AVM’s FritzBox is more than just a high-performance DSL or cable router for your home Internet connection: Thanks to powerful smart home functions, the device is also the control center for electrical appliances, lighting and many other smart applications. There is also a huge advantage over other smart home systems: A current FritzBox is usually already available, which means that the expensive control center, which has to be operated as an additional device – such as with Apple’s home kit in the form of an expensive Apple TV – omitted. This tip will tell you what you need to know about the FritzBox as a smart home center.
Large range: Connection of devices via DECT
Just like with other smart home systems, there is a control center in the form of the FritzBox and numerous devices that are remotely controlled from it. It is not controlled via WLAN, but via the so-called ULE DECT. DECT is the radio technology with which telephones are also connected to the FritzBox, “ULE” stands for “Ultra Low Energy” and is intended to ensure the particularly energy-saving operation of the switching devices. The advantage over WLAN: DECT networks reach much further, which ensures effective switching. A standard FritzBox can manage up to 34 DECT devices in this way: in addition to six telephones, there are six DECT repeaters and up to 22 DECT end devices in the Fritz system.
Can I only use FritzBox Smart Home devices?
In addition to its own Fritz devices, the FritzBox also supports the cross-manufacturer Han-Fun protocol (Home Area Network Functional Protocol), which is used by devices from Gigaset, Panasonic and Teleklom, among others. This makes the FritzBox a little more suitable for use as a smart home center, especially since this standard covers device classes that AVM has not previously offered – such as door and window contacts or motion detectors.
What functions are there in the FritzBox Smarthome?
It is subdivided into “actuators” and “sensors”, whereby the former switch and the latter read values. Fritz Smart Home components are often, but not entirely, marketed as “Fritz! DECT”. In addition to the simple DECT repeater DECT 100, the current range includes two smart sockets with (DECT 210) and without moisture-proof optimization (DECT 200 ) and temperature measurement as well as a radiator controller (DECT 301) and a wall switch (DECT 400). However, there are also hybrid devices that actually work as WiFi or Powerline adapters, such as the Powerline 546E set, which also comes with a Smart Home switch socket – but without a temperature sensor. The smart sockets can also measure the power consumption of a connected device.
Setting up the FritzBox Smarthome is child’s play
As with a WLAN device, Smart Home components and FritzBox must first be coupled. This is very easy:
Once the smart home device is registered, it automatically appears in the FritzBox system. Here you will find a switch with which you can turn the device on and off. The smart sockets are probably the most interesting function: With them, devices can be switched on and off quickly and easily, which of course also includes power strips with entire sets of devices. The Fritz DECT 200 manages power consumption of up to 2,300 watts. If you are not currently using the vacuum cleaner and microwave oven from the socket, you can also easily activate or deactivate additional devices such as NAS, printers, scanners, lamps or TVs and stereo systems connected to a power strip in one fell swoop.
FritzBox smart home socket: Save electricity by switching according to a schedule
Of course, electricity can also be saved in this way: the Fritz Smart Home functions also allow switching by schedule. For example, if you only need your printer, radio and floor lamp in your home office during your working hours, you can create a schedule accordingly. The same applies, for example, if you use the radiator controller to heat the apartment or not to heat it when you are not there.
Measure power consumption of devices
Another practical function of AVM’s DECT sockets is the ability to measure the power consumption of devices. For example, if you are struggling with a high electricity bill and do not know which device is responsible, you can use a socket such as the FritzDECT 200/210 or the socket of the Fritz Powerline Set 546e to measure it. Simply plug the DECT adapter between the device and the wall socket and let the end device run for a while. In the “Energy display” tab of the “Home network” > “Smart Home” > “Device” menu, you can then see how much electricity the suspect has used over a certain period of time. The current consumption is also displayed. And for real techies, of course, there is also the option of linking the power consumption with the current electricity costs: the box also shows the operating costs of the device at the same time.
Switching via app on the go
Of course, this also works very conveniently from your smartphone – not only in the home WLAN, but also when you’re on the go. All you need is the MyFritz app for Android and iOS, which allows you to use your cell phone at home and on the go as a remote control for the smart home setup. However, if you want to access your FritzBox on the go, you must set up a MyFritz account on the FritzBox and then use the MyFritz app to access the FritzBox in the WLAN. You don’t need a VPN or any other technology for this – it’s just important that you don’t forget to activate the “Use on the go” option in the router settings of the Fritz app. Then deactivate the WLAN on your mobile phone and check whether the connection to the FritzBox works. You can then control your sockets and heating controls with your smartphone both at home and when you are out and about.