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Tenda Nova MW6 review: A good-value mesh system, now even cheaper

Tenda Nova MW6 review
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
170
inc VAT

If you’re looking for a mesh system that can replace an ailing router, the Tenda is a cost-effective option

Pros 
Tasteful design
Guest network feature
Low price
Cons 
No web interface
Can't bind an IP address to a device
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As far as mesh Wi-Fi systems go, Tenda’s compact cubes are nothing if not tasteful. And I was initially blown away by their close-range connection speed, too, which was head and shoulders above any other mesh kit we've tested.

Unfortunately, the Tenda system relies on a single 867Mbits/sec connection for both client and backhaul duties, so connecting via one of the other nodes slows things down. Overall download speeds are still likely to be far better than you can achieve from a single standalone router, but it's a fair way behind the best mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market.

READ NEXT: The best mesh Wi-Fi routers you can buy

The Nova MW6 has other foibles, too. Weirdly, with the current firmware there’s no way to bind an IP address to a specific device unless you also apply some sort of port forwarding rule to that client. Moreover, if you don’t like the default 192.168.5.x IP address range, you can change it – but only to either 10.0.0.x or 172.16.0.x.

Tap around the app (there’s no web interface) and you will also notice a lack of band-splitting options, although to be fair I didn’t encounter any problems with my own devices connecting on the wrong band. There’s currently no IPv6 support either. The manufacturer says it intends to add this in a future update, but it would have been reassuring to have this important piece of future-proofing in place from the off.

Tenda Nova MW6 review

What you do get is a simple guest network feature, which you can activate for four hours, eight hours or permanently. A group-based parental control function also lets you limit internet access to certain times of day for specified clients, although the Nova system doesn’t let you perform any sort of site-blocking.

It's also possible to schedule a daily or weekly reboot, although I'm in two minds about this feature. It feels like a good idea, but it suggests that Tenda lacks confidence in the stability of its own software.

READ NEXT: The best routers you can buy

Tenda Nova MW6 review: Verdict

Perhaps the Tenda Nova MW6’s most tempting feature is its low price: while the BT Whole Home Wi-Fi kit costs a similar amount, it only functions as an extender.

If you’re looking for a mesh system that can completely replace an underperforming router, the Tenda is your most cost-effective option. Just note that you’ll get a better feature set and stronger performance elsewhere.