No Wi-Fi 6, No Worries?

The Nova MW12 is the newest mesh Wi-Fi resolution for domestic consumers from Tenda, aiming to support your community sign and velocity round the home.

Like the former Nova MW3 and Nova MW6 techniques, the Nova MW12 is a bit bit inexpensive than your reasonable whole-home Wi-Fi gadget, which sees it competing with the likes of Amazon’s Eero, and extra lately the Eero 6, in addition to Netgear’s new Orbi RBK352 and Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 techniques, and the TP-Hyperlink Deco X60. 

Tenda says that 3 Nova MW12 satellites operating in unison might be sufficient to hide as much as 6,000 sq. toes, or 500 sq. metres. On paper, that’s a bit higher than either one of the ones Eero choices (4,950 sq. toes/460 sq. metres), and the Netgear Nighthawk (3,250 sq. toes/300 sq. metres), however now not rather as just right because the Deco X60 (7,000 sq. toes/650 sq. metres). 

Like numerous mesh Wi-Fi techniques, the Nova MW12 gadget is designed to be simply expandable, so if 3 satellites aren’t rather doing the trick, then selecting up a fourth and including that on your current mesh community is straightforward. Likewise, if 3 satellites is overkill, you’ll save somewhat of cash by way of selecting up a 2-pack. You’ll have any quantity from one to fifteen in a single MW12 mesh community, in step with Tenda. 

The Tenda Nova MW12 is a ‘tri-band’ gadget, which means that it’ll use the standard 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio frequencies to attach your telephones, drugs, and laptops to the Web, whilst the satellites keep up a correspondence and course site visitors throughout your own home by means of a 3rd, devoted 5GHz channel. 

As you progress between rooms together with your units, the gadget will routinely resolve which of the nodes you might be closest to, and dynamically reconnect your units to the closest node, and at the quickest, least congested radio band. 

That’s the fundamentals, anyway. I took the Tenda Nova MW12 for a check power to look what else it has to provide.

Design & Construct

  • Compact cubes
  • 3x Ethernet ports

The Tenda Nova MW12 cubes are light-weight, absorb little area, and but nonetheless arrange to deal with 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports each and every (one WAN/LAN and two LAN). This implies if you wish to use a stressed out connection for TV set-top bins, video games consoles or desktop PCs, you’ll. 

There’s a bit cutaway segment on the base of each and every Nova MW12 which permits get right of entry to to the ports. Whilst it could seem like there’s simplest sufficient headroom for the ones super-flat, tagliatelle-style Ethernet cables, you’ll, with reference to, are compatible same old sized RJ45 cables in there.

Be aware that Ethernet backhaul isn’t supported right here. That is one thing that’ll be of hobby to consumers who need so that you can hyperlink their units the use of a devoted, stressed out connection, taking into account extra tough efficiency. The very recently-announced Tenda Nova EX6 and Nova MX6’s do fortify this, as does the TP-Hyperlink Deco X60, so if that’s one thing that’s required for your own home, you will have to flip your consideration against the ones. 

For many consumers, the wi-fi backhaul should be sturdy sufficient to permit the Nova MW12 devices to keep up a correspondence with each and every different with out help. 

Setup & Options

  • Simple to make use of app
  • Color coded LEDs
  • Parental keep an eye on

Putting in place a three-piece Nova MW12 gadget is so easy certainly, due to the simple to practice directions at the Tenda WiFi app (iOS, Android). 

As with all mesh Wi-Fi gadget, it is a case of connecting the primary machine on your modem by means of Ethernet, and turning the modem off and again on once more to arrange that preliminary connection. As soon as that is executed, you’ll then start putting in the opposite satellites, or nodes, as Tenda calls them. 

That is made simple due to the transparent directions at the app, and because of the little standing LEDs at the backside left nook. Those will glow inexperienced in case you’ve picked a great place, and yellow if a connection between the satellites has been established, however it isn’t very sturdy. The lighting fixtures and the app will stay prompting you till you’ve got picked a great place for the entirety. It does not paintings extraordinarily smartly thru partitions, so take into consideration the place you’ll wish to set the entirety up to start with. 

When that’s all executed, you’ll be greeted with one thing like this whilst you open up the Tenda WiFi app:

Through default, the entirety is known as ‘number one node’ and ‘secondary node’, however you’ll assign your individual names to the nodes, to assist you in finding which units are attached through which rooms. In addition to selecting from an inventory of commonplace names like ‘lounge’, ‘kitchen’, ‘bed room’ and so forth, you’ll additionally input customized names, so if your home occurs to have a library, billiard room, and ballroom as smartly, you’re in success. 

You’ll rename particular person units as they seem at the community too (e.g. ‘Tom’s Nintendo Transfer’), and likewise assign a label to each and every machine (e.g. ‘Son’s Console’). Frequently, cellphones, drugs, and laptops seem as a nondescript-looking bunch of letters and numbers, so you may recognize the facility to personalise the format of your own home community.  

Labelling the entirety additionally makes it more uncomplicated to allow the parental keep an eye on characteristic, which oldsters can use to allow a length of inaccessibility, will have to they need to implement some display screen downtime.

I say parental keep an eye on characteristic, as a result of that’s all you get in the best way of parental controls at the Tenda Nova MW12 – there’s just one. For better keep an eye on, you’re at an advantage browsing at devoted safety instrument – learn the Very best Antivirus round-up for the newest in this – in addition to guides to putting in parental controls on Home windows, iOS, and Android.

Different commonplace however welcome options come with Visitor Wi-Fi, which helps you to arrange a 2nd Wi-Fi community with a separate password on your common one, for a restricted period of time, and port forwarding, will have to you wish to have so that you can let other people get right of entry to an FTP server you’re internet hosting.

There’s a QoS (High quality of Carrier) device, which objectives to prioritise sure forms of site visitors, similar to gaming, and media streams, but it surely’s now not configurable – it’s actually an on/off toggle keep an eye on. 

There’s additionally a characteristic known as Rapid Roaming, which is designed to prevent such things as video calls and streams from disconnecting when units transfer between nodes, hopping off of 1 Wi-Fi connection and directly to some other. 

Capability-Orientated Mode may also be toggled in case you have over greater than 30 units attached to your own home community at anyone time, in idea taking into account higher provisioning of to be had bandwidth. It will’t be enabled when you’ve got fewer than 30 units the use of the community immediately, and as I didn’t have that many units handy on the time, I will’t touch upon how smartly this works.

In any case, there’s some restricted fortify for Alexa, too. You’ll upload this Tenda Alexa Ability on your account and feature it do such things as activate Visitor WiFi, or remind you of your password, despite the fact that I in truth struggled to try this numerous the time, with Alexa on occasion considering I sought after assist with a Netgear machine as an alternative. I’m chalking this as much as Alexa now not working out me greater than the rest.


  • Wi-Fi 5
  • As much as 15 nodes
  • As much as 867Mbps

The Tenda Nova MW12 has height theoretical wi-fi speeds of 300Mbps at the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps at the 5GHz. 

Whilst I’d on occasion way the ones height speeds on each frequencies, actually, the speeds I’d get round my domestic have been somewhat slower. Now not gradual sufficient that I couldn’t simply move tune and video anyplace in the home, however the efficiency used to be a bit below the marketed headline velocity. 

I examined the Nova MW12 out in a terraced space in South London, with the principle machine attached to a Virgin Media Tremendous Hub 3 appearing as a modem in the lounge, the secondary machine put in within the kitchen kind of 12m away. The 3rd hub used to be arrange within the upstairs place of business, one storey up and kind of 5m clear of the place the kitchen satellite tv for pc used to be put in.

I ran a chain of velocity checks on an Android phone with a Wi-Fi 5 antenna (a Huawei Mate 10 Professional) with the Wi-Fi Pace Check Professional app to reveal the forms of real-world speeds you’ll be expecting to get from this. For comparability, I ran the similar checks in the similar places whilst attached to a Virgin Media Tremendous Hub 3, to turn the advantages of the use of a multi-device whole-home mesh Wi-Fi gadget as an alternative of a unmarried router. 

The consequences under are averages:

Wi-Fi 5 check Virgin Media Tremendous Hub 3 Tenda Nova MW12
1m 671Mbps 517Mbps
5m with a wall 307Mbps 281Mbps
Upstairs, close to the rear of the home 20Mbps 485Mbps
Lawn n/a 41Mbps

Pace-wise, that is just about in step with what I anticipated from a Wi-Fi 5 mesh gadget. Even though the effects make it seem like the Tremendous Hub 3 (additionally a dual-band Wi-Fi 5 machine) is best in some checks, there’s now not a lot in it, to be truthful. I’ve recorded decrease speeds from the Tremendous Hub 3 sooner than. 

Relating to day by day use, the Nova MW12 used to be additionally in most cases just right at turning in – retaining units attached to the web as I moved round the home, reconnecting to other satellites as I did. As discussed on the height, you’ll create a mesh with as much as 15 nodes.

I did come across a scenario the place the Nova MW12 instrument insisted on retaining one machine, an HP Elitebook 850 G7, attached to the kitchen satellite tv for pc, even if I used to be operating upstairs. This made for a significantly flaky connection, because it’d hop between the kitchen satellite tv for pc, and the place of business satellite tv for pc, which made getting any paintings executed at the HP unimaginable. Even with Rapid Roaming grew to become on, I might nonetheless come across the similar drawback. 

Surprisingly, not one of the different units within the place of business – a Huawei Mate 10 Professional, an Oppo In finding X3 Professional, and an previous MacBook Professional computer – suffered from this, so it might be a topic explicit to that HP computer.

It’s imaginable that this used to be a teething factor – each the Eero and Eero 6 exhibited identical behaviour within the first few days of use, however ultimately smoothed the entirety out. If this can be a in style factor, and now not explicit to the units, it’s one thing that Tenda can iron out with a long run firmware replace.

Worth & Availability

The Tenda Nova MW12 is in the stores now. 

Whilst you’ll’t pick out up fashions without delay from Tenda’s website online, in the United Kingdom, you’ll these days pick out up a Tenda Nova MW12 3-pack equipment for £199.30 from Amazon, down from the standard £269.99. Amazon additionally sells particular person Nova MW12 devices for £119.90. 

RL Provides additionally sells Tenda Nova MW12 3-packs for £227.91, whilst OnBuy sells them for £266.48. There are some just right offers going at the 2-pack kits as smartly, with Quzo promoting two Nova MW12’s for £168.86. 

Good Teck sells the similar equipment for relatively extra at £184.90, whilst Ginger 6 additionally sells this package for £188. 

Consumers in the United States can pick out up a Tenda Nova MW12 3-pack for US$182.74 from Newegg. Likewise, Amazon is promoting the Nova MW12 3-pack for US$189.99, down from US$214.99.

If either one of the ones puts are out of inventory, then your very best guess is Walmart, which sells the Tenda Nova 3-pack for the usual US$214.99.

On the time of writing, no distributors in the United States have been promoting unmarried Tenda Nova MW12’s or 2-device packs. 

The one on-line store primarily based in Australia these days promoting the Tenda Nova MW12 is Amazon – you’ll pick out up a Nova MW12 3-pack for AU$379.99, a Nova MW12 2-pack for AU$259.99, or a unmarried Nova MW12 machine for AU$231.83

Test our very best mesh Wi-Fi techniques chart to look what different choices you will have.


The Tenda Nova MW12 is straightforward to make use of and gives just right whole-home protection. It’s now not essentially the most state-of-the-art resolution available in the market, and so when you’ve got a necessity for velocity, this isn’t for you.

Having two LAN ports on each and every node might be very helpful, however it is a disgrace the MW12 does not have extra parental controls.

Worth-wise, it’s undercut reasonably by way of the Eero 6, which provides identical capability along side quicker Wi-Fi speeds and different Wi-Fi 6 advantages for a similar roughly cash, making the Tenda tougher to counsel until you in finding it at discounted costs.


Tenda Nova MW12: Specifications

  • Twin-band 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) with 2×2 MU-MIMO
  • Tri-band devoted 5GHz Wi-Fi backhaul
  • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Faraway keep an eye on with the Tenda WiFi app (iOS, Android)
  • Works with Amazon Alexa
  • Visitor Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi control
  • Site visitors control
  • Parental Controls
  • IPv6 fortify
  • WPA2
  • 100x100x100mm
  • 318g

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