In this video we are checking out the Tenda Nova mesh Wifi System. Now in the mesh WiFi market space there seems to be a few key players, Google WiFi which I’ve personally been using for a year now, Eero, Netgear’s Orbi, Linksys’s Velop, and they’re all great for the most part, but Mesh WiFi systems like the ones I mentioned tend to be a little pricey. Google WiFi which used to be the most affordable still comes in at $269 for a pack of 3, and the other ones I mentioned retail for $300 or more. But if you’re trying to get into the mesh WiFi game without going broke, this tenda nova wifi system comes in at just $199 bucks which is about the cheapest 3- pack system out right now, and let me just get this out of the way too, it’s really pretty good. I replaced my google WiFi system with the nova for a few days, and had absolutely no issues or complaints whatsoever. In a nutshell, a mesh WiFi system consists of a number of WiFi points all interconnected and working together to increase coverage over a large area, so if you have a big two story house and have trouble getting a strong WiFi signal in some rooms, or if you have a warehouse or office space that requires better WiFi coverage, a mesh WiFi system like this one is a great option with this Tenda Nova system covering up to 6000 square feet.
Inside the box, you get everything you’ll need to properly setup your mesh WiFi network. You get 3 cube shaped nova WiFi points which look kind of cool in my opinion, along with 3 AC plugs to power them up. You also get 1 extra Ethernet cable and I’ll talk more about the setup in just a second, but you’ll use this to plug 1 of the Nova units into your cable modem with the rest of the units functioning wireless in different rooms around your house.
Each Nova Unit is a super lightweight perfect cube measuring in at just under 4 inches all the way around, so they won’t take up much space wherever you end up putting them. Underneath each unit you’ll find WAN and LAN ports and the ac power input, along with the units name, default password and QR code which will be useful when you go to set these up.
Size-wise, the nova’s are a bit bigger than google WiFi by about an inch or 2, unfortunately Google WiFi is the only other system I have to use for a quick side by side comparison, but it’s not a huge deal and like I mentioned, for the most part considering it’s still a fairly small unit in general and also has a pretty interesting design, whether you want to have the unit out on a desk or a table or tuck it away behind something and hide it, either way it’ll work just fine.
Setting up the nova mesh network was incredibly easy and even if you have very little internet or tech know-how I think most people will have no issues getting this stuff up and running since everything you need comes inside the box and the setup process is just a few steps. You first just need to plug in 1 of the nova units to power it up, and then use the included Ethernet cable to go from the right blue port on the unit to the first port on your cable modem box, similar to how you’d setup any other WiFi router. The nova has an LED indicator in the corner with a light that ranges from a few different color to indicate whether the network is up and running, trying to connect or has an issue.
The rest of the setup process takes place on the Tenda WiFi app that’s available for iOS and Android and its just a couple step process. Like I mentioned earlier, all the info the app asks you for is located on the underside of the unit, so you’ll use the default SSID and password when setting up and connecting for the first time. Once the nova establishes a connection from your cable modem and creates the default WiFi network, you can then make the necessary changes to the network name and password. After the first nova unit is connected with your initial WiFi network setup, the app will walk you through how to add a second nova router and create the mesh network. This process is just a matter of plugging in a second nova unit in a different location in your home, waiting a minute for the app locate and recognize it, and the connection is automatically setup which you can see in the app. The app also allows you to setup a guest network, add parental controls and adjust some settings while also being a hub for any firmware updates.
In my own home, my cable modem is all the way on one end of the house, so a WiFi signal always had trouble reaching to other rooms. I had a second Nova unit in my kitchen, and after a few days of using this system I had no issues and was getting just about the advertised wireless speeds from my ISP in every room in the house. The Nova system supports 2.4 and 5Ghz frequencies along with all of the usual wireless standards, so for the average household this system has no issues taking care of a bunch of connected devices all at once. For $199, I really have no problem recommending the Tenda Nova system if you’re looking for an inexpensive mesh WiFi solution. Mesh WiFi isn’t anything new anymore, and there’s no reason to pay three or four hundreds bucks for some name brand setup when this one gets the job done at a great price.