AVM is releasing what is probably the last major update to version 7.56 for the now ten-year-old classic 7490. This is quite unusual for routers and a nice sign of sustainability. However, the long service time might also have been contributed to by the fact that this model was given out in masses by Internet providers for DSL contracts, so there will still be a considerable installed base.
The update not only includes security improvements and small nice details, but also very hard-hitting new features: the mesh WLAN can now do Smart Repeating, which should significantly improve the performance in the network. In addition, a new VPN connection option is introduced with WireGuard, which still achieves pretty good performance even on the old hardware.
Yes, the user interface is now a bit snoozy, but honestly: The thing is simply set up at the age of friends or so and then runs until it sees the end of time. Until then, you can be sure that it is up to date and you might find a new use for the old box with WireGuard.
Those who have the small FritzBox 4040 can finally rejoice: version 7.56 of the Fritz!OS is now available for it as well. Even though this small FritzBox is often overlooked, it has a few advantages: it is cheap, consumes little power and has a quad-core processor. So it is still a good choice for certain WireGuard tasks.