Unified Home Networks with the Fritzbox
The Fritzbox is an all-in-one device from Avm.de. Such devices are quite popular in Europe, where operators usually bundle them with their "triple play" offers. These devices, also called home-gateways, provide DSL and VOIP connectivity to the operator, WIFI and LAN connectivity for the local computers, and telephone sockets (FXS) to connect traditional phones to a flat-rate plan. Many of them also offer digital TV service in high resolution (but not as good as HDTV). They are usually plug-and-play, and are owned and remotely manageable by the telecom operator. The Fritzbox is more than that.
European-style leased devices satisfy most users but leave many geeks unhappy. What if you want to own your own hardware? What if you want to mix different offers from different operators? What if you do not want to ditch your PSTN phone service? What if you already have VOIP service? What if you do not trust your operator security setting? What if your operator does not yet offer such home gateways?