The web interface hasn’t seen any major improvements but it doesn’t need any as it’s smart enough already. It opens with a port status overview plus options to view a list of incoming and outgoing calls, create a phone book, monitor Internet traffic and the event log and check on connected USB and network devices. All access to the SPI firewall is denied so this cannot for any reason be switched off. The VoIP functions are virtually identical to this router’s predecessor so rather than waste space here we recommend taking a closer look at our earlier review of the Fritz!Box Fon WLAN for more information on these features.
To test the USB functions we kicked off with a bunch of Flash memory sticks and found the router correctly identified all six without any problems. They must be formatted with FAT or FAT32 partitions and the method of access is rather smart as you simply click on the device as shown in the web interface and the router fires up a browser FTP session with it. From here you can copy files to the device and download them to your PC and for permanently connected storage devices you can set read only access and password protect them as well. As expected, performance was very poor as copying a 100MB collection of graphics files to a memory stick from a LAN PC delivered a paltry 4Mb/sec. We tested the USB printer function using an Epson Stylus 950 which worked fine with the new printer port although, as always, with these solutions we lost the status monitoring features.
The USB port has a tertiary purpose that AVM coins ‘Stick and Surf’. You’ll need one of AVM’s Fritz!WLAN USB sticks which you plug into the router whereupon it downloads all wireless channel, SSID and security settings. Once the Info light has stopped flashing you can remove it and pop it in your laptop. We tested this on a Fujitsu Siemens 1.6GHz laptop running XP SP2 and found that literally all we had to was insert the adapter. The drivers and connection utility are loaded from the stick, the wireless connection is configured for you and it’ll even open up a browser connection to router’s web interface – very slick indeed.
AVM delivers a superb range of VoIP and PBX related facilities in a compact router that’s extremely easy to install and configure. It’s a pity the USB port is the slower variety but this is still a useful addition and the ‘Stick and Surf’ function is rather smart as well.