At our test distances of two metres and 10 metres line of sight and 15 metres behind two standing walls, the 7490 recorded speeds of 46.1MBps (368.8Mbps), 34.2MBps (273.6Mbps) and 18.3MBps (146.4Mbps) respectively.
These put it in the upper echelons of 802.11ac routers, but some way off the peak 50-60MBps speeds of the best 1750 routers and well behind the circa 75MBps speeds attained by the AC1900 class like the Linksys EA6900 and Asus RT-AC68U.
The 7490 is solid, but not spectacular.
Proportionately it does much better with 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11n. With the former it manages 29.8MBps (238.4Mbps), 29.7MBps (237.6Mbps) and 12.5MBps (100Mbps) while the latter clocks 13.8MBps (110.4Mbps), 11.8MBps (94.4Mbps) and 5.28MBps (42.2Mbps).
Again the AC1900 class is quicker in both bands, but here the 7490 is amongst the very fastest 1750 routers we have seen with only the Netgear R6250 matching it stride for stride.
USB performance is also positive with the 7490 hitting a rock solid 11MBps (88Mbps), which places it amongst the faster routers, though again the extra processing horsepower in the AC1900 models sees them hit around 15MBps. (note all graphs visible in the gallery)
The question really is 'do you need to buy the Fritz!Box 7490?'. Make use of all its functionality and in replacing your DECT basestation, answering machine, fax (if you still need one) and potentially negating your need for a consumer NAS the substantial £237 asking price will prove well worth it.
The flip side is both consumers and business users prepared to pay this amount of money do have more specialised options available. For consumers AC1900 routers offer substantially better wireless performance in all bands for roughly £60 less and for business users the £229 Draytek 2860NP – while 802.11n only and slower – has far greater security and advanced administrative functionality.
By now you’ll know if you need the AVM Fritz!Box 7490. If you’re still not sure, you don’t.
With the Fritz!Box 7490 AVM has again produced a router unlike any other and now hopped aboard the 802.11ac merry-go-round. Its looks will divide opinion and the setup process needs to be far friendlier to enthusiastic amateurs, but the functionality is superb and wireless performance (particularly 802.11n) is consistently strong. Priced higher than both faster consumer routers and more business focused professional routers means the market for the 7490 will be niche, but we have no doubt owners will be happy with their purchase.