Tenda began in China in 1999 and has become a global brand, albeit with the notable exception of an Australian presence – until now. Hitting our shores in time for Christmas, Tenda has come in force, making its MW3 and MW6 mesh Wi-Fi systems available through a partner network.
These products are something we would all enjoy in our Christmas stockings. Unless your home is single storey, with thin walls, and your Wi-Fi access point is located in the dead centre it's inevitable you have dead spots within your home. With today's homes having far more connected devices than actual residents, Wi-Fi is as essential as electricity itself.
What can you do if you have poor Wi-Fi coverage? Well, here’s where the Nova whole home mesh Wi-Fi system by Tenda comes in.
The Nova product comes as modular units that join together to intelligently create and manage a network between them, known as a mesh, hence the name.
The mesh is a single Wi-Fi network is balanced among the devices, automatically connecting and routing your devices and traffic to the most appropriate device for where you are positioned. The units provide built-in quality of service (QoS) to maximise performance for streaming services as needed.
Each MW3 unit includes two fast LAN ports, and these are gigabit ports on the MW6 units. One unit needs to be physically connected to your Internet connection. The remaining modules will talk to each other, leaving all the remaining LAN ports for cabling in devices — or a network switch — to provide Ethernet connectivity.
iTWire tested out two separate options – the Nova MW3 which provides up to 300 square metres of Wi-Fi coverage, and the Nova MW6 with up to a massive 500 square metres of coverage. In both cases, the Nova’s true mesh assures you of a robust wireless network and maximised home Internet, via its Smart Auto-path Selection technology.
Pictured below is an MW6 (left) and MW3 (right).
Both were effortless to set up. Plug one device into your broadband router. Plug the next into power points around your home. Use the Tenda Wi-Fi app to manage the individual units, meshing them into the one Wi-Fi network, and importantly, observing their connection quality. This allows you to easily move the devices around to find optimal coverage.
The app also allows you to implement parental controls, to disable or enable groups of devices, to create a guest Wi-Fi network separate from your main one, to set up QoS for traffic prioritisation, and to block unauthorised users.
As well as being easy to set up, iTWire found the devices truly performed excellently. We could walk around the home and into the garage with a Skype video-conferencing call staying up; we could stream video in a far-flung corner, work on remote servers, and even play online games.
The Nova MW6 provided the greatest reach, of course, extending way out into the backyard. We found both demonstrated solid wall penetration and seamless Wi-Fi roaming.
Each mesh unit supports Wi-Fi protocols IEEE 802.11ac/a/n at 5GHz and up to 867Mbps, and IEEE 802.11b/g/n at 2.4GHz and up to 300Mbps. They support MU-MIMO, WPA2-PSK security, wireless roaming, DHCP, UPnP, IPsec, PPTP and L2TP. The MW6 units also support beamforming.
As you can see in our pictures, the Nova devices are aesthetically pleasing and lightweight and will blend into any room’s decor.
If you find yourself struggling for solid Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home, you definitely need to check out the Tenda Nova home mesh Wi-Fi system. Coming out in December, the MW3 will retail for $199 for a pack of three, making it the first mesh unit in Australia under $200. The MW6 will retail for $399 for a set of three. You can also buy the units in single and double packs. The units are pre-paired when bought together.
You can buy them from Tenda partners within Australia.