Your Fritzbox with VPN connect. What you need to know about it! Help.

The AVM Fritzbox is one of the best known and most widely used Internet access routers in Germany. As a German company, AVM has created a product that has been recommended by many Internet providers for years and has been supplemented with functions that most closely matched the German user requirements.

Why the Fritzbox “OpenVPN Client ”cannot!

Fritz! Box router
Fritz! Box router

When considering the services of AVM, one must also note that AVM plays practically no role in global comparisons. As a result, the products are practically only sold in Germany and therefore have an essentially small number of items produced. Therefore, despite the very high price of the devices for the consumer, hardware equipment is saved significantly. However, the hardware resources are also crucial or necessary for integrating other modern software functions into the router. Due to the lack of resources of the devices, there are hardware-intensive applications such as malware filtering, virus filtering and also VPN-Client usage via OpenVPN as no longer possible.

VPN Server + VPN Client with Fritzbox routers

The AVM Fritzbox has both functions Server + Client for VPN- Integrated connections. However, this is done using a very proprietary VPNProtocol “IPsec x-auth” enables. It is therefore possible for users to connect to the router directly on the go using one of the available Fritz apps. But also that Fritzbox routers can be mutually connected (site networking).

Application: Fritzbox with VPNService connect fails.

If you want the Fritzbox with one VPN If you use a service to anonymize or circumvent geographic restrictions, then you are faced with the problem that it is available VPN-Protocol “IPsec x-auth” simply by none VPNService is supported or offered.

The IPsec protocol was developed by Cisco many years ago and was long considered the standard in transmission, however, the protocol had significant weaknesses, which are mainly due to the fact that a public and accessible IP address is required as a client in order to be able to connect to it VPNTo be able to build servers. The consequence of this is that connections are often not possible due to local network restrictions, for example in hotels, private company networks or even with modern DOCSIS (Cable TV Internet) connections.

The solution was IEKv2

This fact was only realized with the next version of IPsec (IEkV). This new standard IEKv2 is now also used in Android, Apple iOS and macOS and Windows has recently adopted this protocol natively in its system. IEKv2 is not offered by the Fritzbox.

Fritz! Box VPN functionality
Fritz! Box VPN functionality

Inquiries from AVM confirm the future without VPNclient

When I asked AVM again this year whether an update of the IPsec versions used on the Fritzboxes is being considered or is in the planning stage, I was again confirmed as this would not be compatible with the devices already on the market I don’t think of such a step. In addition, IPsec x-auth is also sufficiently secure.

That is true, but it also ignores the requirements of many customers who would like to have the Fritzbox with more modern options VPNServers or services directly.

The integration of OpenVPN, requires a massive modification of the firmware.

Would the Fritzbox with VPNServices become compatible, then the operating system would also have to be rethought or developed and adapted in many parts. Because what happens if someone uses IP telephony on the Fritzbox? For authentication, however, the IP address of the Internet provider is a requirement in Germany and via a VPNService the Fritzbox would then not be able to log on to the telephone servers.

It is therefore necessary to be able to define exceptions in a regulated way. This then also means a different handling and routing behavior, which is currently not available. However, changes to this are also not desired due to the problems to be expected for existing routers and users.

Thus, the Fritzbox will not offer any opportunities in the future to deal with professional VPNConnect services.

Wrong promises from the internet.

Websites that promise Fritzbox with a VPNService, simply tempt users to buy a service!

Even if many website authors may rhyme this together. (I have found many articles that intend to use the search terms on the Google search engine VPN + Fritzbox to score, but the information to use the Fritzbox with a VPN I could never understand the service taken there. So it is simply not what is promised there. A good example is "”This page tells a lot about the great connections between the FB and a favorite VPN (ExpressVPN) but in the end there is no way to do this.

So just to make it clear once again:

NO current AVM Fritzbox router can be used with a VPNConnect service directly!
Whoever promises this to you lies to you!

Use alternative Fritzbox firmware “FREETZ”!

Yes, there is the option of using alternative firmware to open the FritzboxVPN Client or equip and thus with VPNServices. The only project that currently offers this is Freetz, (Official Github project page)

The project was even partially accepted as a great innovation by AVM and they obviously wanted to see what alternative developers could add to the Fritzbox. However, it quickly became clear that the approach of using a different firmware also creates security risks for the users and they could then damage the image of the Fritzbox itself. Which is why AVM is strictly against this project. Users who use FREETZ once on their Fritzbox also permanently lose all support from AVM.

Why did this firmware alternative for Fritzbox routers fail in the end?

AVM also regularly updates the router firmware with new functions. this is a normal process and assumes that developers from the sub-areas (routing, wifi, telephony, firewall, etc.) are available for every change and give their OK for new releases. Now private initiatives like FREETZ's mostly focus on individual functions and the developments are based and must also be based on the existing firmwares. Because only these ensure that the installed hardware can also be used.

In the end, therefore, the developers of FREETZ simply ran out of their own resources,

they could no longer study the updates from AVM directly and quickly enough and then adapt their own applications. As a result, FREETZ users could sometimes not go through 4-6 different version updates for today's firmware. This also means that these routers are very out of date with security updates and still sometimes struggle with telephony and other extra functions with known bugs.

FREETZ users are experimentally on the go, also waive AVM help and security updates

Advantage through the available “OpenVPN Client ”, but very slowly!

The advantage of having an openVPN Of course, it is possible to connect servers. However, the circumstances mentioned at the beginning apply. OpenVPN needs a lot of hardware resources to enable fast data exchange. Fritzbox hardware is not sufficiently available or not designed for this. Hence connections to OpenVPN Servers are rarely faster than 3 to 5.000 kbit / s. For most applications today, however, this is clearly too slow.

So this is OpenVPN Client function but as good as unusable.

Conclusion on the use of the Fritzbox router with modern VPN-Services

I searched for appropriate solutions myself for years, it seemed tempting to include one of the most used German routers VPN-Use services to protect identity or to protect against warnings. In addition to the theoretical feasibility of the project, however, it was shown that the implementation in practice is inadequate and therefore not suitable for normal users. It remains for me the bitter knowledge that I have to share with many Fritzbox friends with the fact that AVM Fritzbox routers can neither be used for this nor in the near future.

VPN in the home network, there are viable alternatives

I have therefore developed alternatives and have already given tens of thousands of users the opportunity to go through their own home networks VPN- to secure services or to be permanently protected against warnings or geographical limits. (Link: 10 tips for security on the Internet).

These alternatives are easy to use in practice and are also independent of the ones used VPNServices. In my instructions, I only use solutions that have already been developed and are also supported by router manufacturers, because only these guarantee that security updates for the routers will not lead to a loss of functions.

Fritz! Box & ASUS router combination!
Fritz! Box & ASUS router combination!

I am therefore happy to recommend my comprehensive contribution to this. "VPN in the home network". In this I go into all the details and also show the practical implementation with instructions. With less than 30 euros investment, all devices can be used at home with a Fritzbox as an Internet router VPNUse service.

Frequently asked questions about the Fritzbox + VPN Services

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0 = ”h3 ″ question-0 =” Can I use a Fritzbox with my VPN connect? ”answer-0 =” No. No. Fritzbox routers use one VPNProtocol that no one VPNService is used on its servers. Therefore you can not VPN Service da use it directly. ”Image-0 =” ”headline-1 =” h3 ″ question-1 = ”Can my Fritzbox be used with NordVPN connect? ”answer-1 =” No. northVPN supports the VPNProtocols: OpenVPN, IEKv2 but not in the Fritzbox IPsec x-auth protocol used. Therefore, a direct connection of the Fritzbox to a northVPN Server not possible. ”Image-1 =” ”headline-2 =” h3 ″ question-2 = ”AVM will soon be the VPN Integrate function? ”Answer-2 =” In general, AVM has already integrated its own protocol into the Fritzbox router to enable connections to the Fritzbox or between Fritzbox routers (company network). According to AVM, there are no plans to expand these connection options. There are also numerous technical reasons against it. ”Image-2 =” ”headline-3 =” h3 ″ question-3 = ”How fast is it VPN Connection with Fritzbox? ”Answer-3 =” You can connect to a Fritzbox with the Fritzapps or two Fritzboxes with each other. The data transfer rates we measured with new Fritzbox models never exceeded 5.000 kbit / s, so this can be seen as the fastest connection option. ”Image-3 =” ”headline-4 =” h3 ″ question-4 = ”Can be done with> flash the Fritzbox VPN use? ”answer-4 =” Yes. An alternative firmware> FREETZ <can also be used for OpenVPN Use client. However, this is also the end of other services such as telephony with the Fritzbox and the speeds that can be achieved are due to limited hardware optimization with OpenVPN at less than 5.000 kbit / s which is why the further development of the alternative firmware was discontinued 4 years ago. ”image-4 =” ”count =” 5 ″ html = ”true” css_class = ””]

Questions & Help

I am also available for questions and help. I have been dealing with AVM Fritzbox routers and this topic since 1998, so I like to share my experience in direct communication with my readers.
As always, you reach me right under one of the many Contact possibilities.

Created on: 10/19/2019

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