FRITZ!Box – What It Is and Why You Need One

What’s a FRITZ!Box, and why do you need one? If you’re still confused about what this premium Wi-Fi router is and what it can do for you, take a look here.

A quarter of a century ago, home computers that accessed the Internet generally did so using just a modem. Short for modulator-demodulator, a modem connected your computer to your phone line and converted technical data to a sound that could be transmitted from computer to computer.

As households – and businesses – began to take more and more computers and, increasingly, other devices onto the Internet, routers were born. These allowed more than one device at a time to go online. You could connect your computer, or other Internet-capable device, to the router using an Ethernet cable or later through Wi-Fi – a wireless means of connecting to the router that required no cables, making it ideal for mobile devices.

The next step was obvious. If most people who use a modem also use a router, why not combine the two and make a router that also includes a built-in modem? They were far more convenient, required only one power point and cut down on unnecessary cabling.

The next major breakthrough was broadband modems. These ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) devices made better use of the phone lines, providing a massive increase in speed. Most broadband routers, such as the FRITZ!Box 7590 and FRITZ!Box 7530, are ADSL routers.


However, not all FRITZ!Box models use ADSL. If your Internet is supplied through a cable service, instead of over the phone line, you need a cable router such as the FRITZ!Box 6591. These connect directly to your cable port, but otherwise function in a similar way to an ADSL router.

There’s also LTE (Long-Term Evolution), a standard used for connecting to the Internet using mobile phone data connectivity through 3G, 4G and (coming soon) 5G. You can also buy a router that uses the mobile phone networks to go online, such as the FRITZ!Box 6890 LTE.

Who is AVM?

Based in Berlin, Germany, AVM is a leading manufacturer of broadband devices for DSL, cable, LTE (4G) and fibre optics. Founded in 1986, the FRITZ! brands such as FRITZ!Box, FRITZ!Fon and FRITZ!OS are owned and manufactured by AVM.

What is DECT telephony?

A DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) telephone system lets you operate several wireless handsets using only one base station. This base station connects to your phone line, and the handsets connect wirelessly to the base station. Some – but not all – FRITZ!Box routers have a built-in DECT base station, so you can connect phone handsets as well as Internet devices.

Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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