When you live in a 55sqm apartment it’s easy to think that you won’t need a repeater to have a strong WiFi signal across your entire flat. But the truth is apartments are not optimized for signal strength and to get even coverage. So if you buy a WLAN DSL router you should consider a mesh wifi repeater like the FritzBox 7590 with Fritz!WLAN Repeater 2400.
Why a Router isn’t enough!
Wifi Routers are getting more powerful and evolving with every generation, but they still have their limitations when it comes to the Wifi performance itself. In most instances it’s not even the providers fault. Few homes these days are designed to cater you the best possible Wifi experience. That’s why your ISP Connection normally is placed in the worst possible location. In my case I have to place my Router somewhere between two 30cm thick reinforced concrete walls. Since all my living areas are located behind these walls the Wifi experience is far from good.
When I took over the apartment I moved into, it had regular DSL internet and decided to upgrade my internet to fast Super DSL (super vectoring). Interestingly, I was slow to switch routers after I made the upgrade and the Super Vectoring took only a few weeks to burn out the 4 year old router. Switching to a router that supported Super Vectoring made the connection noticeably more even in speeds.
The AVM Fritzbox 7590 has an integrated DSL with super vectoring 35b modem. The router transmits at 2.4 GHz and in the 5 GHz band, the box manages up to 1733 Mbps nominally in 4×4 multi-user MIMO 802.11ac Wave 2 mode.
What I like about the 2400 in combination with the 7590 is that is a Mesh. Mesh routers are made to blanket your home in Wi-Fi, extending way beyond what a single router can do by sharing that network across multiple devices. It’s like having multiple routers in your home, but they all share a single, seamless Wi-Fi network.
When lying in bed only 10m from the router, through a concrete thick wall, I would have trouble staying connected while lying in bed using my 2 year old laptop. After recently moving to Germany, it quickly became clear to me why the AVM Fritz Repeater 2400 was being marketed heavily as a bundle with the 7590.
Coupling the Fritz-Box 7590 with the Fritz-Repeater 2400 is very easy:
Plug in and connect both devices near by while in the same room so that they start up.
Briefly press the WPS button on the repeater and the connect button on the Fritzbox within 2 minutes. Doing this gets them to connected to each other with out you having to do anything else. As soon as the hectic flashing stops on both devices, the pairing is complete.
The repeater is removed from the socket and brought to its final place.
Ideally, the Repeater 2400 should be located roughly in the middle between the 7590 and the WLAN end devices. This wasn’t possible with my bedroom set up and the position of the wall sockets, so I faced the Repeater 2400 facing the bed. The repeater puts of a signal that’s predominantly facing forward. So the 180degress in front of the router will get the best coverage.
The Repeater 2400 has cross band repeating, which means the data switches from one band to the other during transmission, and there is no loss of speed. It’s possible because transmission and reception run parallel during the switch. When you have same band repeating, data transmission and reception occur one after the other.
Repeaters have a strong signal in close proximity but can’t handle the thick concrete walls well, they definitely help with boosting the signal strength. Where I was dropping connection occasionally, I get three bars, which is very stable, but it’s not the full 4 bars of connectivity strength. Having said that, I had no internet when I walked to the furthest point of my apartment from the Router, so this is a massive improvement.