Free announces that an update will be deployed on all Freeboxes, from the Revolution to the One, including the Mini 4K, from July 14. But the day before, it was already available for some subscribers. This update, entirely software, concerns WiFi. The range of the latter will be considerably extended and the throughput will be increased. The security will be improved and they will even be compatible with the Pop WiFi repeater.
Last week, Free presented the Freebox Pop at a press conference that we followed live with you. This new box (also called Freebox V8) is the second Freebox compatible with Android TV after the Mini 4K. We published a duel between these two Freeboxes at the end of last week. A clash as much design as technical and functional. And the most recent is not always the best in all areas.
Read also - Freebox POP (V8): why Free's box is not WiFi 6 compatible
The Freebox Pop consists of the two boxes usual for any Internet box (router and decoder) and a third device. The latter is a WiFi repeater which allows the wireless network to be extended (dual band MU-MiMo ac in the case of the Freebox Pop) when the native range of the box is not sufficient. This box is now compatible with the Freebox Pop, of course, but also with the Freebox Delta. During an interview with Univers Freebox, Xavier Niel confirms that the repeater will soon be compatible with the three previous Freeboxes: the Revolution, the Mini 4K and the One.
Please note, Revolution, One and Mini 4K subscribers will not be able to order the repeater before the next school year. Free indeed wishes to avoid stock-outs and favor (old or new) holders of a Freebox Delta or Freebox Pop subscription. Hence this additional delay. Note that Xavier Niel does not specify what the pricing conditions will be for the rental of the repeater for these old packages. Logically, they should be identical to those of the Freebox Pop: the rental is free, but the shipping costs are the responsibility of the subscriber (10 euros per device).
Range, safety and throughput also improved
Compatibility with the WiFi Pop repeater is not the only innovation related to WiFi that Xavier Niel announces. Three other improvements are expected on these three Freeboxes. First of all, WiFi range will be increased from 60% to 70%. Then the connection speed has been "practically doubled", according to the words of the boss of Free, without however explaining how it is possible. Finally, the three Freeboxes will be compatible with the most recent WiFi security protocols: WPA3. So very significant improvements are being announced.
In the interview, Xavier Niel explains that he carried out a satisfaction survey among his subscribers. One of the weak points perceived by users is precisely WiFi. They feel that the wireless connection is not fast enough and does not provide enough coverage in their home. The boss of Free says that Iliad bought a company specializing in WiFi and integrated its teams with a single mission: to improve this connectivity, even for existing boxes. After having developed the WiFi of the Freebox Pop and its repeater, they developed the new firmwares. Hopefully the result lives up to the promise.
Firmware deployment the week of July 14
This compatibility will be ensured by updating the firmware of the three Freeboxes, which will be officially rolled out on July 14 (or tomorrow). During the interview, Xavier Niel confided, however, that the deployment of firmwares could start as of today (July 13) or next Wednesday (July 15). For our part, we noticed that an update for the Freebox Mini 4K was already available on the morning of July 13th. It is numbered 4.2.0. To install it, all you have to do is restart the Freebox Server (we recommend that you do this using the Freebox application or the Freebox OS).
After installation, we have not yet seen all the improvements promised by the boss of Free. However, two changes should be noted when opening the configuration menu (or Freebox OS). First, parental controls are replaced by a new app called “Profils“. It allows you to create usage profiles for the whole family. We then observed the integration of a new level of protection for the WiFi network: “WPA2 / WPA3 - AES (experimental)“. We will update this article with our usage notes.
Source: Freebox Universe
- Freebox One
- Freebox Mini 4K
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