Tenda MW6 Nova Whole Home Mesh WiFi System Reviewed

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gingerbeardman

Regular Contributor
Okay, we're done.

I fired up my wife's rather ancient Acer tablet, and Weather Underground is giving a notification of weather in Fishi, which is north east of Fuzhou.

I'll turn the thing off today and return it.

Be forewarned.
Location data generally comes from one of the big "Geo IP" providers, because IP addresses are reused so often. It's a difficult problem that hasn't been solved 100% as yet.

I'd be interested to see the results of location testing with your IP through a variety of such services. Here is a list: https://superuser.com/questions/84891/is-it-possible-to-correct-my-geoip-location/1281786#1281786
 

thingsfallapart

New Around Here
Hi All,

First post here so be gentle!

This thread has helped me out a lot so far...

I've got a Tenda MW6 4 node configuration

Router -> Master Node (Living Room) via WAN port
2x MW6's in the Dining room and bedroom - wireless.

The problems have arisen when trying to connect the 4th MW6. (MW6-4)

If I connect via wireless to the other nodes - it works fine.

The problem is that I want to use Ethernet (as it's to be placed in a garden room, which is hard wired and it's too far to get a good wifi signal.)

1. Connect MW6-4 to Master via LAN cable (direct) works
2. Connect MW6-4 to switch or any of the rest of the home network and it fails to operate ethernet backhaul and takes everything down with it!

If I connect the Master node to the switch it also creates an issue. Do you think there's a DHCP conflict here and there's something going with IP addresses?

Also, I can't update the firmware to V1.0.0.16 on the MW6-4 - the app keeps failing. I'm getting pretty sick of this buggy experience. It should be plugged into ethernet and we're done!

Any ideas on this?
 

gingerbeardman

Regular Contributor
Have you tried swapping the order of the MW6?

Also, there are two different revisions of MW6 which I guess might make a difference if you bought them from different sellers or at different times?

My setup is only 3, as bought, and is fien apart from one old MBP which seems to wake from sleep and either connect or not, seemingly dependant on how the wind blows.
 

thingsfallapart

New Around Here
Have you tried swapping the order of the MW6?

Also, there are two different revisions of MW6 which I guess might make a difference if you bought them from different sellers or at different times?

My setup is only 3, as bought, and is fine apart from one old MBP which seems to wake from sleep and either connect or not, seemingly dependant on how the wind blows.

Thanks for coming back to me.

I'm not sure what you mean by swapping the order? Do you mean connecting one of the others via LAN? Even if I connect the main node to the network, the whole thing goes down.

Also - I'm not sure how you check revisions. There's model info, MAC info and firmware info in the app, nut nothing else.
 

gingerbeardman

Regular Contributor
Thanks for coming back to me.

I'm not sure what you mean by swapping the order?
What I mean is maybe there is an issue with the unit you are trying to put in the garden. You know all your other units work OK, so why not try one of those in the garden? Just swap them around and see if anything changes. Of course it shouldn't, but it might.

Do you mean connecting one of the others via LAN? Even if I connect the main node to the network, the whole thing goes down.
This sounds like a more serious config problem. Are you attaching ethernet to the correct socket on the MW6?

Also - I'm not sure how you check revisions. There's model info, MAC info and firmware info in the app, nut nothing else.
Revisions, see this post on page 3: May 23, 2018
 

AkAdam44

New Around Here
Hi everyone,

I setup two Tenda MW6's and so far so good, except that my laptops (Dell 15 7000 with wireless AC and a Surface Pro 3) won't connect to the 5 Ghz band no matter what I've tried. I forced both laptops via advanced properties to only use 5 Ghz, but the Dell won't even see the 5 Ghz band and my Surface Pro 3 sees it, but won't connect. The Dell sees all of my neighbors 5 Ghz SSID's, but not mine. All of our cell phones connect to 5 Ghz with no problems. Any ideas? By the way, this is an issue because 2.4 Ghz is data transfer is too slow. 5 Ghz should be much faster as seen on my cell phones. Speedtest.net shows about 20mbps versus over 130mbps on my cell phones.

I'm using firmware 1.0.0.16 and rebooted the devices and still have the same issue.

Thanks,

George
I'm having a very similar issue with my Tenda MW6. My 2.4 Ghz band is extremely slow (2-6 mbps usually), meanwhile when doing a speedtest on my 5Ghz band I can get around 150 mbps or higher. The Tenda doesn't always choose the faster 5Ghz band for my Galaxy S9 when I come home and connect to my network, in fact, it usually chooses the slower 2.4Ghz band even if I stand right next to a node and enable my WiFi. I'm starting to think this behavior may be due to the configuration of my Tenda's because my devices also do not "jump" nodes the way I expect them to. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen them jump unless I turn off the device's WiFi and then re-enable it...then it will connect to the closer node usually. Here is my setup, someone PLEEEEASE correct me here. It's driving me nuts!

First of all I have my Tenda MW6 set up in BRIDGE mode.
Verizon FiOS ONT -> Verizon FiOS Quantum Gateway Router G1100 (ONT connects to G1100 WAN) -> TP-Link 24 Port Unmanaged Switch (LAN port from G1100 connected to a LAN port on the switch)
Now from this 24 port switch I have 8 ethernet cables running to different rooms in my house where I have them terminated at in-will ethernet ports.
In my living room, bedroom and basement I have 8-port gigabit switches connected to these in-wall ethernet ports.
Then, from each of these three 8-port switches, I have a Tenda node connected. All three Tenda's are connected using their LAN ports (I'm not using the WAN port on any of them).

I hope everyone is able to visualize my configuration...LoL If anyone could give me a recommendation on a better way to set these up, it would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

AkAdam44

New Around Here
Wired vs wireless backhaul
I have had issues with wired backhaul over an ethernet network in the house.
Solution as stated by candleman: connect the gateway (first nova) directly to the router via wan connection. From there with lan connection to the switch, and from the switch to LAN network in house. Like this, wherever in the house a nova is connected directly to LAN, it uses wired backhaul (sign<....>). Like this, all nodes are connected to each other via the LAN connection, and only the starting node uses the WAN connection (in) and LAN connection (out). Worked great for me and runs in well in DCHP mode, bridge mode not necessary.
In your configuration, is your original router being used as a DHCP server? Because if the DHCP server isn't turned off, and the Tenda isn't in Bridge mode...then aren't both devices assigning internal IP addresses?? This would eventually cause issues, wouldn't it?
 

Stone

New Around Here
Hi all,

I realize this is an old thread - however I just got a set of Tenda Nova MW6's and SNB has always been my go-to site for networking info .... so perhaps someone can help me here ;)

So my problem is: I have an older laptop with an Atheros AR9485 wireless card - it could connect to my normal wireless router using 40Mhz bandwidth (2.4 Ghz) but only appears to use 20Mhz bandwidth on the Nova MW6's. The review states it uses 40Mhz bandwidth, so what could be the issue here ?

Otherwise I am pretty impressed with the kit - I now have superior WiFi in my whole house and even garden :)

Cheers,
Stone
 

RogerSC

Part of the Furniture
Hi all,

I realize this is an old thread - however I just got a set of Tenda Nova MW6's and SNB has always been my go-to site for networking info .... so perhaps someone can help me here ;)

So my problem is: I have an older laptop with an Atheros AR9485 wireless card - it could connect to my normal wireless router using 40Mhz bandwidth (2.4 Ghz) but only appears to use 20Mhz bandwidth on the Nova MW6's. The review states it uses 40Mhz bandwidth, so what could be the issue here ?

Otherwise I am pretty impressed with the kit - I now have superior WiFi in my whole house and even garden :)

Cheers,
Stone

Assuming that there's a speed advantage for that card on 5GHz. band, sometimes rebooting/restarting a laptop or other client will enable it to move from 2.4GHz to 5GHz. band. If the mesh router offers "band steering" that's helpful, so if you can turn that on, it's supposed to help 5GHz. capable clients ending up on the 5GHz. band. On the other hand, I also have a problematic tablet that is 5GHz. capable, but the eero wants to put it on 2.4GHz. for some reason, at less than half the potential internet speed.
 

IamRambo

New Around Here
I just purchased two of the Tenda Nova MW6 (model mesh3) . My current setup is the ATT uverse pace5268ac. It is located in the far west downstairs master closet in an approximate 3500 sqft two story home. The closet has all CAT5 which is termed in each room in the house. my question is can i run backhaul from say the office the wan port and then from that node lan out to a 5 port switch. Then upstair place the second now into wan port. Does that work or does the second need to be connected on wifi from the main node?

I can disable the 2.4 and 5 ghz on the router so its just sending out lan
 

stocker

New Around Here
Just thought I would add my experience based on some of the questions in the forums.

I purchased a set of three MW6 nodes on eBay (direct from Tenda "open box" but looks new) for $99. You can also get individual nodes for about 40 bucks but you probably won't need more than three unless you have more than one building.

On the latest version of the firmware as of August 2019, you can set the subnet, but can't limit the range, and still no IP reservations. It doesn't appear possible to have a static IP on any device and guarantee no conflict. There are other various limitations to the firmware as well that may or may not matter to you. I put the units in bridge mode and turned things over to my Mikrotik router. It works perfectly including wired backhaul. The only thing I had to give up that mattered was the guest network (there are just not many features on the built-in router). Hopefully, they will add that later. Under the bridging mode, the nodes will use DHCP so they will follow whatever scheme you have set on your DHCP server.

You do not have to connect the units directly to each other to use wired backhaul, just to the same subnet. If the mobile app shows "bars" for signal strength when a node's properties are viewed (instead of '<...>'), you are not wired. I connected all three nodes via their LAN (<...>) port. Not sure if that is the only configuration that works, but that's how I have it and all three nodes are working wired. Before I got the kinks out of the wired, the wireless backhaul was working well. One advantage of using a separate wired router is it is less confusing to see how the nodes are connecting. There should be no reason a plain unmanaged switch would not work for wired backhaul with the built-in Tenda router.

The clients appear to be selecting nodes appropriately and showing an appropriate affinity for 5GHz. The 5GHz range seems to be quite good. I have a big, long, three-story house and I am getting excellent performance everywhere including every corner of my 1.25 acre lot, most of it at 5GHz. The handoffs between access points seem just about right as well. I think some of the posters think the clients should switch as soon as it finds a stronger signal - when really it is more about the existing signal getting weak. If you aren't getting switching it is often the AP density is too high.

The last time I tried a mesh setup it was with pro-grade equipment. I had various annoying issues with casting, IOT devices connecting, etc. which eventually caused me to abandon the attempt. I have had no problems these cheapo Tendas, everything has worked right out of the box.

The app is quirky but has some nice aspects as well. It could be improved, but it is a lot better than nothing.

I'm pretty pleased. Now if they can get guest network in bridge mode.
 
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Harry B

New Around Here
I recently got 3 MW6 nodes and have been trying to use them in bridge mode. What I've found is that the secondary nodes can be connected to my wired network on the <...> ports fine.

The primary node runs fine in bridge mode when it's not connected to a wired network on the <...> port. As soon as it is connected though it tries to run a DHCP service, which conflicts with the router network.

Does anyone know how to disable this functionality? Seems a shame to have to run one node without backhaul.

I'm trying a couple of other things but I'd be curious if anyone else has found a way to work around this. I'm kind of reluctant to have the primary node running DHCP.
 

Harry B

New Around Here
Err. Looked at both the android and iPhone apps. Neither has an option to turn off dhcp. In bridge mode no dhcp menu is shown in other modes there is a dhcp menu but it only allows the starting dhcp address to be chosen. I'm curious. Where do you see this option to switch off dhcp?
 

gingerbeardman

Regular Contributor
To be clear I use my MW6 with Internet Settings = Bridge Mode.

I thought there was a DHCP option but there isn't, sorry. In my Bridge Mode setup DHCP of all devices is handled by my modem router - connected to the "globe" Ethernet port - and I manage the devices through that admin. IP range is 192.168.1.x.

I have a network switch connected to the <···> socket, that allows more wired devices in the same IP range. How is this different to what you have on that port?

Compare that to when the MW6 was in DHCP mode, the IP range I saw was 192.168.5.x and I managed the devices through the Tenda app.
 
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Harry B

New Around Here
I did some more checks. I went back out of bridge mode and changed the DHCP settings to allocate from the same range as the house network. Then when back in bridge mode if I switch off router DHCP and connect the primary node the node does not respond to DHCP requests. But... if I power cycle the node (leaving it connected) it then starts to respond to DHCP requests. I still need to try the same test but with router DHCP running, Maybe the node does some check to see if there is already a DHCP server. Otherwise next step is to try to enable port 23 and telnet in to have a look around.
 

Harry B

New Around Here
Tenda have confirmed the DHCP feature cannot be turned off. I'm asking if they have plans to allow this (somehow I suspect not). I can't seem to enable port 23 to be able to telnet in. Anyone have any joy with this?
 

gingerbeardman

Regular Contributor
Has the app stopped recognising anybody's mesh3 (MW6)? Mine are working fine, so I'm dubious to reset them to get to get the app to recognise them, as if it doesn't then I'll be left stranded. Tenda are non-responsive.
 
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