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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  • profquatermass - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    I really want a Powerstrip that can operate via 3G as I often find the Router goes belly up approx. once a month. Can't turn the Router of/on again without a working line to the Internet.

    In true IT fashion I want to save myself a 40 mile round trip to Work late at night just to turn it off and on again....
  • ganeshts - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    That is probably a very niche market :) What I can suggest for you is to get a PC with a 3G SIM slot (The Habey fanless unit we reviewed a couple of months back comes to mind -- I think that was the BIS-6922). Use that as a mFi host, and your problem is solved (and it opens up lots of other possibilities too). That way, your 3G subscription is not just tied to a power-strip, but, can be used to automate your whole office / be used for other purposes too, as the BS-6922 is a complete fanless industrial PC.
  • TheCrackLing - Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - link

    From the way this device sounds, you could make a script that runs via a cronjob that would ping several well known sites that generally respond to pings, and if all fail to respond then power cycle the port the router is on. Of course also make certain to log the time, and not power cycle again for X time after.
  • dblagent - Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - link

    they absolutely make this, you want what is called and "IP Powerstone" by multi-link inc. They are not much, and they work GREAT! There are a few models, ours is around $100 I believe.

    You give it power via a standard computer style power cord and it has two outlets. It is connected via cat5 to your router and you set what sites (up to 5) to ping and how often. If it misses a ping it will wait and try again in a few minutes. If not available then it powercycles the outlets. One at a time, or both. Timing is set by you. I wait 5, then 15, then one hour. After three times you'll possibly have to make the trip.

    I use 80 of these at remote locations and they work great! Used to I'd dispatch someone to head to the location where now we just wait. Maybe once every month or two someone has to go onsite now. It used to be weekly with 80+ locations that are remotely controlled!

    Hope this helps you, it is an amazing help for us that's for sure!
  • Dantze - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    Been following Anandtech for yeaaarss.. but finally had to say it. Is there an option to view the articles in one page format rather than having to click on drop down for each different section ?

    I think it's... cumbersome.. should have an option like HowStuffWorks where you can see the article as a one page (long) article.
  • ganeshts - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    Click on 'Print this article' at the bottom of the screen :) I thought this was a well-known feature.
  • Dantze - Sunday, November 24, 2013 - link

    Thanks that works! :D
  • DBissett - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    That's a small improvement. It would be a great improvement if the Print view would give you the article full screen width and get rid of all the junk on the right. If you want to let readers concentrate on reading an article why include headlines, tweets, etc. on the screen?
  • Catsweeper - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Looks like a great product
  • raptorl3 - Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - link

    Is there any chance of sending an on/off command to the strip without using the dedicated app? I'm thinking, for instance, of turning on a dedicated stereo amplifier over WiFi. I control the XBMC source with a tablet or phone. By creating a Tasker or Llama action (in Android, obviously) I could both switch on the amp and launch the XBMC remote on the device. A similar task could switch the amp off after a period of non-use.

    This would be much more difficult if all actions must be handled through the app or SSH only.

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