FRITZ!Box 7270 Review

FRITZ!Box 7270Summary

This is the tale of my tragic love affair between me and my FRITZ!Box, and how it all ended in tears.

Introduction: Love at First…

My old Belkin router was getting tired, so I was looking for a more modern, more reliable replacement. Being a proper geek, however, I didn’t want just any old router. I wanted something a bit special.

So, one fine Google, I came across the FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN. Far more than just a simple router, these curiously-named units have an extraordinary range of functionality, stellar reviews, and a reputation of being a hackers dream. Made in Germany by AVM, these units are extremely popular on the continent, but are almost unheard of in the UK.

A little more research revealed that there was a new model of the FRITZ!Box in the pipeline. The 7270 combined all the features of the previous FRITZ!Box with some significant updates and some tasty new features. At around £200, the new model wasn’t cheap, but nevertheless I was proper smitten.

Who wouldn’t want the following:

  • Networking:
    • 4 Ethernet ports
    • WIFI 802.11N (draft 2.0) with MIMI for increased data rates
    • ADSL2+ broadband router (annex A or B, so should work anywhere in the world)
    • DHCP server
    • FTP server
  • PBX:
    • Connect to ISDN or POTS telephone network
    • 2 wired phone ports
    • 1 ISDN port for ISDN equipment
    • Fax machine support
    • Multiple answering machines
    • Base unit for up to 6 cordless digital telephone handsets (DECT)
  • USB 2.0 Host supporting:
    • Printers
    • USB storage (memory key or hard drive)
  • Wireless UPnP Media server
  • Low power consumption

Back in October 2008 I had a birthday; one of the milestone ones when you can ask for big presents. Now, the German version of the 7270 was already available, but the UK version was not due for release until sometime after my special day. Nevertheless, I was prepared to wait for something with so much promise.

I asked my wife to invest on one on my behalf.

I said I was a proper geek, didn’t I?

Reality with FRITZ!Box: Love Turns Sour

In fairness to AVM, the basic functions generally work well. However, if I had wanted basic functions then I would have invested in a basic device. Several of the features that most appealed to me when I originally looked at the device just don’t work seem to work properly:

  • My cordless digital phone works, but the menus on the phone are unusable because they are in German.
  • As far as I can tell, it is impossible to play back more than one message from the built-in answering machine. It is impossible to delete messages.
  • The built-in media server presents menus on my Internet Radio in German.
  • The media-server presents only a small sub-set of the loaded music to my Internet Radio.
  • The USB hard-drive I have connected to the box is sometimes not found [Update: Now resolved].
  • My ADSL connection drops from time-to-time. Reconnection requires the FRITZ!Box to be reset [Update: Now resolved].
  • As suggested on a German support forum, I enabled Telnet on my box so I could inspect various config values on the box. Since then, I have a message on the config screen for the device that states “Changes not supported by manufacturer”. There is a help page associated with this message that suggests resetting this message by running a file on the CD. The file was not supplied on my CD. (Side note: It really doesn’t help that most of the independently published information about AVM products is in German) [Update: Now resolved].

I have contacted AVM technical support about some of these issues, but so far have been greeted with either:

  • No response
  • A response asking for more information, followed by no further communication when I sent that information
  • A suggestion that issues would be resolved with a firmware upgrade at some indeterminate time in the future.

Until I get a proper response on the ones I have already reported, I don’t feel inclined to report the rest.

Conclusion: An Unhappy Relationship

In conclusion then, if you want the tried-and tested basic functionality of the product then you’ll get it (but at a price). If you want the bells and whistles that you pay for, then you’ll be disappointed.

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35 Responses to FRITZ!Box 7270 Review

  1. Michael says:

    Hmm I knew there had to be at least some bad press out there, are you sure you weren’t sent a German one?

    I am really keen on this and to discover it is as rubbish as every other router is annoying to say the least

    • kramii says:

      Michael,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Yes, I am certain I was sent the international version.

      Since posting the review I have had some responses from AVM:

      Having installed the latest firmware, the ADSL connection appears to be stable. This was the most annoying problem with the FRITZ!Box, so I am delighted that it is fixed.

      Also, they have sent me a link to a piece of software that should reset the FRITZ!Box to get rid of the “Changes not supported” message on the front screen. I have not had the chance to try it yet.

      The other issues still remain, however. I imagine that future firmware patches may fix some or all of these, but at the moment they remain.

      At the end of the day, it depends on your needs. You may not need the functions that still don’t work properly, in which case the FRITZ!Box might be a good buy for you – I certainly can’t find anything remotely comparable from another manufacturer. Unfortunately, however, the outstanding issues still prevent me from using it in the ways that I had intended.

  2. xs says:

    Well I’m from Italy and I must say I am totally happy with my Fritz!Box 7270. Sleep mode is wonderful, firmware update is sooo easy, I plugged a (NTFS!) 1 Tera HD and now I have a perfect NAS (a bit slow tho), VPN configurable in a glimpse, priority management (on base of IP’s) … what else? But I have never tried it with cordless phones.

    • DM says:

      From Italy I had the following problems:

      1) USB Hard Disk connected to FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270 can only be read from a networked Mac using ftp. I cannot write it.

      2) I cannot delete messages from the cordless or indeed from the administration site of FRITZ!Box.

      If you have a solution to any of these problems, please let me know.
      AVM support (after 10 messages) did not solved the problem 1). They said.

      “We are currently examining the case that computers running Mac OS X cannot
      access a USB hard disk via SMB when a network access password has been
      assigned via the FRITZ!Box user interface. Currently the cause of this
      issue has not been determined.

      If the problem lies on our side, we will provide a solution with a
      forthcoming firmware update. However, at this stage, we cannot predict when
      such an update will be released as it has to pass various thorough test
      phases. These tests can reveal that certain development stages are not
      completed, thus postponing the final release.

      Until the availability of such a firmware update or a solution provided by
      an update of MAC OS X, please use the following workaround:

      1. Open the user interface of the FRITZ!Box (http://fritz.box).
      2. Click Settings > (Advanced Settings >) Storage (NAS)”
      or (if “Storage (NAS)” is not present), click USB Devices > Mass
      Storage Devices.
      3. Enter a new password that only contains digits (0-9).
      4. Save the settings by clicking “Apply”.

      Best regards,

  3. kramii says:

    xs:

    Thanks for your post. I am delighted that the FritzBox works well for you. I agree that some of its features do work very well indeed.

  4. LakisFM1 says:

    can you please post that link for the program to fix the “changes not supported” notification ?

    Did you put he .67 firmware ? In other sites they report problems. is it ok to you?

  5. kramii says:

    LakisFM1:

    The program to remove the “changes not supported” message can be found here:

    ftp://ftp.avm.de/fritz.box/fritzbox.fon_wlan_7270/x_misc/english/FRITZ.Box_Fon_W
    LAN_7270.en-de-es-it.04.67.recover-image.exe

    I do have the .67 firmware loaded. It is a significant improvement on the previous version (see the resolved issues in my original post), but my Fritz!Box continues to let me down in the other areas that I noted.

    I would be interested to know where other users have reported problems with the .67 release.

  6. LakisFM1 says:

    i have the .67 now and seem to work ok.
    The only problem i still have is that the DECT phone after some hours it stop ringing when someone calls. Rebooting fixes the problem but i prefer to use the DECT via the old-fashioned-stable jack 😦

  7. Roger says:

    Comments on the Fritz Box review

    I also have had a 7270 since it was released in the UK last November, having previously used a 7140 for just over a year. So why did I upgrade? I was clearly happy with my 7140 but was particularly interested in the fax to email which was offered on the 7270. But like Kramii, I have had some unexpected problems with the 7270.

    First, my system. I use O2 LLU broadband with a dynamic IP address which is linked to the MAC address of the router since it does not use login credentials. I mention this because my main current problem is that upon loss of connection the router syncs again, but often does not pick up the dynamic IP address until it is physically switched off. This is a serious problem if we are away from home as the VOIP stops working. This wasn’t a problem with the 7140 as it was very stable. Why did I upgrade. Well, I had read that AVM were no longer supporting the 7140 and they told me that they couldn’t say when or if the fax software would be available. (In the event the .67 version of the software is now available on the 7140.)

    So I bought the 7270 intending to use the 7140 as a wireless extender. The 7270 came with the .63 software and was completely useless. It was unstable, reported very strange DSL connection data and after a short while, as I was too busy at the time to investigate further, I just put the 7140 back for a couple of months. Since I discovered the updated software I have been using the 7270 but it is not as stable as the 7140 and is causing me the problem with not finding the IP address on reconnection. (Incidentally I have spent an hour on the phone to O2 but they are unable to solve this.)

    Otherwise I am reasonably happy but hoping that there will be another upgrade soon. I like the messaging to email service which works well for me, but the fax to email service which I wanted does not receive completed faxes – I have no idea why – so I cannot use this yet. DECT phones appear to depend on the model. I have some old BT DECT phones made by Siemens, which work well displaying incoming and out going numbers but with a permanent flashing message symbol as had been reported on a German list. My Panasonic DECT phones do not pick up the display from the Fritz Box so I use these as I did on the 7140 on Fon1.

    My USB hard drive and USB printer work well on the Fritz Box, although sending large amounts of data to the hard drive does seem to cause the Box to lose its broadband sync. Click to dial (which hadn’t worked on the 7140 with earlier software) works. I have not tried music or video streaming.

    Based on my past experience, I expect that AVM will eventually solve these problems but it is disappointing that they occur at all.

  8. jordi says:

    hi,

    I’ve the same problem that you report with ADSL connection…. “My ADSL connection drops from time-to-time. Reconnection requires the FRITZ!Box to be reset [Update: Now resolved].”

    how do you solved it?
    thanks

  9. kramii says:

    jordi:

    My ADSL problems were mostly cured when I installed the latest firmware. At the moment, it is here:

    http://www.avm.de/en/frame/frame.php?destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwebgw.avm.de%2Fdownload%2FUpdateNews_en.jsp%3Flang%3Den

    I do still get the *occasional* drop-out, but I put this down to line quality / ISP issues. The main thing is, I no longer have to reboot the Fritz!Box every half-hour. Instead, just it picks up the connection again on its own.

  10. Altellott says:

    Impressive Article , I thought it was special

    I look forward to more similar postings like this one. Does Your Blog have a RSS I can subscribe to for new postings?

  11. very nice, thank’s for shared 🙂

  12. Marcoscu says:

    I was eager to buy a 7270 as I was very happy with my 7140 and was keen to make use of the new features.
    I am now on my third 7270, the previous two having been exchanged by AVM support, and it all seems to working so far, three days in.

    The problems I had were many and varied. Basically they revolved around a lack of stability, DSL outages and the need to hard reboot every few days, then the USB socket stopped recognising anything plugged into it.

    I am away from home a good deal and need a stable and reliable network so I can access my security cameras from afar. My domestic alarm system also connects to the 7270 and calls my iPhone over VOIP when triggered. The answerfone messages delivered by email is great for me and when working the whole system runs a treat.

    I have tinkered with the uPnP server and found it slow and clunky and only supports audio files. The USB storage works OK but with a clumsy interface. The networked printer works great with my Samsung printer and it is great to be able to print wirelessly. The VOIP features were perfectly and are simple to set up. Only it will only support a restricted number of USB G3 modems when you find one that does (I use a Vodafone) it is first rate.

    I have found AVM support to be very good indeed. The 7270 comes with a 5 year warranty and, as I said, it has been exchanged twice without question. AVM support have telephoned me twice to discuss the problems and could not have been more helpfull – and so they should.

    If the new 7270 continues to run as it is now then I shall be very happy and my wavering faith in AVM will have been restored.

  13. very nice thank’s 🙂

  14. James Pirie says:

    Hi Folks,
    JKust thought my tuppence worth might be useful in this thread.
    I regognised myself in the OP’s review. Smitten 🙂

    I wanted it all too and, sad to say, the Fritz Box didn’t deliver. As I type I am sitting looking at it on the wall, still somewhat smitten but bitterly disappointed.
    So why? Let me try and explain.

    First of all, and still the greatest issue for me is the fact that once all your telephones are routed through Fritz and there is a power outage….comms are stuffed, gone, zilcho nill nothing at all!
    This is bizarre and I for one cannot understand why anyone would think it’s a good idea to take this step backwards? Our phone system in the U.K. has always had it’s own emergency backup power supply therefore maintaining comms in a power outage. Why would you take that service away by attaching Fritz?
    Ok, it’s a rare occurrence but, from my point of view working, as I do, for the Ambulance Service, I simply must make every effort to remain in contact for work (I work from home) Also, my employer pays for the telephone line so I would be foolish to render it inoperable on a whim!
    Obvious answer is to attach another corded phone to the master socket but then you take away another huge part of the functionality of the Fritz and that is controlling which phone rings and when! It’s all nonsense if you have a fixed telephone ringing for everything, well fixed line anyway which accounts for the majority of our incoming calls.
    Finally, when I did do the above, i,e. attache another corded phone at an other extension (in the bedroom) and someone was tepted to make a call from it, any call it wasn’t fussy, the Fritz box set up a “Withheld” call to every extension attached to it!!! WTF?
    I hassled my telephone provider thinking this maight be something to do with the exchange but no, disabling fritz stopped the problem.
    Ok, so we can’t make calls from the spare phone….. Fair enough? Well, no actually not fair enough at all.

    I too was dissatisfied with the DECT feature. I had visions of the Fritz Box replacing both my DECT base set and my old Router in one go. Much neater solution, less wires, less power etc etc.
    Immediately the whole family were horrified. NO CALL LIST!! So, let me see now, I have purchased an extremely capable Seimens Gigaset with Caller ID and a comprehensive call list and phonebook linked together as one. And now I have….Nothing. Oh yes, I get a rudimentary CLiP service from Fritz the number calling pops up while the call is ringing in, even a name if you have programmed the Fritz Phone book but then…it’s gone. No missed call indcator nothing.
    We immediately pressed the Gigaset base back into service and switched off DECT.
    So, now I have Gigaset attached to FON2 and a corded Interquartz desktop phone in Fon1 and of course a spare set in the bedroom extension 😦
    The Gigaset now feeds back my voice to it’s own earpiece for the first 20 seconds or so of every incoming or outgoing call placed on it!! This simply never happened before so is nothing to do with my IP service or landline or, in fact, the Gigaset. It’s Fritz!
    Finally, the bundled software FritzDSL can never find the box, well very rarely anyway! Just tells me I don’t have one.

    I could not get callthrough to work no matter what I did and there are no instructions on how to achieve this in the manual.

    I too love the “Night Service” feature where only VIP callers can get you but this is too much money for a service which was and is available on a standard Philips cordless phone!

    I have had a limited success with AVM support, although someone did try to call me while I was out.

    I would definately keep Fritz and try and workl through these issues with the help of AVM and firmware updates but the Analogue fallback at power outage is a hardware issue and can only be solved by a redesign in my humble opinion? I can’t believe that no one else is concerned about this.

    There are many many great things about this box and I would still recommend it as a purchase to the average user who does not depend on the telephone for work, otherwise, and until the passthrough issue is fixed I would advise against this box.
    No, I’ve asked for a refund and am investing in a Draytek 2820vn for now. Not nearly as much fun or as crammed with “features” as the Fritz but still an extremely capable router with ADSL/WLAN b,g,and n, a PBX system with fallback to Analogue line on DSL or power outage a Firewall and apparently infinate configuration options for controlling your network. It’s a bit more complicated to setup but I feel it will fill the gap left by Fritz when he goes.

    Thanks for reading this far!

    Cheers.

    James
    An ex AVM Customer.

  15. osu says:

    Did you try to compile your own firmware based on freetz? here it is http://trac.freetz.org/. It gives a lot more options.

  16. Francis Edwards says:

    As a previous owner of a 7140, I was also looking forward to the 7240 upgrade and indeed investigated the 7270, but have been disappointed in exactly the same way as the two long entry additions pointed out above. I also have a Siemens Gigaset S685IP phone and am reluctant to lose the call list and multiple answer machine, but am particularly frustrated by the German language use on the phone (I’m OK, but the Irish girlfriend and kids aren’t). In addition, I also have the same issue about powered back up as like many people surely you want to locate the communication devices in close proximity, but also to handle failover of telephone lines and use a minimum of power sockets. I use the VoIP and this at least is good with options to handle all my overseas contacts on different SIP accounts, but the let downs for me include WEP for repeater when trying to reuse my old 7140 as a repeater (oh well may have to pay over odds for another 7170 or cable version when it comes out) and also the stability which seemed to be affected by the heat last summer.
    In Summary;
    Wifi/LAN Good – use Wifi printer and NAS attached to Ethernet
    VoIP and Phone good – pity DECT can’t replace my S685IP (which was more stable in the hot weather and I had to diable VoIP in router!)
    Updates/Managing good – even works now I’m on cable via Lan port 1 (looking forward to new 6600 series which supports cable and replaces yet another powered unit in comms cupboard)
    Android App for VoIP .. wish this could be in english so that I can use VoIP over Wifi on my mobile!

    So AVM please update DECT menu to english so that we get value from router and fail over of phone on power loss would be a lovely update and preferable available on the new cable router and then I may just buy one and reuse my 7270 as an expensive (but secure) repeater to improve WiFi about the home.

  17. Hi everybody !
    First, I want to apologize for my english!

    I’m one of AVM FRitz! Products reseller from France. I’m also in love with Fritz! products, all of them, that’s why I made the Fritz Land, a shop where there are only fritz! products, because these products don’t have to be melt with other one’s! You could visit my webshop, sign up and put reviews to help me making people aware of these devices.
    I’ve also made a forum where you can talk about what you want, only if there ‘s a direct relation with Fritz!
    Thanks AVM and thanks to the guy who made this page, thanks to others for using and talking about Fritz!

  18. MarcoS says:

    I think I was one of the first buyers of a Fritz 7270. 🙂
    I was very disappointed with the first firmware release (too many DSL disconnection and need to restart), but a simple firmware upgrade resolved.
    But…
    …from now on it connects only at about half the speed of my DSL. All other routers connect at full speed but the Fritz.
    I tried to contact support, they told me to reset to the factory settings (using the recovery image file) but it doesn’t recognize my 7270, and there’s no way to make it work.
    My workaround was to put a Zyxel between 7270 and DSL, but I would like to resolve.
    Is there anybody out here having the same problem?

  19. Hello,

    Did you said your Fritzbox is not recognized ? Strange ! If you want to make an upgrade of the firmware then go to this page http://www.avm.de/en/Download/index.php3?js=enabled
    Choose yours and make manual upgrade.
    You also said your fritzbox connects half your adsl speed ? I don’t know if it will help but see in Internet configuration options in the fritzbox, be sure to be in expert mode, so you can see everything. Look after DSL speed and put your correct adsl debit if you know it or an approximation !
    User manual is very helpful : http://www.avm.de/en/service/manuals/FRITZBox/Manual_FRITZBox_Fon_WLAN_7270.pdf

    Hope this will help you ! Regards
    momilc

  20. Mark Irqan says:

    I just recently bought FB 7270. It came with the latest Firmware version 54.04.81 already installed. I noticed immediately after connecting the box that the internet speed dropped to 1/4 – 1/3 of its original speed of I usefully get using my older ADSL modem. I tried then to check the line using different modems and I came to the conclusion that Fritz box is giving me a slower speed.
    When I contacted the AVM technical support about this issues, they asked met for more information; copy of technical info from the box, the screen shots of the installation, DSL connection, debug files, and so on. I was emailing them for about 2 months now, and they say they didn’t find any problems. They say that they are unaware that any customer using this modem having the same speed issue. Finally I was fed up en stopped contacting them.
    I am now using Fritzbox only as router behind my old modem which gives me the full DSL speed. It is a shame that I am now forced not to use the DSL capabilities of the fritz box because of the speed issue. may be with the next firmware update this will be solved. I am very disappointed with frtizbox 7270. having paid around 200 euros for it I had expected a better functionality and a better service

  21. Petr Svoboda says:

    I have 7270 v2 international version and cannot see any USB storage. When I plug in DVD player it says”The USB storage medium is not integrated” and if I plug in normal harddrive it does not even show I have anything plugged in. My firmware is 54.05.05

  22. HaloViper says:

    I bought the 7270 and spent 3 hours on the phone with their tech support just to be told that its probably not compatible with the ADSL from my exchange – take it back for a refund??? What a load of rubbish!

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    What’s up friends, its enormous paragraph regarding tutoringand fully defined, keep it up all the time.

  27. rubbish says:

    Remarkable issues here. I am very satisfied to peer your article.
    Thanks a lot and I’m taking a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  28. Everything is very open with a really clear description of the challenges.
    It was really informative. Your site is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  29. Blogman says:

    The USB hard-drive I have connected to the box is sometimes not found [Update: Now resolved].

    How did you resolve this? I seem to have the same problem.

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