Tease the Freebox v9 for free, for finally unbridled very high speed?


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Free, a major player on the French Internet access market since the advent of ADSL boxes, is preparing a Freebox v9 for this year and is beginning to excite the impatience of its enthusiasts. In the hope that it sets the bar very high for the essential: the network.

Almost three years after the launch of the Freebox Pop, V8 of the box according to the creator of the concept, a version 9 should melt on the world in the course of the year, or at least the Hexagon. At least that was what Xavier Niel suggested last September during Free Communities Day, as Univers Freebox reminds us. A new Freebox in 2023, without knowing when exactly, and in what form.

A plague in the rules of art

But this, of course, does not prevent the operator from having fun to arouse the attention of fans and users. On the official Instagram account of the ISP, we discover in a video, in screenshot style, the interface of a computer. In the background the famous free rocket, used for each launch of a new big offer. A simple free folder opens with a double click. It contains four subfolders Classics, Confidential, Proto_Freebox_V9 and Troll. Two folders that prove that Free has long since become a master of the art of teasing and trolling… Unfortunately, the user of this anonymous PC clicks on the Classics folder to launch an ad for Free Mobile.

And if that wasn’t enough, it was on Twitter that Free continued to troll, with a playful publication of course, but also sibylline. We read the message: “Baby // now”, followed by two pictures, the first of the Freebox v5 and the second of the Freebox Pop. What conclusion to draw? That between 2006 and 2020 the design of the boxes has evolved, but is still divided into two separate blocks, the router part and the TV part? We leave it to you to extrapolate. But of course we can’t help but imagine what the future of Freeboxes could be.

It seems that Free still intends to entrust the two roles – modem and TV box – to two devices. It must be said that this model has proven itself – even if the TV partition can already be replaced by an Apple TV in some of the current offerings for those who wish. Can we take this as a sign that there is no longer a per se need for a dedicated box, which is expensive to develop and maintain for free? But is Free ready to let go of this distinctive element after developing the Delta TV modules, with Devialet and Pop?

Focus on the network

Free might have a better interest in turning to what it can offer best: the network, especially by focusing on the modem/router functions of its Freebox. Two points can be reviewed.

– Currently, the Freeboxes Delta and Pop are the boxes that theoretically offer the highest incoming speeds, at 8 and 5 Gbit/s respectively. However, neither of these two boxes really allows you to take advantage of these promising speeds, because neither box offers a serial Ethernet port powerful enough to really take advantage of these speeds. It would therefore be good if the FAI switched up a gear for its Freebox V9 (more than 2.5 Gbit/s) and offered at least one 10 Gigabit Ethernet port. This would be the best way to provide the option to connect a device (PC, console, etc.) or even a good quality Wi-Fi router to the box to get the most out of the fiber connection.

– Wi-Fi could also be another point of improvement. The question is of course always whether it is economically viable and possible for Free to invest heavily in a powerful WiFi router. The arrival of Wi-Fi 6E in the Freebox Delta is good news, but this technical solution is necessarily less efficient than a dedicated router – which will certainly be more expensive for the subscriber, but which will allow you to benefit from better speeds and better coverage .

The first Wi-Fi 7 routers could arrive in France in the second half of the year, and manufacturers are already promising more affordable prices. Will this be enough to see a Freebox compatible with Wi-Fi 7? It seems unlikely, but do you ever know if Free wants to strike hard…

In any case, one thing is certain, the announcement of a new Free box is always an event, because whether we like it or not, the ISP has given a rhythm to the market from the very beginning. It will therefore be interesting to see which avenues are explored this time, after an expensive and somewhat exuberant Delta and the more classic and affordable Pop. We want to hope that this Freebox does not fall apart and really opens the door to maximum use of very high speeds.

Source :

Freebox universe