5 Stars By Private on 2017-05-23
5 star? read on
Months later review: I've been using these now for a while, in a family of 'power' users, meaning our pg&e bill can get high. With these I can monitor what is running and for how long, and have the option to turn things off if needed (like my fridge).
A few handy things for me are:
1) I can track our refrigerator's usage over days/weeks, its not all bad until it turns on the defrost cycle!
2) I've used a few to turn on / off AC grid tie inverters (with battery packs) to mitigate our power usage during high-use times. And I can see the reduction on our rainforest smart meter monitor, confirming the power reading on these smart plugs which is a great feature to have.
3) I like the app, its fairly straightforward, and has triggered power on/off functions which I like. I use that to turn off chargers once they fall below a watt level where they are no longer providing much charge. I've inadvertently had the 'new trigger' turn off when power exceeds ___W, and they would instantly turn back off. I initially thought I had a problem, but the notification told me otherwise, cluing me on my error...
Some things I think would be helpful:
1) wifi access but no internet (you know, just in case it goes down LOL) the app can still access the smart plugs if my local wifi network is still alive and my phone is connected to it. (internet hasn't died just yet, but don't want to find out with working wifi, the smart plugs no longer work)
2) work with the Stringify app. Stringify needed a public API to be able to use Etekcity's smart plugs. This makes both a powerful tool when it comes to monitoring things. For example, if my smart meter goes over a preset power setting, I could tell it to turn on/off certain smart plugs. Alexa is nice to have, but its short lived. Alexa doesn't have the same monitoring Vesync has or any app pass-through feature which would allow other apps to use Alexa as a control or host.
3) if #2 is simply impossible, create a new function in the "new trigger action" menu to turn on or off other smart outlets in my menu. For example, if outlet 1 power drops below xxx watts, turn on outlet 2. This would allow you to cascade functions to accomplish doing more with them.
4) notifications don't show up on my cell, only within the Vesync app. email works, but it lags by minutes/hours.
5) for some reason, if I'm in a monitor menu and I press the super button to get me back the phone, when I reopen Vesync, there is a different smart plug picture and none of the readings work. Hitting back a few times gets me to the smart plug menu, guessing that's a bug.
You might be wondering, why all this? PG&E and deregulation (which hasn't happened). I pay rates 2-3x higher than someone who lives a few miles down the road. Does solar help? sure, but PG&E's payback is a nickel per kWh, and charge you 20c per kWh used and then there's the penalty stage if you go over the baseline which seems to be based on nobody at home from 8-5, m-f.
My bill is lower because I can see / manage my power usage better, thanks to Etekcity's smart plugs. Yeah, I've tried Dlink, range is worse, their update bricked one that actually measured power, and their cost is higher. And they were constantly losing connection even in line of sight (50') to wifi. So Etekcity's have better range (I have 4 smart plugs in another garage on my lot), better reliability (yeah i got 3 customer returns -poorly packed was the clue- that I returned, lost some hours I wont get back) but overall, better performance for your money.
Check the monitor watts menu to see you're within its power rating too. I'm working these fairly good, 2-3x / day up to 1000W for hours at a time, varying locations on my lot and with noisy equipment. So mine are seeing a fair amount of use.
Problems with initial connection? Closing the app and restarting helps. I've checked to see how many things were on my network and if it was full, there was no indication that it was...
I paid for all my smart plugs, received nothing for this review other than the (replacements for duds) and satisfaction using them. Hope that helps someone deciding to buy or not.
5 Stars By Wise Shopper on 2017-06-10
Super easy setup and works better than D-Link and other named brands
This is easily the best deal for two outstanding WiFi Alexa (BTA-MALL Echo) Enabled outlets. There is no annoying setup and issues connecting to WiFi. It even has energy monitoring and the APP is SUPER simple and well designed. Setup took me only 3 minutes including Alexa setup. Alexa setup instructions were not included but simply look for the VeSync Skill on the BTA-MALL app. I could not be any happier with these two outlets. The instructions are simple and clear.
1. Download the VeSync App and register for a free account with just email and password.
2. Make sure to connect to your normal 2.4ghz WiFi network for setup and click the + sign to add new outlet on the APP.
3. Put your WiFi password in and click Connect
4. Within seconds, your device is ready to be used by the APP anywhere in the world where you have mobile internet on your phone
5. Click on your newly added outlet and rename it to view nice names on BTA-MALL Alexa
BTA-MALL Alexa Setup
1. Open BTA-MALL Alexa APP on your phone
2. Search for Skill "VeSycn" and enable
3.Go to Alexa Smart Home section and Discover Device
4. That's it, say the words "Alexa Turn on deviceName" or "Alexa Turn Off deviceName"
4 Stars By Kopikarp on 2017-11-03
Works with MAC Filtering and on Other Networks
My room has an open network with MAC filtering (common in universities and company offices) and it doesn't meet the network requirements listed in the manual. Thus here's a brief guide for those having difficulties setting this up on other network types.
[Setup on Network with MAC Filtering]
In the official manual, it asks that you avoid connecting the plugs to a MAC filtering network, presumably because you can't find out the MAC address of the plugs. I figured out the mac addresses of my plugs by setting up the plugs to my raspberry pi hotspot and then running "tail -f /var/log/syslog" to view the mac addresses of devices connecting to the raspberry pi; you can do the same on Windows hotspot. In the process, I figured out a shortcut: the plug's MAC address is simply the ID of the plug appended to 2c:3a:e8. In other words, if your plug is named "ESP_123ABC" then its MAC address is "2c:3a:e8:12:3A:BC".
To view the plug ID, use the optional APN setup in the VeSync app and then add the MAC address to your network's filter.
[Raspberry Pi Hotspot]
Sometimes we just do not have 2.4G wifi network, the work-around I found is to connect a raspberry pi via ethernet cable to the 5.0G network and then host a hotspot with 2.4G. This obviously has its limitations such as speed and stability for multiple plugs. The guide can be found on google: "adafruit learning system, setting up a raspberry pi as a wifi access point, created by lady ada".
[Minus One Star - Things that the Plugs Will Never Work with]
Android 7.0 and above lacks the ability to switch to 2.4G, so if your only phone runs Android 7 then I would advise against a purchase.
Networks that requires you to login with an "Identity" (EAP encryption) in addition to the password is not supported by the app setup.
5 Stars By Brucks on 2017-11-18
I chose the Elekcity by the review ratings, ease of set up and compatibility with Alexa. I can confirm the set up was amazingly easy. I set up the account and plugged in the outlet. From the app you start the pairing. It took a few minutes to pair, but it went flawless. I then set it up with Alexa, also a seamless process. I purchased a two pack and can now tell Alexa to turn on various lights and appliances in various rooms.
These worked so well I am going to purchase several more.
4 Stars By Farid Zag on 2017-06-29
Amazing little multi tasker in search of outlet timer I ...
Amazing little multi tasker
in search of outlet timer I ended up with these
Great connection to wifi (2.4Ghz only) but so far it has not let me down
I can turn off appliances from across the globe!
and I can schedule a timer ...
and I can see the usage and cost of electricity!!
The only con on this device... lack of support for 220V appliances and anything above 10A usage will burn this out.
1 Stars By jaime on 2017-11-17
Product works, required app (VeSync) doesn't
Product works well if you can get logged into the required VeSync account. I usually get an error: Internal Server Error, The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request. Either the server is overloaded or there is an error in the application. Product is useless if you cannot log into the required account to make your adjustments to the device.
5 Stars By Nelly on 2017-10-29
Stop working but corrected
I'm updating my posting. I had one of the smart plug go bad. So my last posting was a one star. The company saw my posting and reach out via email for replacement. That was very impressive. The product is well made and works very well. I'm sure they get very few complaints on the product. So 5 Stars and if I can give more I would.
5 Stars By Jerry D on 2017-10-29
Extra measure of security
[[ASIN:B06XSTJST6 Etekcity WiFi Smart Plug Mini Outlet with Energy Monitoring (2 Pack), Works with BTA-MALL Alexa Echo, No Hub Required, 1 Minute to Set Up, White] These were well-made units and had a quick reaction time to my phone. I appreciate the ability to control the lights in the house when I am not home with random timing. I did receive these at a discount price in a package purchase form Etekcity.
5 Stars By Heather D on 2017-11-14
I just got my plug all set up with my Alexa in less than 6 minutes from soup to nuts. I was litterally turning on and off with my voice commands before I took off my coat. I had a TP Link and after a year of torture resetting the plug multiple times, I gave up. Nightmare of a set up and it would take multiple times to connect to the internet. I thought all outlets would have been the same so why bother purchasing another. This one connected instantly to my internet and Alexa. Very happy with it thus far!
3 Stars By T. Barnes on 2017-11-07
i'm also not happy that i can't stack them on the same outlet
not the easiest thing to put onto your network and not compatible with Apple Home. i'm also not happy that i can't stack them on the same outlet. the app is ok, but there's two of them and they don't tell you that you can only configure a device on one app and then the other app is to schedule the device and view power consumption. needs to become more mature but it's cheaper than most, you get 2, and it's compatible with Alexa and you don't need a HUB.