Tenda MW6 Nova Whole Home Mesh WiFi System Reviewed

Yangsheng

New Around Here
OK, after messing around, resolved the problem. Turns out the app is laggy and the hardware connection takes a long time to connect. Refresh rate is terrible. Just have to be extra patient that's all.
 

doobs

New Around Here
LOL. There is virtually nothing on Tenda's website about the MW-6. Clicking on the image showing it on the front page leads to a dead page....

H'mmm.
 

candleman

New Around Here
Hi. New user on SNB. I wanted to share my experience with the Tenda Nova and also ask a question...

Just received the router and the biggest issue is the firmware is still buggy. The first unit I received I played with the settings and decided to clear our the settings and start over. I ran into an issue where some of the settings could not be flushed out after a hard reset (20sec reset) and the unit would get stuck during setup via the app and had to be exchanged for a new set of routers. The routers also had inconsistent results when connecting devices and compatibility issues with IoT devices. The compatibility is with or without fast transition enabled.

But the biggest issue and the one I'm on here seeking help for is getting ethernet backhaul to work.

My routers all shipped with the latest 1.0.0.14. There are no options for backhaul options and connecting an ethernet after setup is complete does nothing. The router simply ignores it and continues trying to connect wirelessly. I tested it and there's not only a huge drop off in performance but moving it to the other end of the house result in no connection. I had to resort to configuring each as separate routers with the same SSID, password, and enable fast roaming. The routers hand out their mobility domain like candy; its printed on the router label. I also assume all Tenda routers also share the same preset inter AP passwords. How these routers assign a NASID or keyholder is a giant question mark? I didn't sniff it. Perhaps it just does some dummy authentication. But it seems to work. I started a speed test in one room and went to the room with other router and completed it without any cutouts in the connection; small drop in speed between the two areas as expected.

How did ethernet backhaul work for those of you that have it working. Does it appear in the app with the wired icon next to connection quality?

----
EDIT: I also forgot to mention I asked Tenda and nobody could answer whether these routers were patched against KRACK. Usually routers don't need a patch but these routers use 802.11r. I will run the KRACK test against it when I have a chance.
 
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itbedave

New Around Here
Long-time SNB follower but first time poster...

I bought the Nova MW6 3 pack back when Amazon had it on sale for $120, as my girlfriend's old Apple routers were having issues and we needed something better for her 3 story home.

Setup was very simple, and it does just work! I was surprised by just how simple it was. But I'm also frustrated by the lack of features for advanced users. I have an Asus AC1900 at my house - which I love - and am use to a more robust admin panel. For instance, I have MANY devices provisioned with static IPs for a variety of reasons. I can't do that on the MW6. I also can't individually control which devices have access to what. Parental controls on the MW6 are limited to turning the internet on or off completely.

So, I'm wondering if I can use another, more full featured router to do the actual routing, and then wire that to the first cube in an MW6 setup and simply have the mesh network be for wireless APs only?

There IS a bridge mode in the app settings, but I wondered if anyone has tried it and if it actually works as expected?

The only other issue we've really had with the MW6 is we have a couple of older MacBooks (core2duos) that sometimes just drop and simply refuse to reconnect. Then seem to magically reconnect when they feel like it. Wondered if anyone else has experienced this as well?
 

doobs

New Around Here
If I can't provision a device with a fixed IP, that's a complete non-starter for me.

Also don't understand why all their pdf's are encapsulated in zip files o_O

Thanks for the info.
 
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Tomurphjr

New Around Here
OK, after messing around, resolved the problem. Turns out the app is laggy and the hardware connection takes a long time to connect. Refresh rate is terrible. Just have to be extra patient that's all.
New guy here, first post.

How long did it take to see the config page? Just received mine and I've not connected mine to my network, just try to connect to the first node via the app and all I get after logging in is it's requiring me to connect the ethernet cable. I've let it sit for 15 or so minutes. I've closed the app, re opened it, etc and still nothing.

Any help or steps would be awesome.
 

itbedave

New Around Here
You might have to do a reset on the cube then. Mine has no hesitation when I set it up, but I read about others that had to reset first.

New guy here, first post.

How long did it take to see the config page? Just received mine and I've not connected mine to my network, just try to connect to the first node via the app and all I get after logging in is it's requiring me to connect the ethernet cable. I've let it sit for 15 or so minutes. I've closed the app, re opened it, etc and still nothing.

Any help or steps would be awesome.
 

itbedave

New Around Here
I took a shot and bought a used Asus TM-AC1900 router to basically do all of the routing functions and connected the Nova mesh nodes to it in bridge mode and it works fantastically! You only have to connect to the first node, and the other 2 simply had to be power cycled to reconnect to each other. You end up losing the guest Network feature of the Nova system, but if I need it I can use the wireless of the Asus for that.

And yes, I know I could get a couple more of these and run AI mesh - and I may at some point. Right now, I'm very happy with this setup but wish that Tendas built in routing functions were as robust as some of their higher-end routers.

Long-time SNB follower but first time poster...

I bought the Nova MW6 3 pack back when Amazon had it on sale for $120, as my girlfriend's old Apple routers were having issues and we needed something better for her 3 story home.

Setup was very simple, and it does just work! I was surprised by just how simple it was. But I'm also frustrated by the lack of features for advanced users. I have an Asus AC1900 at my house - which I love - and am use to a more robust admin panel. For instance, I have MANY devices provisioned with static IPs for a variety of reasons. I can't do that on the MW6. I also can't individually control which devices have access to what. Parental controls on the MW6 are limited to turning the internet on or off completely.

So, I'm wondering if I can use another, more full featured router to do the actual routing, and then wire that to the first cube in an MW6 setup and simply have the mesh network be for wireless APs only?

There IS a bridge mode in the app settings, but I wondered if anyone has tried it and if it actually works as expected?

The only other issue we've really had with the MW6 is we have a couple of older MacBooks (core2duos) that sometimes just drop and simply refuse to reconnect. Then seem to magically reconnect when they feel like it. Wondered if anyone else has experienced this as well?
 

Tomurphjr

New Around Here
You might have to do a reset on the cube then. Mine has no hesitation when I set it up, but I read about others that had to reset first.
Thanks for the reply. I tried that and still no go. I reset until all the cubes had a white light displaying. I could never get past the message saying I needed to connect the ethernet cable, no matter what I tried from the app.

I went ahead and connected one to my ISP and was able to setup the three cubes successfully, but the hand off from node to node is very slow. Im talking 4 - 5 minutes. Not a huge deal but I see it being an annoyance. I'm guessing that's because backhaul isn't setup?
 

Cale Wilson

New Around Here
Can someone confirm what port is used for wired backhaul? I have tried both but don't see any change in the app. The second one still has wireless bars in the connection quality section.
Screenshot_20180423-221036.png
 

HighlanderNH

New Around Here
While there appear to be no "Deadspots" in the house, I did notice the other day that when I walked from one area of the house with a cube to another area of the house with a second cube...the signal strength instead of getting better as I neared the second cube...got worse. Even as I sat right next to the second cube. Both a Moto phone running Android 7.7.1 and a laptop running Windows 10 exhibited the same exact problem. Put WiFi analyzer/monitor software on both laptop and phone and it was clear that it was holding on to the first cube's -55 to -65db or worse signal strength (via inspection of it's then connected LAN MAC address).
Of course, if I toggled my phone and laptop's WiFi off and on it would then grab the strong -15 to -20db signal strength of the cube I was sitting a few feet from. I spent 20-25 minutes on the phone with Tenda technical support in Los Angeles making sure I had the latest app version and firmware (as of 4/25/2018) on all (3) Nova MW6 cubes and "Fast Roaming was enabled and that the SN of my cubes was of the correct manufacture date. So it does appear that under "certain" conditions network hand-off...cube to cube..is not happening automatically...even though your phone could be sitting right next to another much closer cube.
They took my email address...thanked me then said they would get back to me...
 
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Cale Wilson

New Around Here
I have not used aimesh so cannot comment on stability and other stuff but I did look into aimesh as an alternative solution.

Price:
Asus routers are expensive unless you can find the refurbished ones or the T-Mobile renamed AC68U and flash firmware to regular AC68U.
Tenda Nova price is very affordable. $150 for 3 nodes in US, $130 sometimes when on sale

Ease of use:
You need to have some basic knowledge in flashing firmware for the Asus routers if you want to go the cheaper route. If buying regular Asus routers, some settings in aimesh needs to be disabled to make it stable
Tenda Nova is setup like in 10 minutes and then really just forget it

It does support Ethernet backhaul and you can check it by looking at the little icon next to each node. I have 2 on wire and 1 wireless. Range is very good. The system is very stable so far. I had TP Link Deco prior to this and it sucks. Deco would disconnect a few times a day and the firewall blocks a few websites and access.

The only bad side I see for now is speed decreases the further you are away from the node especially the one connecting on wireless. I am 1 room away from the node and I get 65-80 compared to 118 being in the same room as the node.
Hi, How did you get your ethernet bachhaul to work? I have it plugged in but the connection still show wireless on my second one. What ports should they be plugged into? Can it be plugged into a switch?
 

anacondatp

New Around Here
yes i plugged mine into a switch. make sure your wire connection works by testing it with a laptop first. otherwise wired backhaul is pretty much automatic
 

Cale Wilson

New Around Here
yes i plugged mine into a switch. make sure your wire connection works by testing it with a laptop first. otherwise wired backhaul is pretty much automatic
Thanks for the follow up. Which port did you plug into on the second tenda? Wan or Lan? Does your so still show wireless bars on the connection quality?
 

anacondatp

New Around Here
Thanks for the follow up. Which port did you plug into on the second tenda? Wan or Lan? Does your so still show wireless bars on the connection quality?
i cant remember and i am not currently at home. but it would be the similar port that is going from your modem to the first node
 

candleman

New Around Here
I forgot to check in and mention I figured out the ethernet backhaul issue; and it can be a bit confusing.

It requires that all nodes (that want to participate in eth backhaul) must connect through the 2nd "local" port.

In a DHCP setup that seems natural since the internet port is occupied by the internet connection. However, in a bridged situation or when dealing with satellite nodes where both ports are essentially local it may become non-obvious. For bridged connections both the master node and all additional nodes must all use the 2nd ethernet port; leave the internet port disconnected.
 

nedomedo

New Around Here
A0903C93-A73A-4901-9777-047BB53C49B2.png E6547F68-B5DE-4B12-B327-A946CADF9B9B.png I am in the same boat as all of you, bought the MW6 for backhaul reasons otherwise I could just use cheap extenders. Anyhow, using the method above my “main” cube that is connected to the modem says “Gateway” but the other ones do not so I have no idea if they are wires or wireless. I connected one of the other two cubes using the LAN port to the main cubes LAN port but can’t see the difference or confirm if it’s wired. Any advice is appreciated. Their support is clueless, and says it can’t be done or tell me the tech expert will call me back...

Attached pics of the Basement which is the main(Gateway) and Office which are wired.
 

Tomurphjr

New Around Here
View attachment 12911 View attachment 12912 I am in the same boat as all of you, bought the MW6 for backhaul reasons otherwise I could just use cheap extenders. Anyhow, using the method above my “main” cube that is connected to the modem says “Gateway” but the other ones do not so I have no idea if they are wires or wireless. I connected one of the other two cubes using the LAN port to the main cubes LAN port but can’t see the difference or confirm if it’s wired. Any advice is appreciated. Their support is clueless, and says it can’t be done or tell me the tech expert will call me back...

Attached pics of the Basement which is the main(Gateway) and Office which are wired.
From my understanding, the backhaul works if it's wired only. I didn't know this either before I bought. Orbi seems to be the only one that has a third channel dedicated for wireless backhaul. Reading all the issues with them, I choose to stay away from that setup for now.

If I'm wrong, someone please correct me and explain how to get the backhaul working wireless.
 

nedomedo

New Around Here
You mean I cannot have 1 of the 3 wired and another one wireless?
Have to be all wired or all wireless?
Thanks
 

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