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We tracked down the cheapest mesh Wi-Fi system and it even works with Alexa

(Image credit: Tenda)

Mesh Wi-Fi systems have become a staple of the modern household, and small businesses have also embraced them with enthusiasm. This is because they provide an excellent solution to a real problem: Wi-Fi “notspots”. 

The Tenda Nova MW3 Mesh Wi-Fi system will not suit everyone; there are only two satellites rather than three, and it uses the slower AC1200 wireless protocol. Still, for a mere $67.29 (roughly £50 / AU$100) from Amazon, this is the most affordable mesh Wi-Fi system on the market - though you'll have to factor in shipping costs on top.

Tenda claims its system allows you to create a Wi-Fi network that covers up to 200 square meters and eliminate any dead zones in your house or office. There’s only one SSID and password to remember, which means moving from one zone to another should be seamless.

The units are small cubes with 90mm sides and each node offers two Ethernet connectors with a maximum speed of 100Mbps, which could be limiting if your broadband speed is higher than that.

Another downside is that there’s only one radio subsystem per unit, so the actual available bandwidth is a fraction of the maximum theoretical data rate of 867Mbits/sec.

For better coverage, we suggest you opt for the 3-pack or 4-pack solution, which can increase surface coverage by up to 100%.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.