its network location).
UPnP helps when forwarding ports, too, as some applications can add their rules to the router automatically. If you want to forward ports manually, then you will have to look for the setting called Permit Access under the internet section of the web interface. From here you can also configure remote access, dynamic DNS settings, and VPN settings (a link is provided to a web resource that contains step-by-step guides on how to set up VPN on the router).
The FritzBox 7390's NAS features aren't as extensive as the ones found on some other high-end routers, such as Netgear's N600. As an example, you can't create folders and add users through the router, but you can password-protect drive a drive and make it read only.
One thing that puzzled us was the lack of an English interface when we navigated to the drive through our A.C Ryan media streamer. The main folders were still in German and we had to navigate through each one to find our content. A firmware upgrade wasn't available to fix this, but as our review model wasn't a shipping version, it's probably something that has been fixed by now.
If you want to use IPTV, such as the FetchTV service, then you'll be pleased to know that the FritzBox 7390 is optimised to carry this traffic. There is even a graph that you can view to see how much bandwidth is being consumed by IPTV relative to the rest of your ADSL2+ connection. That's only one of the monitoring tools available in the router.