Customers of Zen Internet’s small business and residential focused “Fibre Broadband” (FTTC/P) packages in the UK will be pleased to know that the ISP has upgraded their standard router to the advanced FRITZ!Box 3490, which will now be included “free-of-charge” as part of the standard activation.
The development is significant because AVM’s FRITZ!Box 3490 is a very well rated and highly respected router, which supports strong features like ultrafast 802.11ac WiFi, two USB v3.0 ports, integrated VDSL2 + ADSL2, four Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) ports and IPv6 among many other things.
The 3490 normally sells for around £120+ in the shops and is thus much better than the budget kit that most rival ISPs tend to bundle. Apparently existing customers will also be offered an option to upgrade to the new kit “at a highly competitive price,” although Zen’s update doesn’t say how much that will cost (we’ve asked and will update).
Andy Sayle, Zen’s Product Manager for Broadband, said:
“We live in a world where all the devices we use are increasingly smart. Not only our computers but our phones, TVs and even light bulbs all want to connect to the internet – and the thing that connects everything together is our WiFi router.
The right router goes a long way towards having a frustration-free experience on all of our connected devices. That’s why we’ve partnered with AVM to bring the FRITZ!Box 3490 to our customers. The FRITZ!Box offers great performance and great features to provide a fantastic experience.”
Generally speaking AVM’s kit has tended to be a bit more aimed at advanced users and the FRITZ!OS software inside related routers definitely plays to that crowd, which on the downside can make it a little more fiddly for novice users. On the other hand the most recent software / firmware releases are much cleaner and easier to setup.
FRITZ!Box 3490 – Simplified Specification Sheet
* VDSL2 + Vectoring or ADSL2+ line
* 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, WAN via LAN 1 port
* Wireless AC with up to 1,300 Mbit/s
* Wireless N with up to 450 Mbit/s
* 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz frequency bands simultaneously
* 2 x USB 3.0 port for printers and storage media
* Media server makes music, pictures and videos in the network available to devices in the home network (SMB, FTP, UPnP AV)
* Supports devices compliant with DLNA
* Parental controls, push service, cloud contacts, online storage
* FRITZ!NAS – simple, browser-based access to all files in the network
* firewall/NAT, DHCP server, DynDNS client, UPnP AV
* Stateful Packet Inspection Firewall with port forwarding
* Support for IPv6
* Secure remote access over the Internet with VPN (IPSec)
* Dimensions (W x H x D): 245 x 55 x 175 mm
* Power consumption: 8-20 W
Zen informs ISPreview.co.uk that the FRITZ!Box 3490 is free for all new customers who take a 12 month contact, including customers who buy their “Unlimited Broadband” product (ADSL). Likewise FTTP subscribers will also receive the same kit. Meanwhile existing customers can upgrade for £75 including VAT and next day delivery by DPD.
In addition, Zen said they were also offering their Unlimited Broadband product at a discounted rate for the first 6 months of only £16.99/month including Line Rental. It costs £32.99 per month including line rental thereafter. 12 month contract applies.
UPDATE 22nd April 2017
As one of our readers has correctly spotted, Zen’s new router might not be quite as “free” as they claim because the activation fee on their FTTC broadband packages has also quietly increased from £30 to £55. Mind you £55 for just the 3490 alone is still a pretty good bargain and that also has to cover the fibre activation.