A Look Inside the Think Tank...
I have finally treated ourselves to a decent Wi-Fi router with integrated DSL modem at home: a shiny new "Made in Germany" AVM FRITZ!Box 7270.
After hesitating for a long time and fiddling with (i) the crappy Wi-Fi router with integrated DSL modem that our ISP Alice (Hansenet) have provided us with, or (ii) a combination of an older Wi-Fi FON router together with a separate DSL modem, I have finally jumped the cliff and bought a FRITZ!Box despite the maybe a bit steep price tag of almost 200€. You can make a good bargain by buying used ones, or getting branded ones (mine has a 1&1 branding, but the inertia are exactly the same as the original FRITZ!Box). Make sure to get the latest version, which is v3 (not sure what exactly is the difference to earlier versions, but hey, we always want the latest and greatest).
Finally we can use our LAN (not Wi-Fi) printer on all machines, have the full 10–12MBit (typography nerds, I have used an en dash here!) connection even in the last corner of the apartment, the network-enabled stereo system plays music without stuttering, we have a fax, can connect DECT and cable landline phones, make SIP calls, have DynDNS updates, and, yeah, browse the Web anywhere! Bonus points for the detailed energy monitor and night-off mode (I'm pretty anal about saving energy). To some, these features might sound trivial, but we are exploring an entirely new world.
Our requirements are actually simple: connect Wi-Fi devices in the whole apartment including the balcony, which should be able to use a shared laser printer with an Ethernet LAN connection. With all previous connection options we could either reach full apartment Wi-Fi coverage but no printer connection (as the FON router has no LAN port), or printer connection but no full Wi-Fi coverage (as the crappy Alice router is too weak antenna-wise), or, as a last resort, use too many devices in combination (DSL modem, Alice Wi-Fi router for the printer and FON router for all other devices).
Short message: if you're looking for an energy-efficient, fast Wi-Fi router with integrated DSL modem and excellent Wi-Fi coverage, look no further! I should have bought this baby earlier.
AVM FRITZ!Box 7270 Wi-Fi Router