FRITZ! Box 3370 - Everything's Networked With FRITZ

5/27/2013 2:59:36 PM

Suffering from numeracy dyslexia, Graham Morrison wonders whether we’ve reviewed this model before.

There’s a regular stream of new FRITZ! Boxes, and we’ve looked at a couple in the past. We like them because they’re a decent upgrade to an ISP bundled ADSL router, they add many NAS-like features such as USB storage and media streaming and their embedded Linux is often easily hackable. The last model we looked at even added VOIP functionality, complete with the ports to bridge a standard DECT phone system with the internet.

FRITZ! Box 3370

FRITZ! Box 3370

To keep costs low, this latest model does away with home telephony ports, though not the functionality, but thankfully keeps its predecessor’s Gigabit Ethernet. We just wish more manufacturers included more than four ports, because it’s a number starting to feel quite limited in many living rooms.

The big update for this model is the wireless connectivity. It’s one of the first devices to offer dual band 450Mbps, using MIMO. There’s no ability to run both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks at the same time, which is a pain if you’ve got older wireless hardware, but in our tests this wireless upgrade has paid off. Over the same area as the previous model, we noticed there was around 30% extra signal strength over two floors, with a corresponding increase in upload and download speeds. The firmware has also been updated. Not only do you get the excellent frequency chart for your local conditions, you now get a comprehensive list of all the wireless networks in your area, so you can position and configure the router to get the best possible performance from your local circumstances.

We’ve had excellent results from the UPnP AV streaming server, which allows you to share your movies and music across the LAN, and the new version includes cloud backup for your data, as well as access from the wider internet, using the MyFRITZ! Account and portal configuration. FritzNAS automatically when connected, so there really is very little configuration needed.

Restricted access

The 3370, despite being an ADSL modern, has a first Ethernet port that can also be configured as a bridge for use with a cable modern

The 3370, despite being an ADSL modern, has a first Ethernet port that can also be configured as a bridge for use with a cable modern

Our favorite firmware feature can be found with the Access Rules page. From here, you can create both white and black lists on a per-device basis, so that you can restrict specific machines on your network to specific sites online.

The back list can even be populated automatically, using a module indexed by the German federal government. You can also drag specific times into a horizontal time chart, plus filter sites according to HTTPS, giving you a lot of easy control over which people within your household can access the network and how. We’ve not seen any router with similar facilities, which could make this a very useful feature for concerned parents.

Box 3370 details

However, Linux backers aren’t going to be so pleased. Our biggest disappointment with the 3370 fantastic Freetz project. This would allow you to build a custom version of the firmware and install all kinds of third-party packages, just as you can with OpenWRT, which is also unsupported. This isn’t going to affect normal users, but it does diminish the usefulness of this device in our eyes, making this Fritz!Box an ideal choice as a plug ‘n’ play replacement for your ISP’s device, but a little uninspiring if you want to explore its Linux origins further than enabling telnet.

Tech specs

§  ADSL/VDSL wirless modem router

§  802.11a/b/g/n dual-band wireless

§  3x3 MIMO

§  2.4/5GHz non-concurrent radio

§  2x USB 2.0 port

§  4x gigabit Ethernet Prt

§  IPv6 support

§  DLNA server

§  SIP-based telephony

§  VLAN support


§  Developer: AVM GmbH

§  Price: $210

§  Ratings: 7/10


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