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AVM FRITZ! Card DSL in the test: ADSL and ISDN with one card

AVM FRITZ! Card DSL in the test: ADSL and ISDN with one card

The DSL software

The software was updated by us on January 25th, 2002 ( Version 03.09.12, Build 02.01.25) updated from the AVM download page.

On the one hand, the ' Settings Wizard 'which checks the connection between the PC and the exchange and notifies the user of any errors that may occur. On the other hand, there is the 'ADSL-Watch' program, which provides precise information about the DSL card used and about the remote station in the exchange, namely the so-called DSLAM used there. In addition, it can provide information on the line quality, in which it outputs the signal/noise tolerance and the line attenuation in dB and includes errors such as 'header errors'. The program can also monitor and graphically display the ADSL spectrum. However, this function is hardly useful for laypeople, as most of them will lack the technical knowledge for interpretation.

The next program is FRITZ! Web DSL, a kind of software router that provides Internet access and any approval controlled in the network. A timer is built-in, which disconnects the connection after a freely definable period of time without data traffic. If data is required again after a separation, FRITZ! Web DSL establishes the line again. When accessing the internet, FRITZ! Web DSL does what is known as 'IP masquerading'. This means that the actual IP address given by the provider is not visible on the web.This makes the computer invisible to other Internet users and is therefore protected. Last but not least, there is WebWatch, a simple trace tool that tracks the connection between your own PC and a website and graphically displays the required times (ping) for data packets of different sizes. This can help determine how fast the data is moving between the PC and the website and where possible problems occur.

ADSL Watch 1
ADSL Watch 2

The ISDN software

The FRITZ! ISDN software has been maintained and further developed by AVM for many years. The current version is now 3.02.01 and can be downloaded free of charge from AVM. It comprises the program parts FRITZ! Data, FRITZ! Fax, FRITZ! Fon, FRITZ! Vox and FRITZ! Web. The latter is not to be confused with FRITZ! Web DSL, as it only works with the ISDN part of the card. There is also an address and telephone book and ISDNWatch.

About the programs in detail:

  • FRITZ! Data is used to exchange data between two computers via ISDN. This direct connection always achieves full ISDN speed (64 kb/s). If that is too slow for you, you can also use channel bundling and thus achieve 128 kb/s, although the call charges are doubled. FRITZ! Data also masters server mode, so that callers can access the data from outside. Access protection with distribution of rights is integrated to protect the data from unauthorized access.
  • FRITZ! Fax still seems to be one of the leading fax programs on the market. It can now even be used to receive and send color faxes.Of course, only if the remote station is a color fax or a FRITZ! Fax. FRITZ! Fax is integrated into the operating system as a printer that can be used to simply print out documents. The actual fax program then starts automatically and asks for the recipient's phone number. It is also possible to use call-by-call without having to laboriously enter the number each time. FRITZ! Fax offers the option of managing call-by-call providers separately for local and long-distance calls and automatically using the corresponding area code when sending faxes. A detailed journal function, fax polling and automatic receipt of faxes for certain MSNs are also integrated.
  • With FRITZ! Fon, anyone who has a headset or microphone for their PC no longer needs a telephone. Calls can be accepted or connections established with a click of the mouse. Call-by-call is also supported here. Calls can be recorded and conference calls can be made.
  • FRITZ! Vox is the answering machine that accepts incoming calls if you are absent. It is possible to specify certain texts for different times, i.e. to use a different announcement at the weekend than during the week. Up to four different profiles are possible, which can be assigned to specific times or days with a simple click of the mouse. By default, FRITZ! Vox answers with a pleasant female voice. Of course it is also possible to write your own announcements. The recorded calls are saved as normal WAV files, so a one-minute call takes up around 500 KB on the hard drive.
  • FRITZ! Web is practically the ISDN counterpart to FRITZ! Web DSL, but here we come the administration of the two ISDN channels. It is thus possible to have the second channel switched on automatically when the first channel is very busy. Manual activation is of course also possible, but this does not applywhen using both channels, internet costs usually double. The automatic disconnection by timer is only suitable for providers who do not have a forced start page, as is the case with Freenet, since otherwise you will no longer continue surfing at the same point where you left off. Otherwise, FRITZ! Web shows the data traffic in a small window, separated for the forward and backward channels (upload and download).

You don't need to say much about the address book. It can be used in all parts of the FRITZ! 32 software and also as a normal address book. What remains is ISDNWatch, which can be used to monitor the status of the two ISDN lines. The program is stored as a symbol in the tray bar and shows with two green 'lights' whether and which line is busy. It also logs all incoming and outgoing connections on the two ISDN lines and provides detailed information about the ISDN protocols used.

On the next page: The hardware