AVM FRITZ!Box 7490 review

To start with the basics the FRITZ!Box 7490 is a wireless router that uses the latest draft specification 802.11ac, with a complete 3x3 MIMO antennae setup. It also serves as a basic network-attached storage drive if you plug an external storage drive into one of its two USB 3.0 ports. These ports also support network printing.

The NAS facility only supports the SMB network system, the networking protocol that Microsoft uses to access networked file systems. AFP (for Apple systems) is not included although this shouldn't be a problem for Mac users as  OS X notonly supports SMB shares but will soon make it the default. You can also access your local network behind this router from the internet, using FRITZ!Apps.

When setting up your wireless network for either 2.4 or 5 GHz bands it will show you how many networks are on each channel and even associated interference. This helps you to set your wireless network to a channel that's better removed from nearby neighbours, resulting in potentially faster speeds. When connected to the internet it will graphically show the router's throughput charted against time.


We tested the FRITZ!Box's wireless performance by connecting a laptop via the unit's gigabit LAN ethernet, to set up a TCP server with iPerf. The destination system was another laptop running iPerf TCP in client mode, connected to a TP-Link Archer C7 wireless 802.11ac router in bridge mode. Essentially we used the Archer C7 as a large 3x3 MIMO dongle for the laptop.

We arranged three test setups. Firstly at 1 m to determine maximum throughput, then at 7 m to show performance at a normal range and finally 10 m where the client setup was around a corner, direct line of sight blocked by a concrete wall.

At closer range using 11ac, the maximum throughput was 330 Mb/s, which is faster than any 11n router. Using 11n on the 2.4 GHz band, the speed was 130 Mb/s which is on par with a decent 11n router.

At the middle range, the maximum throughput was 320 Mb/s on 5 GHz 11ac, similar to the 1 m result. Using 2.4 GHz 11n, the transfer speed was a useful 120 Mb/s, again on par with other 11n high-performance routers.

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