Setup and Usage Impressions

The UFO Power Center caught our fancy because power consumption measurement is something we do for almost all products that we review. Using a Kill-a-Watt is not very accurate, while the Watts Up? meters are very costly for our particular purpose. The UFO Power Center is continuing to serve us well. However, with more devices being tested simultaneously, and lab space at a premium, we started looking for something more down to earth in terms of industrial design. The mPower Pro fit our needs perfectly, but Ubiquiti was having some supply issues when we were looking for a unit to test out. In the end, we landed up with the mPower 3-outlet version.


The mPower unit comes with a wall mounting plate, screws, a CD with the mFi software and a quick start guide along with the main unit. From the outside, it looks every bit like a conventional power strip. In addition to the circuit breaker reset button on the side, it also has a factory reset button. A flashing LED on the front panel provides status information.

Setup Process

The setup process for the mPower is quite similar to that of the UFO Power Center. When powered up, the device creates an ad-hoc wireless network. Upon connecting a PC to the ad-hoc network, the unit's web UI is accessible. The browser interface allows for selecting and entering credentials for the Wi-Fi network to which the unit is supposed to connect. Our mPower unit was originally running firmware version 1.2.3 , but upgrading to 2.0.7 brought a lot of interesting features.

Gallery: mPower Setup

The firmware update could be processed only after linking up the mPower unit with a mFi controller instance. The mFi is a Java-based software which proved very difficult to install on my Windows 8 machine. It also got complicated a bit because I had mFi installed on multiple computers on the same network (not the usual scenario for most end-users). I eventually got it working on a Windows 7 setup. The default credentials for the unit are printed on the box (ubnt/ubnt). However, linking the unit to a mFi instance overrides these credentials with those used for the mFi.

Using the mPower

The controller software is a full-fledged automation suite with support for rules and other features. It will not be covered in detail because this review is about the mPower unit specifically. Suffice to say that all the parameters of the mPower unit (names and status of the outlets, power consumption recording etc.) can be viewed, recorded, used for rules and altered as applicable through the mFi interface.

The browser interface for the mPower in the firmware version 1.2.3 was minimal and only provided statistics related to the network connection and some logs related to it. In 2.0.7, the Controls tab was introduced and this provides a way for users to control outlet status and check up on the instantaneous values of the electrical parameters (as shown in the gallery above).

Introduction Inside the mPower
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  • Hrel - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - link

    Does the review even really matter? If you buy Mac products you're going to buy Mac products. IT's always the same thing and there's never any choice. Review isn't really necessary.
  • melgross - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Very funny. It's sad though, if you keep buying Windows products after you buy the first one.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - link

    Ganesh hasn't done any Apple reviews in at least at year; his review of this product has nothing to do with Anand finding time to write a review about the MBP.
  • ydeer - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - link

    With the dive in quality that the reviews on this site have taken lately, that doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it used to.

    I _bet_ the MBP review won't address the well documented and quite severe "yellow tint" screen issue because it won’t be there on their cherry picked review sample and "testing" the Xbox One is evidently more important than biting the hands that feed this site.
  • Flunk - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - link

    I'll give you the gist of that review. It looks like last year's MacBook Pro, has Haswell and has better battery life, a PCIe SSD. A bit better GPU performance, almost the same CPU performance.

    Seriously, there are a lot of reviews out there.
  • stadisticado - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - link

    You realize that more than one person works at Anandtech right? Its not like Anand or Brian personally reviewed this item...
  • jason32 - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    You're going to buy it anyway. Why bother reading reviews?
  • edwpang - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - link

    Why do I need these kind of device? . Apparently, we cannot use it to control computers. My TV and home theater receiver are just in standby which use less than 5W in total. We do need to control the lights but we need wifi-enable switch for that. What else do we need it for?
  • alinot - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - link

    I'd actually like to use it with my fish tank. There's a lot of parameters to control that run on electricity, including light, bubblers, filters, and heat that can effect the water. This matters a lot in smaller tanks especially, if one parameter goes out of whack unsupervised, your whole tank could die in a few hours. The fact that this is open source and hackable and controllable means I could implement it in my probes and measurements to automatically adjust as needed.

    This strikes me as a product that has more practical application in the enterprise and business environments than at home, though.
  • jason32 - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Why not use an Arduino and some peripherals if you're going to write your own code? Most of the use cases I see that require using your own custom code with these mFi products can be done with simple microcontroller boards and accessories.

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