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Tenda Nova MW3-3 Mesh WiFi System - Up to 3500 sq.ft. Whole Home Coverage, WiFi Router and Extender Replacement, AC1200 Mesh Router for Wireless Internet, Works with Alexa, Parental Controls, 3-pack

£9.9£99Clearance
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About this deal

Though they're certainly in vogue, a mesh network isn't for everyone. Those with a smaller home probably won't need to stretch their WiFi quite as far, so a (cheaper) repeater will do. A skim of the Tenda’s technical specifications revealed the explanation. Alongside lightweight Wi-Fi hardware, the MW3 nodes also use 100Mbits/sec Ethernet ports, rather than the Gigabit type we’re accustomed to. That puts a hard speed limit of around 10MB/sec on all wired resources – including your NAS drive and your internet connection. With home working from becoming the norm, there's more need than ever for a reliable laptop, as well as a separate keyboard, wireless mouse and printer to complete the 'home office' setup. Add in your gaming setup (or your children's) and an excellent internet connection is essential. I had thought placing one inside a stone shed outside near one inside the house would work but it doesn't. Bandwidth: The maximum rate of data that can be sent. This term can be applied to both wired and wireless data transfer. The higher the bandwidth, the faster your internet.

BT's Whole Home WiFi is a really solid product which would have been higher on this list had it not been for a few strange choices BT has made. For several reasons, I wasn’t expecting the Nova MW3 to deliver exceptional performance. For one, its 5GHz radios claim a fairly modest maximum data rate of 867Mbits/sec, which is half the speed of the units in the BT Whole Home Wi-Fi system.

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It’s a similar case with a powerline adapter. Yes, it should be able to carry the signal for as long as it’s on the same powerline but ultimately you’ll lose it if you stretch it too far. Naturally, however, connecting devices to an extender via Ethernet won’t be as fast as a direct wired connection to the router because the signal still needs to travel from your router to the extender over the airwaves first. What other features should I look for? The RE450 isn’t the cheapest Wi-Fi 5 extender, but it’s faster and more stylish than the budget competition. Don’t be put off by its age: it still deserves a place on anyone’s shortlist. BT's mesh network system would have been at the top of this list had the company made a few tiny tweaksThe MW3 units are inconspicuous white cubes, with bumpy tops to add a hint of visual interest. They’re small too, measuring just 90mm on each side, so they won’t dominate a shelf or worktop.

However, the design isn't great. The nodes are much bigger than Google's cylinders or TP Link Deco's disks. The light is also a lot brighter than the others. You can change this in the settings, but it's annoying that it comes as default. It illuminated my bedroom to a point where I feared it would harm my chances of getting to sleep. (Admittedly, I'm someone who requires total darkness to nod off.)The tagline TP Link are using for the Deco mesh system is 'paint your home in Wi-Fi', which is a pretty fair assessment of the technology. Want to paint an extra room in WiFi? Buy another node. Wish you hadn't painted the kid's room in WiFi? Take the node away. Both sets of devices will be slightly different per brand or even per product, but you should be looking at an average of about 50-75ft. If money is no object, this is the WiFi extender for you, offering the most utility of all its competitors. For others, it might be on the prohibitive side of pricey. Mesh networks should, in theory, mean your WiFi never cuts out again. These work by having various ‘nodes’ scattered around your home (normally they come in boxes of three but you can get as many as you need.) The first one connects to your current router to create a network, then the other nodes act as additional routers to ensure you’ve got the same fast signal being broadcast from each. It should also stabilise your router. Whole Home WiFi sits between Google and TP Link in terms of functionality. It can do everything that its competitors can do, minus Google's home control elements. Considering it is the cheapest of the three, you may not miss any of that.

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