FRITZ! Mesh Set, analysis: great coverage and WiFi mesh performance with unique extras on the market

An easy way to improve WiFi coverage at home is to replace the operator router with a more advanced model. And if we need to cover a lot of space, mesh networks are our friends.

The German manufacturer AVM has a mesh solution on the market suitable for all audiences and which is made up of the FRITZ! Box 7530 router and a small but powerful WiFi repeater that is easily integrated into a mesh network with which to achieve a Better WiFi connectivity without effort or settings. And we have tested it.

FRITZ! Mesh Set

We start the FRITZ review! Mesh Set reviewing in a table the main characteristics of the main router of the mesh kit.

FRITZ! Box 7530

Interface

4 Gigabit + RJ11 + USB 3.0 Ethernet ports

Dimensions

208 x 150 x 37 mm

Standards

IEEE 802.11 ac / n / a (5 GHz), IEEE 802.11 b / g / n (2.4 GHz)

Signal rate

400 Mbps at 2.4 GHz // 866 Mbps at 5 GHz

Security

WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK

Protocols

Supports IPv4 and IPv6

Additional features

DSL router with firewall

Advanced features

Mesh / NAS / DECT Base / Media Server

Price

129 euros

The design of the FRITZ! Box 7530 router is quite discreet, it matches the line of all AVM devices but I was pleasantly surprised by how small it is. It includes three physical controls with their corresponding LEDs, which in total are 5 to visually inform us of the operation and connection status of the equipment.

AVM Fritz! Mesh Set International (Fritz! Box 7530 WiFi AC and Fritz! Repeater 1200 WiFi 2x2 AC + N), Dual Band (866 Mbps 5 GHz and 400 Mbps 2.4 GHz), VDSL, ADSL2 +, Interface in Spanish

Today on Amazon for € 179.99

It should be noted that in addition to the WPS button, one is included to quickly enable or disable WiFi connectivity. All of them can be blocked from the web interface of the router options control. There we also control the brightness of the different LEDs and the information that the Info wants us to provide at a glance.

In a very simple and clear way we can manage from the brightness of the LEDs to their physical blocking or the information they transmit to us

In the box, in addition to the FRITZ! Repeater 1200 router and repeater, there is a small instruction manual in several languages, including Spanish, as well as two flat network cables and one 4-meter DSL.

A compact but powerful dual-band router

The main element of the FRITZ kit! Mesh Set is the FRITZ! Box 7530 router, dual band model with WiFi AC in the 5 GHz band (up to 866 Mbps) and WiFi N in the 2.4 GHz band (up to 400 Mbps). It is a neutral router for fiber or to connect directly to VDSL or ADSL networks. It has four Gigabit Ethernet and WAN ports through LAN 1.

It also comes prepared for IP telephony, it has a DECT base station for up to 6 phones, as well as 1 USB 3.0 port to which we can connect printers or hard drives that we want to make accessible on the local network or as a multimedia server. As we will see later, it is also the base for NAS functions (with its own interface) as well as a home automation control center for devices with the DECT-ULE / HAN FUN standard.

The FRITZ! Box 7530 base router does not boast very high pure technical characteristics, but it does have a series of add-ons, services and interfaces that are unique on the market and which really make the difference in the experience.

From the AVM router, it should be noted that it comes standard with an individual wireless network key but also supports creating guest networks, using a VPN very easily or parental controls and management of automatic on / off schedules or connected devices, in addition to a firewall.

FRITZ WiFi performance test! Mesh Set

One of the values ​​of the FRITZ! Box routers is in their simple configuration. In our case, we associate it as a neutral router with the operator's fiber router, for which it is enough to use the LAN1 port as the signal input of the main fiber router.

Once connected to the network, the first time we make the connection we are automatically redirected to the control panel (or we can choose the AVM mobile application) where, after a couple of questions about how we want to configure the router, since we have the new device up and running.

Once identified, the management of the router is very simple and powerful

Once the FRITZ! Box 7530 router has been configured, we proceed to performance tests in a real environment. It is, as in previous router tests in Xataka, * a house with three floors and a total of about 300 m2 useful ** and where the three floors require connectivity, since we have connected equipment in all of them.

This time the challenge is important because for total home coverage we will have only the main router and a repeater, which will make up a single Wifi mesh network to which all the home devices will be connected.

The maroon dot indicates the location of the operator's router, located on the first floor of the single-family home

The location of the operator's router is shown on the plan of the first two floors (the third is an attic), on one side of the first floor with direct access to an interior patio. With the operator we have contracted 100 Mbps for both upload and download.

The challenge of the AVM mesh pack is great: to establish with a repeater a Wifi mesh network that offers us good performance on three floors, with a total of more than 300 square meters

As a starting point we have the measurements made using exclusively the operator's router, taken with an 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac device with dual-band connectivity, always in the same conditions. The measurement points are reflected in the following basic plan of the house (point 6 is located in the attic at the same height as point 1)

The measures we take refer to the average of both the upload and download bandwidth and the ping and performance in web browsing and content streaming, the latter represented in%.

Download bandwidth

Uploaded bandwidth

Ping

Web browsing performance

Streaming performance

Point 1

53 Mbps

70 Mbps

23 ms

89%

81%

Point 2

79 Mbps

68 Mbps

19 ms

66%

55%

Point 3

28.6 Mbps

39.4 Mbps

17 ms

79%

95%

Point 4

66 Mbps

41 Mbps

18 ms

89%

96%

Point 5

-

-

-

-

-

Point 6

-

-

-

-

-

As the measurement table reflects, the operator's router has room for improvement to get the most out of the contracted bandwidth. Also note that at point 5 we no longer receive any signal.

The first performance test was carried out exclusively on the FRITZ! Box 7530 router, with the following results taken under the same conditions.

Download bandwidth

Uploaded bandwidth

Ping

Web browsing performance

Streaming performance

Point 1

124 Mbps

80.7 Mbps

27 ms

90%

96,8%

Point 2

126 Mbps

89 Mbps

19 ms

92%

97%

Point 3

124 Mbps

86 Mbps

17 ms

92,5%

96,7%

Point 4

92 Mbps

53 Mbps

19 ms

89%

96%

Point 5

2.9 Mbps

2.9 Mbps

22 ms

-

-

Point 6

-

-

-

-

-

The table shows the excellent native performance of the FRITZ! Box 7530 router, with a huge difference from that of the operator at the bandwidth level, especially on the first floor, even at point 3 (Lounge), where with that of the operator, the bandwidth drops dramatically. At point 5, although some signal was received, it was not enough to achieve stable content navigation or playback.

For the mesh network configuration, it was enough to connect the dual-band repeater to an outlet (we lose it, it is an improvement to consider) on the second floor (the application advises us on where to place it), press the connect button for a second and Then the same (connect / WPS) of the main router, and after a couple of minutes, the repeater had joined the created mesh network.

Download bandwidth

Uploaded bandwidth

Ping

Web browsing performance

Streaming performance

Point 1

126 Mbps

89.9 Mbps

18 ms

92,2%

97,2%

Point 2

93 Mbps

82 Mbps

19 ms

90%

94,5%

Point 3

126 Mbps

59 Mbps

19 ms

92,5%

97,2%

Point 4

123 Mbps

96 Mbps

18 ms

92,2%

96,8%

Point 5

82.5 Mbps

72.3 Mbps

21 ms

92%

96,7%

Point 6

64 Mbps

35 Mbps

20 ms

91%

96,5%

While we lose some bandwidth on the first floor in areas where the signals from the main router and repeater mix, the improvement in coverage and performance on the second floor thanks to the repeater is staggering.

Next, to check the coverage of the mesh network, we have the heat map of the WiFi signal, which shows us that, as we intended, with this combination of router and AVM repeater, we are able to meet the needs of connectivity on two floors and more than 200 square meters.

Finally we have a graph of the stability of the Wifi network at a specific point:

Wifi network stability of AVM router

Simple and expandable mesh networks

AVM has seen the value of mesh networks and enables their compatible routers and repeaters to be easily integrated to form an effective WiFi mesh network. In this kit, along with the main router comes a FRITZ repeater! Repeater 1200, with dual-band connectivity (400 Mbps in 2.4 GHz and 866 Mbps in 5 GHz) and that also has a Gigabit Ethernet port.

Although in our tests it was shown enough to cover our starting needs, if we wanted, we could keep adding more repeaters even using FRITZ routers! from other ranges as long as they are updated to the latest version of the operating system.

Very visual diagram of the mesh network and the devices connected to each point

Much more than a Wifi Mesh router: NAS, multimedia server ...

In addition to its excellent performance within its technical characteristics, the differential value that AVM offers in its FRITZ routers! We find it both in the extras associated with telephony services, multimedia server or NAS, as well as in the interface and control and management applications of its options and configuration.

The router's administration panel is not only very complete but practically all the tasks and options are perfectly explained so that they can be handled by novices in managing Wi-Fi networks

Some of the service configuration options, such as parental control, are among the most complete that we can find on the market. We have the very simple and visual possibility of creating lists of permitted or blocked access to web or IP addresses, as well as creating configurable access profiles, prioritizing services or managing the time of use of each of the devices that connect to the net.

Powerful parental control but at the same time very simple and intuitive to configure

DECT telephony, NAS and multimedia server

The FRITZ! Box 7530 router has a USB 3.0 port on one side which, in addition to adding elements such as printers to the local network, supports other, much more practical uses. An example is that of NAS functionality.

Once a USB is connected to said port, we can use that space as the main unit of a NAS that has its own interface, simple but sufficient for many users looking for a shared storage space on the network, both local and over the Internet.

AVM router NAS functionality interface

This router also includes multimedia server functionality, which can be easily accessed with DLNA and UPnP compatible players, also having a specific zone and configuration on the interface, but just as intuitive and simple to use.

In the event that we need to efficiently manage landline calls, this AVM router includes an RJ11 connector and a base for up to 6 DECT phones, in addition to VoIP. And for them there are answering, registration and call management functions or access to the contact directory.

FRITZ! Mesh Set, Xataka's opinion

Used to the fact that kits for home mesh networks are made up of teams with several routers, the FRITZ! Mesh Set is a proposal from the German manufacturer AVM, quite simple but very powerful in its performance, as it has been shown in our tests in a real environment.

Although its data sheet is not dazzling, in practice, the combination of the FRITZ! Box 7530 router with the FRITZ! Repeater Repeater 1200 has been a very valid proposal to form a WiFi Mesh network system that can also grow with more brand routers.

But the best of the AVM solution we find again in all the management and configuration part of the router, very intuitive and complete, also providing unique extras on the market such as the integrated DECT base, support for home automation equipment or a NAS and server multimedia that any user can use.

AVM Fritz! Mesh Set International (Fritz! Box 7530 WiFi AC and Fritz! Repeater 1200 WiFi 2x2 AC + N), Dual Band (866 Mbps 5 GHz and 400 Mbps 2.4 GHz), VDSL, ADSL2 +, Interface in Spanish

Today on Amazon for € 179.99

The FRITZ Wifi Mesh Kit! it has been released for testing by AVM. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises

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