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How to set up Tenda Nova mesh for wired backhaul - MW5, MW6, etc.
#1
After using a Tenda Nova MW6 mesh kit for a few months, it is like a night vs day improvement over using my former ISP router.  Unlike my terrible experience with Wi-Fi repeaters, the Tenda nodes have been very stable using wireless backhaul.  This means if there's a Wi-Fi blackspot without Ethernet connectivity, an extra node will solve that.  

The Tenda Nova nodes support wired Ethernet backhaul, which allows the secondary nodes to extend the Wi-Fi without consuming wireless bandwidth back to the primary mode.  This is particularly useful where the nodes are separated by thick walls or down a long corridor where the Wi-Fi of the primary node does not reach. 

Preparing for wired backhaul
  1. To start with, connect the main node's blue Internet socket to the Internet (e.g. LAN port on the router).  Leave the other nodes unplugged for the moment.
  2. Set up the main node, e.g. provide the Internet settings (if not using an existing router) and give it a Wi-Fi name and password. 
  3. Place all the secondary nodes in the same room as the primary node and connect their power cables.  Don't attach anything to their network sockets.
  4. If the secondary nodes were included in the same kit as the primary node (part of a 2 or 3 pack), leave them switched on for a few minutes to automatically pair with the primary node.
  5. For any nodes bought separately, go into the Tenda App -> Settings -> Add nova, then follow the steps to add the separate nodes to the mesh.
  6. Ensure all the secondary nodes have a solid green LED before continuing. 
  7. Unplug the secondary nodes, then place them in the desired locations and follow either method below. 

Setting up the wired backhaul - Method 1

Run an Ethernet cable from the 'LAN' socket of the primary node to the blue Internet socket of the secondary node:

   

Repeat this process for any additional nodes, like this:

   

Switch on the secondary nodes.  The LED will flash after a moment, but should turn solid green after a few seconds.  If it turns yellow or another colour, it has reverted to wireless backhaul, i.e. Ethernet cable problem.

Setting up the wired backhaul - Method 2

Update: Thanks to DaveUK83 for providing a better method of wiring the secondary nodes that provides faster Wi-Fi performance.   This section has been revised on the 5th April '21 - The secondary nodes now connect to the switch via the LAN port.  

Although I have not tested this method, this should also work and would allow using the one network socket as both wired backhaul for the Wi-Fi and connecting an existing wired device, such as a PC or games console.  
  1. Run an Ethernet cable from the 'LAN' socket of the primary node to a separate network switch, e.g. port #1. 
  2. Run Ethernet cables from ports #2, #3, etc. to the LAN sockets of the secondary nodes. 
  3. The WAN sockets of each secondary node can be left empty or to provide wired Internet connectivity to a desktop PC, TV set top box, etc.
If using an ISP router with multiple LAN ports, ensure all secondary mesh nodes are attached to the separate switch:

   

When using an ISP router like this, I suggest configuring the Tenda Mesh network to Bridge mode so that the Wi-Fi devices can access any printer, NAS, etc. attached to the ISP router.  To do this, go into the Tenda App -> Settings -> Internet Settings -> Connection Type, then touch the Bridge option. 

Wired backhaul methods that do not work!

My first few attempts of setting up wired backhaul were unsuccessful, mainly due to trying to attach the secondary nodes to the router or to a network switch attached to that router.

For example, the following wiring does not work:

   

Basically, do not connect any network port of a secondary mesh node to the LAN port of the ISP router or any network switch attached to the ISP router.


Attached Files Image(s)
   
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#2
Hey! Very helpful.

In Method 2, do you think having other devices (printer, PC, console) will also work if connected to the same LAN Switch?

I have a 8 port LAN switch with 7 cables ran to each room. I can use 2/7 to add two nodes from Tenda.

Can I use the other 5 ports as I wish?
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#3
I reckon that should also work, e.g. with an 8 or 16 port switch, you could connect other wired devices such as spare room ports, PCs, etc. in addition to the secondary nodes. 

Then main important point is that this switch connects to the LAN port of the primary node and that its WAN port (with the globe icon) connects to the Internet such as an ISP router, like below:

   
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#4
Perfect. This worked and is flying Smile .

Another question -
My ISP is via ADSL using PPPOE.
FTTC, around 70mb speed.

I noticed the Tenda accepts PPPOE - do you know if I plug the DSL cable direct to the WAN port of the Primary node and then configure the PPPOE username/password, should it work?
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#5
Unfortunately, the Tenda node does not have a built-in VDSL modem. Although the telephone RJ11 jack may physically fit, don't try this as there is a risk it could damage the port. The telephone line also carries about 48v voltage, so even if it doesn't buckle the pins, the high voltage could cause internal damage.

The PPPoE is for legacy DSL modems that depend on a separate Ethernet-only router. I haven't seen one of them in around 15 years. Smile If your router has a "Bridge Mode" setting, this will also turn it into a passive DSL modem, in which case you would configure the Tenda for PPPoE. The catch here is that you will no longer be able to access your router's web interface with bridge mode enabled, at least not easily.
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#6
Got it Smile

I think I'll stick to the setup from 2 posts ago then, thank you Sean!
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#7
(14/01/2021, 04:11 PM)DC1988 Wrote: Got it Smile

I think I'll stick to the setup from 2 posts ago then, thank you Sean!

Really pleased to have found this thread! Hoping someone might be able to help to resolve an issue I have. I’ve had 3 MW6’s for a while but recently built a garden room and purchased a 4th MW6 to extend the wifi. I also have CAT6 back to the house.

The MW6 in the garden room can connect to the mesh ok but only talks directly to one of the three in the house due to distance, walls etc.

I have been trying to setup wired backhaul between the primary MW6 and the garden room MW6 pretty much as described here however every time I try it, the wifi in the house goes from 30meg down to 1meg!! I have to disconnect and rely on the wireless connection to extend the wifi to the garden.

I cannot fathom what is going on with it. The primary is connected to the router via the port with the blue globe on it, then I run the cable that runs to the garden room from the <....> port to the MW6 in the garden. The garden MW6 then appears in the app with the <....> next to it indicating it’s connected via a wired connection. 

My router controls DHCP for my network so there are no issues with multiple
subnets etc

Any ideas out there please guys and girls? I’d be so grateful for any advise!

Paul  Smile Smile
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#8
That does seem strange. I get the impression that house MW6's are using the Garden room's MW6 for the wireless backhaul whenever it's connected to the primary node with wired backhaul.

To me it seems like the primary node can only deal with either wired or wireless connections to the other nodes, but not both, i.e. if the primary node is serving any secondary node with wired backhaul that any wireless nodes would need to connect to a secondary node at the end of a wired backhaul. I don't have a third MW6 handy to test this. It could also be a bug in Tenda's firmware when using a mixed wired and wireless mesh. Smile

I suggest contacting Tenda directly just in case it's a bug. Their support e-mail is: support.uk@tenda.cn

These are a few suggestions I can think of, which you can try one at a time if possible:
  • Just to rule out any issue with the new MW6 node, try swapping it with one of the house secondary nodes.
  • If you have a network switch handy, connect one of the house nodes to the primary MW6 with Ethernet, even if it means moving it closer or loosely running a long Ethernet lead temporarily, i.e. from the <...> port from the primary node to the switch, and then from the switch to the blue globe icon of a second node and from the switch to the garden room node. See if the Wi-Fi performance improves with the remaining secondary node within the house.
  • If you have a long enough Ethernet cable handy, try swapping the primary node with the node in the garden temporarily, i.e. so the router connects to the primary node in the garden room, then a second Ethernet lead runs from it's <...> port back to the secondary node where the primary node was. This way if the secondary house nodes were connecting to the garden room node for wireless backhaul, it is now where the primary node was.
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#9
(22/01/2021, 11:54 AM)Seán Wrote: That does seem strange.  I get the impression that house MW6's are using the Garden room's MW6 for the wireless backhaul whenever it's connected to the primary node with wired backhaul. 

To me it seems like the primary node can only deal with either wired or wireless connections to the other nodes, but not both, i.e. if the primary node is serving any secondary node with wired backhaul that any wireless nodes would need to connect to a secondary node at the end of a wired backhaul.  I don't have a third MW6 handy to test this.  It could also be a bug in Tenda's firmware when using a mixed wired and wireless mesh. Smile

I suggest contacting Tenda directly just in case it's a bug.  Their support e-mail is: support.uk@tenda.cn 

These are a few suggestions I can think of, which you can try one at a time if possible:
  • Just to rule out any issue with the new MW6 node, try swapping it with one of the house secondary nodes.
  • If you have a network switch handy, connect one of the house nodes to the primary MW6 with Ethernet, even if it means moving it closer or loosely running a long Ethernet lead temporarily, i.e. from the <...> port from the primary node to the switch, and then from the switch to the blue globe icon of a second node and from the switch to the garden room node.  See if the Wi-Fi performance improves with the remaining secondary node within the house.
  • If you have a long enough Ethernet cable handy, try swapping the primary node with the node in the garden temporarily, i.e. so the router connects to the primary node in the garden room, then a second Ethernet lead runs from it's <...> port back to the secondary node where the primary node was.  This way if the secondary house nodes were connecting to the garden room node for wireless backhaul, it is now where the primary node was.
Thanks so much for your advice and guidance! I’ll give your suggestions a try! One additional note to add is that the newer MW6 is running a newer version of firmware compared to the other three yet the older ones all report they are running the latest available firmware. I guess that the newer one has updated components and therefore a different firmware. I wonder if this is contributing. 

I’ll try the new one as the primary and see where this goes!

Thanks again!!!!
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#10
Sorry to sign up and resurface an old thread, however this is pretty much at the top of Google results and hoping I might be able to help people with the same issue as myself.

I followed the steps above, but was having the same issue as another poster, then when connected via backhaul, the wifi speeds were pretty much halving, if not worse! I've spend a good few days trying to sort this out, until I found another thread elsewhere burried deed on the net!

So my set up as follows:

Virgin Meda superhub >> Lounge MW6 in bridge mode connected via the 'Globe Icon' >> Connected to a switch via LAN Port.

Switch >> Garage MW5
          >> Kitchen MW5

Hallway MW3 (Wireless)
Dining Room MW3 (Wireless)
Bedroom MW5 (Wireless)

I've edited Seans pic to show what I did that worked for me.

[Image: Backhaul-config-3.png]

I was connecting them originally via the WAN/LAN port on the MW5's. This was cauing me a nightmare with speeds.

However I then went and connected the Garage MW5 and Kitchen MW5 into the LAN port instead. The difference was night and day! Great speeds everywhere and they both show as being wired connections.

Hopefully this might help someone and save them a few days of fault hunting!
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#11
Thank you very much for posting this improvement as this is something I was unable to test due to setting up just 2 to 3 MW6s at various locations.

Update: I've revised the diagram in the first post for method #2.
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#12
As DaveUK83, I apologize for asking stuff in this thread, but it's the only one active on this topic. I have a strange issue that I'm not able to solve.

Basically I have the main node connected to the router, then the wall socket in the main node LAN and then I connected the wall socket ethernet cables to the other nodes WAN ports. The secondary node in my bedroom works just fine and signals me the wired connection (with the <...>), but on the living room one it says that it's connected through WiFi (with the bars). The odd thing is that in the application from the devices tab of the living room node it says that it detects a wired connection to something unknown.

So logically I tried to connect my laptop to the ethernet of the wall socket in the living room, and surprisingly internet works just fine (I thought that maybe it was connected to something strange, but I assume that if the laptop is able to browse the web through the ethernet cable then it must be connected someway to the router). I also checked on the router and the only cables connected are the one to the primary node and the one to an external computer.

So am I doing something wrong? I also tried the updated method but nothing changed for me, I have a 100Mb and it's always somewhere around 98 with the node in my bedroom, but it drops to 70 in my living room.
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#13
I suggest try swapping the cable over to the LAN port of every secondary node, like Dave's digram above. If you have any wired device such as a set top box attached to a secondary node, you can plug the device in the WAN port instead.

Technically, the LAN and WAN ports of the secondary nodes should behave the same. For example, when a secondary node wirelessly connects to the primary node, both the WAN and LAN ports on the secondary node can be connected to wired devices. However, based on what Dave discovered above, Tenda does the backhaul over the LAN ports when two or more secondary nodes are wired to the primary node.

It appears that connecting a secondary node WAN port to the primary node LAN port only works when daisy chaining them, i.e. Primary node LAN to Secondary node WAN, then its LAN connects to the Third node WAN and so on. This may explain why only one of your secondary nodes shows a wired connection when connecting their WAN ports all to the primary node's LAN port with a network switch.
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#14
I have the MW3 mesh APs. Thanks for this post as it pointed me in the right direction.
Some of my thoughts in case they can be of help to anyone googles in here like I did.
I have only spent 1/2 an hour playing with these so this is by no means in deapth.

The default configuration for the primary Ap is to act as a router. It creates a seperate network within your network.
Network was 192.168.5.0/24. I would imagine you can access a NAS connected to your ISP router but a wired device couldn't access a wireless one.

Many cheap broadband (as in no modem, the WAN is ethernet) routers have a router mode and an access point mode.
Router mode is simalar to DHCP (or Static IP address) in the Nova. Access point mode is the same as Bridge.
(DHCP is like a second ISP router, bridge is like a network cable.)

In bridge mode wireless clients on the Nova APs will get dished an IP from your main DHCP server (probably your ISPs router).
Each Nova will have an IP in your local network.
This probably means in bridge mode you CAN connect any network port of a secondary mesh node to the LAN port of the ISP router or any network switch attached to the ISP router.
I have been running the primary and one secondary connected to the switch and one wirelessly backhauled for several hours now and all seems ok.
A wifi scan shows the 5g MAC addresses for the 2 wired APs and not the wifi meshed one. I guess using the ethernet backhaul free's the 5g on the secondary to be used by wifi clients.
If meshed wirelessly the 5g must be reserved for the backhaul.

Setup:
Setup as per quick setup.
Change to bridge mode Settings> Internet settings > Connection Type > Bridge.
Once app reports all mesh aps connected, unplug secondary and connect LAN port to LAN switch.
(LAN or WAN/LAN port seems to work)
Power on secondary.
repeat as needed for other secondaries
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#15
Hi All,

I hope everyone is doing well??

I am looking for some help if at all possible.

I have the MW5G-3 Nova and I have tried all methods outlined in this thread to hardwire each node but it will just not work.

Could someone steer me in the right direction please?

Thank you in advance
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#16
(04/04/2021, 04:31 PM)DaveUK83 Wrote: Sorry to sign up and resurface an old thread, however this is pretty much at the top of Google results and hoping I might be able to help people with the same issue as myself.

I followed the steps above, but was having the same issue as another poster, then when connected via backhaul, the wifi speeds were pretty much halving, if not worse! I've spend a good few days trying to sort this out, until I found another thread elsewhere burried deed on the net!

So my set up as follows:

Virgin Meda superhub >> Lounge MW6 in bridge mode connected via the 'Globe Icon' >> Connected to a switch via LAN Port.

Switch >> Garage MW5
          >> Kitchen MW5

Hallway MW3 (Wireless)
Dining Room MW3 (Wireless)
Bedroom MW5 (Wireless)

I've edited Seans pic to show what I did that worked for me.

[Image: Backhaul-config-3.png]

I was connecting them originally via the WAN/LAN port on the MW5's. This was cauing me a nightmare with speeds.

However I then went and connected the Garage MW5 and Kitchen MW5 into the LAN port instead. The difference was night and day! Great speeds everywhere and they both show as being wired connections.

Hopefully this might help someone and save them a few days of fault hunting!

Hello! Did you check if you can connect a device like smart tv or laptop to the “globo” plug on a secondary mwx connected via cable to the plug? Why you selected? Bridge mode? Thank you
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#17
Hi All,

Thanks to all the contributors to this great thread!  I hope it's still active enough to answer another question.

My setup has three MW6's.  I followed closely the instructions here and am using the above setup (most recently depicted in DaveUK83's post) that was also discussed in multiple posts before.

Everything runs well until is does not.  Usually after a few hours the WiFi grinds to a halt (download speed around 0.2 Mbps).  After a restart of the Nova that the device is connected to, we are instantly back to normal (~75 Mbps download speed).

I am using Bridge mode, though I tried DHCP mode as well with the same results.

   

After Nova reboot:

   

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Dan
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#18
I wonder if Tenda changed something in a recent firmware update that breaks this backhaul method.

You can try the following just to rule out a faulty node or network switch, i.e. try step #1, if the issue returns, try the next step and so on.
  1. Move the network leads from each node to different switch ports. E.g. if they were connected to ports #1, #2, #3, try moving them to #4, #5 and #6.
  2. Swap the two secondary nodes. If the issue issue moves to the other node area, then that one may be faulty.
  3. Swap a secondary node with the primary node (may require resetting and reconfiguring). This will rule out the primary node.

If you can get by with two nodes temporarily for a few days, try turning off the secondary node in the least used area. If the issue does not return after a few days, swap the two secondary nodes. If the issue returns with one secondary node but not the other, then it's likely a faulty node.
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#19
(21/06/2021, 04:41 PM)Seán Wrote: I wonder if Tenda changed something in a recent firmware update that breaks this backhaul method.

You can try the following just to rule out a faulty node or network switch, i.e. try step #1, if the issue returns, try the next step and so on.
  1. Move the network leads from each node to different switch ports.  E.g. if they were connected to ports #1, #2, #3, try moving them to #4, #5 and #6. 
  2. Swap the two secondary nodes.  If the issue issue moves to the other node area, then that one may be faulty.
  3. Swap a secondary node with the primary node (may require resetting and reconfiguring).  This will rule out the primary node. 

If you can get by with two nodes temporarily for a few days, try turning off the secondary node in the least used area.  If the issue does not return after a few days, swap the two secondary nodes.  If the issue returns with one secondary node but not the other, then it's likely a faulty node.

Many thanks you Seán!  I will try this next time I face this issue and update.
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#20
Hello,

thank's for this thread. I think we have to correct some information because I've tried the below method and it's been working! The device is set to bridge mode. [Image: attachment.php?aid=261]
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