news Australian distributor PCRange this week revealed it had started distributing a new model in the popular FRITZ!Box range of high-end ADSL routers, with the 7272 model to launch locally this year, replacing the entry level 7270 model and adding two gigabit Ethernet ports into the mix.
Previously PCRange had distributed the 7270 and the 7390 FRITZ!Box models in Australia, especially using relationships with ISPs such as Internode to to so. The routers are notable because of their high-end featureset compared with the routers offered by rival companies and have thus proven popular in Australia’s early technology adopter and IT community.
In a statement released yesterday, PCRange noted that it had now introduced the FRITZ!Box 7272 router. The router supports the ADSL2+ standard but also offers two fast gigabit LAN ports and two Fast Ethernet ports. PCRange is describing the unit as being “NBN-ready with support for fibre Internet access out of the box”.
Like other models, the FRITZ!Box 7272 contains a telephone system supporting both PSTN and VoIP phone services, connection ability for analogue and DECT handsets, and integrated voicemail. It comes with a USB 2.0 port, a media server and supporyt for network-attached storage. The integrated DECT base station in the FRITZ!Box 7272 can connect as many as six cordless telephones, offering in-premise calling, customised identification and handset access to voicemail.
FRITZ!Box manufacturer AVM also makes the 7272 easy to manage, according to PCRange’s statement, with an intuitive browser-based interface as well as an iPhone/iPad app for quick convenient configuration of the router.
PCRange chief executive Raaj Menon said the FRITZ!Box 7272 was the perfect package for the home broadband user. “The 7272 is a beautiful unit, easy to use with blistering performance,” he said. “The 7272 provides a platform for networked applications like IPTV, video on demand and media streaming plus a communications hub with fast Wireless N, gigabit Ethernet, a USB port, a telephone system including a DECT base station and answering machines, and a media server.”
The FRITZ!Box 7272 will be available in February with a recommended retail price of $249.
The Delimiter office utilises a FRITZ!Box 7390 (currently as a second router for internal network distribution), which has provided very solid levels of both ADSL2+ and internal LAN and WLAN connectivity for several years. Delimiter’s review of the FRITZ!Box 7270 states:
So what’s not to like about the FRITZ!Box 7270? Just two things.
Firstly, it doesn’t come with gigabit Ethernet. This means that we can’t in all honesty recommend the 7270 version box for power users or businesses who need the highest level of bandwidth amongst their homes or premises. With the rollout of the NBN and multimedia use within homes and businesses being what it is in 2011, there is really no reason to buy a router without gigabit Ethernet.
Secondly, there’s the price.
The FRITZ!Box 7270 comes with nearly every feature under the sun … and Internode and local distributors PC Range are going to slug you in the arm for it. $299 is a bit much for a high-end home router in 2011 … and most people won’t use most of the FRITZ!Box’s features. Internode itself is selling a low-end Netcomm model with 802.11g Wi-Fi and four Ethernet ports for $119. And there’s also the fact, that for $299, you’d expect to get gigabit Ethernet in a router.
If you absolutely need gigabit Ethernet, the 7390 version of the FRITZ!Box is also available — but the price just keeps on getting steeper — $399 for the stand-alone model, plus another $100 if you want a DECT handset bundled in.
For these prices, the FRITZ!Box can really only be classified as a small business router — not a home offering, unless you have a family of five people or more and need multiple dedicated VoIP lines and so on. But, with most kids in 2011 preferring their mobile over a landline anyway … it’s still hard to justify the cost.
Setting these problems aside, the FRITZ!Box is a perfectly priced and ideally configured device for one category of customers — professionals with a small home office, or companies of only a handful of staff members. For this type of use, the FRITZ!Box 7270 is perfect, and we commend it to them. A marvellous piece piece of engineering, it will serve as a valuable investment that will deliver network stability for many years to come.
Image credit: AVM