A power failure can damage a modem

Fix Fritzbox errors immediately - that's how it works

Michael Seemann

Current routers can do much more than supply devices with WLAN or bring them to the Internet. But their numerous functions also make them more and more prone to errors. PC-WELT shows how you can solve common problems with the router quickly and easily with on-board resources and clever additional tools.

EnlargeIn this way you can fully utilize the possibilities of your router

The Fritzbox offers a lot of insightful information if the Internet, WLAN or home network cause problems. We explain where to find this information and how to properly evaluate it to find a solution.

A Fritzbox's diary is its event log.

There the router records what happens to it during its operating time. On the one hand, these entries give you an overview over a longer period of time as to whether your router in the home network is running without interference. In addition, many problems that can occur in the home network can be narrowed down by corresponding error messages in the event log and usually solved without great effort.

EnlargeThe event log can be filtered into different event areas for a better overview.

But the Fritzbox goes even further: the manufacturer AVM provides a link with an explanation for almost every entry in the event log, so that the router messages can be understood and classified even without a qualification in network technology. This service is unique in the home network area: If a router has a usable log function at all, we are not aware of any other manufacturer who also explains the entries in the event log. However, even the Fritzbox cannot automatically solve the problems listed there.

Therefore, in the following guide we give not only information on the basics of the Fritzbox protocol but also numerous recommendations on how to react optimally to special events that the Fritzbox shows you.

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This is how you look at the Fritzbox's event log

EnlargeEvery restart of the Fritzbox deletes the event log.

To view the current event log, call up “System -› Events ”in the Fritzbox's browser menu. A list shows all past events, including the date and the exact time at which the event was registered. The most recent event always appears at the top of the list, while the most recent event is at the bottom of the list. You may therefore have to scroll through the list to access it.

The Fritzbox conveniently offers filters for the event log: This allows messages to be recognized more quickly for certain areas. In the default setting, the event list is displayed unfiltered and the drop-down menu at the top left is set to "All". If you are only interested in messages from the areas of telephony, the Internet connection, the devices connected via USB or the WLAN, select the corresponding entry in the drop-down menu.

The "System" area includes system-relevant events that cannot be assigned to any other filter.

The Fritzbox records these events

However, not all events are recorded in the log. Because every restart of the Fritzbox deletes the event log completely. It does not matter whether you initiate the restart manually via the Fritzbox's web menu (“System -› Backup - ›Restart”) or the restart due to a firmware update via “System -› Update - ›FritzOS Version” or “ System - ›Update -› FritzOS file “takes place. The temporary disconnection of the Fritzbox from the power supply due to a power failure or when you pull the power plug on the housing inevitably leads to the deletion of the event log.

In our “Log backup” box, you can find out how you can back up your router's event log over a longer period of time and largely without gaps by e-mail. However, the e-mail method also has a small disadvantage: In the e-mail format, the event messages do not have a link to the detailed explanation.

Solve internet problems

If the online connection suddenly breaks or if it does not even come about, the Fritzbox records this in the event log. You can then use the error message to try out the appropriate solutions.

Fritzbox reports: Timeout in the PPP negotiation

The "Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet", or PPPoE for short, is often used in Germany for dialing into a (V) DSL connection. The access data of your DSL provider, which are entered in the Fritzbox under "Internet -› Access data - ›Internet access", are transmitted via PPPoE to the provider's dial-up server. Event messages that mention the PPPoE or PPP protocol by name appear in the event log especially when there are delays or errors in the DSL dial-up process.

How to fix PPPoE or PPP problems

EnlargeIf the Fritzbox does not occasionally get on the Internet, this is not a cause for concern.

Often the reason for a PPPoE error lies in the fact that the dial-up server of the provider responsible for the own access is not found fast enough, does not answer immediately or a data packet relevant for the dial-in is lost in some other way. A short time later, the dial-in works again as usual. If errors with PPPoE / PPP only appear sporadically in the event log, there is therefore no fundamental problem with the Internet connection.

However, it becomes critical if the errors occur continuously and none of your home network devices can be accessed via the Internet. In this case, first check in the Fritzbox menu under "Internet -> DSL information" whether the DSL connection between your Fritzbox and the exchange (DSLAM) is synchronized. You can recognize this by the green connecting line. In this way it can be ruled out that technical problems with the DSL modem in the Fritzbox, with the (outdoor) DSLAM of the network operator or the copper wire pair ("DSL connection") between the two devices are the cause of the interruption of the Internet connection.

Solution 1: If you have just set up Internet access in the Fritzbox under "Internet -› Access data ", you may have made a mistake in the user ID or the associated password. However, this error can be corrected relatively quickly with an appropriate correction.

Another source of error are missing or incorrect values ​​in the “Connection Settings” in the lower window area of ​​the “Internet -› Access Data ”menu, such as a VLAN ID or the DSL ATM values ​​for VPI and VCI. The cause can be, for example, that you have restored this data in your Fritzbox using a backup file with the ending “.export”. Before you try to find out this data by trial and error - which rarely leads to the desired success - it is better to look in the FAQs of your provider or use their telephone hotline to find out the correct values.

Solution 2: If the internet connection is interrupted over a longer period of time in combination with PPP (oE) errors in the event log without you having made any changes to the Fritzbox settings shortly before, the problem could be with your internet provider. Before you reset your Fritzbox to the factory settings, first check whether the problem is on the other side of the online access: Some providers offer a special area on their website in which they inform customers about current disruptions or planned network expansion measures. If in doubt, you can call your provider's hotline.

Log backup

So that you can access all logged Fritzbox events at any time, have the event log sent to your e-mail address at regular intervals. This is easy to do with the router's push service. Then you will not lose the entire log after a power failure, but only the period between the last log mail and the power failure.

EnlargeThe e-mail account for your push service should be secured via SSL.

To set up the e-mail push service, first enter the e-mail address and password of one of your e-mail accounts in the router's web menu under “System -› Push Services - ›Sender”. With the help of this account, the Fritzbox can send you e-mails in the future. Some mail providers automatically recognize the Fritzbox based on the specified e-mail address and automatically add the additional connection data required, such as the SMTP server address. If not, enter this data under "Account data - further settings". You can find this in the FAQs of your mail provider, for example.

Make sure that this mail account supports SSL encryption and activate this setting: This ensures that the mails cannot be intercepted with the event logs. The corresponding port number such as 587 or 465 can also be found in the FAQs of the mail provider. After saving the settings, the router will send you an email and use it to check whether the contact information is correct.

Under "System -> Push Service -> Push Services" you can then have the event list sent regularly to any e-mail address. To do this, put a tick in front of the option “Fritzbox Info” listed first, and then switch to its settings by clicking on the associated pencil symbol on the right.