Fritzbox Brain Transplant

I like redundancy, so I have ‘cold standby’ devices for critical hardware. My Fritzbox 7590 DSL router is one such piece of equipment (yes, still no Fiber in Cologne…) and I recently put it to good use: Incredible, but true, I’ve been using my current Fritzbox 7590 since 2018, i.e. for 6 years! Despite its age, it’s still an incredibly cool device and gets frequent software updates. However, the box seems to be aging, as it recently started to emit a low volume but high pitched coil whine. So while it was still working, the sound was getting a bit on my nerves. So I decided to swap the active 7590 with my spare device and was hoping that the promised ‘easy’ configuration backup / restore would save me a lot of manual work.

And indeed it did! Before switching devices, I made sure both 7590’s were on the same software version and then saved the configuration from the active box into a file and restored it on my backup 7590. After a reboot, everything looked nice and a quick inspection showed that the most important configuration information was indeed to be found on my spare router. So I swapped the devices in place and indeed, the replacement connected to the DSL line just fine and all configuration data except one tiny little thing was properly in place: All NAT forwardings were still working, the Wi-Fi was configured properly, Internet blocking filters for my printers were still in place, and my external Grafana monitoring system still connected just fine.

The only thing that required manual intervention was to bring my FritzRepeater 3000 back into the network. This required pressing the physical ‘Connect’ button on the repeater and the physical ‘Connect’ button on the Fritzbox. Quite understandable that this doesn’t work out of the box, as the new Fritzbox has a different MAC hardware address, so the FritzRepeater would of course not connect.

Overall, perhaps 30 minutes of work for the software update, applying the configuration file and rebooting the backup router twice. Wow, I’m impressed, that really worked well and my cloud at home is quiet again!

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