Tenda MW3 Nova Review

Tenda MW3 "Get yourself connected"

Review by:  Jennifer Griffiths 
Video & Testing by: Philip Griffiths

Introduction :

Have you ever found yourself wondering how to get a better Wi-Fi connection without all of the little adapters and messing about, and without having to go out and spend a small fortune on one of the nicer systems that has a premium price and it’s just a wee bit overkill for your small area?  I bet you have.  So today I am going to talk about a solution for the family home or even small office that gives you the coverage you need at a price you can afford.  Sounds too good to be true right?  Well, reading the information on the MW3 by Tenda, this is what they have promised me.  So, I will do an in depth study of their product to see if I’m gonna get myself connected or stumble and fall.  This and more in this edition of Tech For Techs!

Manufacturer statement:

MW3 is a 1200 Mbps dual band distribution mesh WiFi system designed for 100-300m² houses, bringing you with whole home WiFi coverage, as well as fast and stable internet connection. Pack of 3 provides you with up to 300 m² WiFi range; while pack of 2 provides you with up to 200 m² WiFi range. Compliant with IEEE 802.11v and IEEE 802.11r seamless roaming protocols, MW3 supports automatic network optimization and automatic routing selection, allowing you to enjoy more stable and flexible wireless network.


 

About Tenda Technology Inc.

 

Founded in 1999, Tenda Technology is a leading supplier of networking devices and equipment. Tenda has committed to delivering easy-to-install and affordable networking solutions, offering innovative, cutting-edge products.

Innovation is the soul of Tenda Technology. Tenda has two world-class R&D centres, Shenzhen and Chengdu, one manufacturing centre in Shenzhen, and a new 120,000 m2 manufacture base just being completed in Dongguan.

Tenda products include home networking, business networking, switch, broadband CPE, gateway, powerlines, mobile broadband and IP cameras. Excellent performance, steady signal, easy use and installation, top quality with competitive prices are the common features of all Tenda products.

Through worldwide distribution channels, Tenda distributes products to more than 100 countries around the world and has a customer service team of more than 160 employees to solve problems for distributors and end customers.

For more information about Tenda and its products, visit http://www.tendacn.com

Packaging:

The packaging looks smart.  Clear pictures and font make this easy to see what you are getting.  It will be attractive on a store shelf and eye catching for your customers.  Everything you need to know prior to purchase is clearly written on the box.  It tells how many Novas you will get, 3.  It also tells the coverage expectancy *up to 300m square.  This is a very refreshing change from some manufacturers that just have very little to say and unappealing graphics.  The Tenda logo, as most of you know is orange.  This stands out on the black box as do the white Novas.  I like what they have done on the back with the drawing of the house and how to place the Novas.  It is also in white and orange to make it stand out.  I can't find anything bad to say about the packaging.  Well done, Tenda!

Unboxing:

 

Inside the box, you get 3 units, 3 power cables and an Ethernet cable along with a User's Guide.

Measurements:

Units 90 x 90 x 90 mm

Ethernet cable 1m

Power cable 1m 15 cm

Full specifications can be found here:  http://www.tendacn.com/uk/product/specification/MW3.html

 

The units are not totally square.  They have sort of rounded corners if you will.  The tops are textured.  I think they will fit in nicely in any room because of their size and the little extra touches.  At a distance they remind me of a battery powered candle.  
 

Installation:

The installation is very simple.  You basically plug the Ethernet cable into your router and into the back of the unit, then plug the power cable into the unit and into the mains.  After this, you attach the power cable to the remaining two and plug them into a power source.  That's it.  It's almost too simple!
 

Testing:

I set up the Nova MW3 (in the same way we tested the MW6) in our own home to make sure it was used in the way it was meant to be.  Our internet is supplied by BT and we have a BT Infinity fibre connection running at around 72mb.  We are using the BT Smart Hub as the main router.  In normal usage, the Smart Hub sends out a good signal and covers the property with a few areas where the speed can drop by up to 50%.

 

Testing:

I tested the speeds and connection quality in a number of ways:

 

  1. To a PC direct from the BT Smart Hub via a cat6 cable,

  2. Wirelessly via a PC 4 rooms away (my Office) using the BT Hub,

  3. Wirelessly via an iPhone 7Plus in an upstairs bedroom using the BT Hub,

  4. Wirelessly via a PC 4 rooms away (my Office) using one Tenda MW3 directly next to the BT Hub,

  5. Wirelessly via a PC 4 rooms away (my Office) using one Tenda MW6 directly next to the BT Hub,

  6. Wirelessly  via an iPhone 7Plus in an upstairs bedroom using the Tenda MW3 network,

  7. Wirelessly via a PC 4 rooms away (my Office) using the Tenda MW3 network,

  8. Wirelessly via a PC 4 rooms away (my Office) using the Tenda MW6 network,

  9. Wirelessly  via an iPhone 7Plus in an upstairs bedroom using the Tenda Nova MW3 network,

  10. Wirelessly  via an iPhone 7Plus in an upstairs bedroom using the Tenda Nova MW6 network,

 

  • Connected directly to the BT hub Via Ethernet we got a steady 72.1mbps with a ping of 10ms

  • Connected to the BT Hub with the iPhone in the bedroom got an average of 50.5mbps download and a ping of 22

  • Connected to the BT hub from the office PC Wirelessly we got an average speed of  54.7mbps with a ping of 14ms

  • Connecting to the Nova MW6 network (3 Nova's) with the PC and got an average of 71.37mbps and a 19ms ping.

  • Connecting to the Nova MW3 network (3 Nova's) with the PC and got an average of 70.20mbps and a 17ms ping.

  • The iPhone in the bedroom (MW6, 3 Nova's) got similar results 70.47mbps and a ping of 14ms

  • The iPhone in the bedroom (MW3, 3 Nova's) got similar results 70.60 mbps and a ping of 14ms

  • Connected to one nova MW6 to an access point next to the BT hub, The average speed was 57.08mbps with a ping of 14ms

  • Connected to one nova MW6 to an access point next to the BT hub, The average speed was 52.70mbps with a ping of 14ms

  • The iPhone in the bedroom (1 MW3 Novs) got a results 58.01 mbps and a ping of 14ms

 

So in basics, the MW3 helds its own against its bigger and more expanisve brother in a standard house, the wireless technology in these things are amazing, I even tried to trick the novas by unplugging one of them now and then while streaming to see if the connection would drop. Unfortunately it outsmarted me and carried on working even when all but the one plugged into the router got turned off.

We also tested them in out store that has 300mbps internet via Virgin, the footprint of the store is a lot smaller than the house, but the novas where able to run at practically the same speed as the Virgin Router,  The virgin router tested at 291.17mbps on Ethernet, the Tenda Nova MW3 got 83.61Mbps via WiFi. the reason is the MW3 does not have a Gigabit Ethernet connection so can only run at 100mbps on paper.

Software:

The software is easy to download from the app/play store, a quick scan of the QR code on a Nova and your in, you can set up parental controls and change and monitor practically everything you can on a normal router, it actually gave us more options to play with than our BT SmartHub did.

Pricing:

 

£ 99.99
 

Suppliers:

Target Components

VIP

GNR

West Coast

CCL Online

Box.co.uk

eBuyer

We Recommend you buy them from Distributors or independent stores if you can't, you can buy them on Amazon via the links below.

All Novas =  https://amzn.to/2QCQa6M

MW3 2 pack =  https://amzn.to/2MJ1xH0

MW3 3 Pack = https://amzn.to/2xgKYgC

NW6 2 pack =  https://amzn.to/2QBqpnc

NW6 3 pack = https://amzn.to/2D361J2

Conclusion:

 

Not only did I get myself connected, I did not stumble much less fall.   The Tenda unit never once neglected to keep me connected.  It's a must have.  As you can see in the pictures, it fits in with home décor and does not take up a lot of room.  Unlike its big brother, it is not bulky and that will go over well with people who want the mesh advantage but don't want something the size of a PC speaker.  These, in my opinion are like a small battery powered candle in size.  Even those with the most finicky taste will not be let down.  Jess, the cat gave it a paw's up and take it from me, she's a hard one to please. So, being it kept me connected and Jess likes it, I give it the TFT Must Have and a thumbs up for excellence.  Great job, Tenda!

 

Stand out point:  

 

The fact it kept me connected in hard to even get a connection areas of the house.

The unit is nice and discrete in size and looks.  

 

Pros:

  • Price, more cost effective then buying unreliable Network extenders

  • Reliability, if one Nova goes down the others carry on working

  • Style/Looks
     

Cons:

  • Feels a little flimsy

  • max 100meg from router due to no Gigabit connection 

     

Scores:

Value 5
 

Packaging 5
 

Reliabilaty/Speed/Coverage 5
 

Ease of setup 5

 

 

They got a PLATINUM Award, This products has got our first MUST HAVE award.