A smart plug is one of the most useful household gadgets we’ve ever reviewed. It will simultaneously enable you to save money, ensure the security of your house and control your gadget. Long story short, this is a yet another indispensable part of your smart home. Today we picked four smart plugs and the best Wi-Fi outlet among over 1600 items from $19.99 to $37.50. You’ll be able to find anything you need, whether it is a:
First things first, though, let us educate you a bit. If you know enough about the technology and only want to pick the best model, move on to the top 4 smart plugs!
What Can the Smart Plugs Do and What Are They for?
Modern citizens have long been excited about the idea of a smart home: it seems that the first tablet has just been launched. Today you can control a number of home appliances with it as there are lawn sprinklers, smart locks, smart light bulbs, and finally, smart plugs. The rise of the machines isn’t there yet since the smart plugs are only helpful. You only need a Wi-Fi router for Internet connection and a smart phone or a tablet for remote control to equip your place with a yet another smart device.
A smart outlet can:
Turn off electrical appliances if the network overheats and control the energy distribution. Once you manually set the consumption rates, you will no longer overpay for electricity if you forget to turn off any electrical appliances.
Switch on and off on a smart phone signal. You only have to press a single button, regardless of your location. You won’t have to worry about whether you remembered to turn off the iron before leaving the house any more. Your return home will also be always welcomed by a hot kettle if you’ve plugged it into a smart outlet and turned it on right before coming home with your smart phone.
Switch on and off on schedule. This is especially useful if you need to warm up a room on a regular basis, for instance, if you have a greenhouse.
Automatically disable faulty electrical appliances, in order to avoid short circuits
Monitor your device’s condition. For instance, any unforeseen temperature rise or fire will be immediately detected, as you’ll receive a notification on your smart phone and the fire alarm will go if installed.
2 Types Wi-Fi Outlets to Choose From
There are two types of smart outlet available on the market. What is the difference between them?
A smart plug is a sort of a patch or an adapter controlling a connected socket. It is piece of cake in terms of installation and transportation as you can easily plug it in different outlets at house when the need comes. However, you won’t be able to disguise such a device as a regular socket.
A smart outlet is a classic socket that accompanies any repair works. You’ll have to mount it to the wall to install it. Its obvious advantage is that you get the classic-looking outlet. No protruding elements will be visible, and a kid won’t be able to pull out such device. By the way, the in-wall sockets range is way narrower.
Both types serve different purposes. If you aim to do major repairs, and create a smart house from scratch, them a smart outlet is more beneficial. When it comes to controlling a couple of appliances, a smart plug will be the best solution. Once you’ve determined your needs, move on to the best smart outlets and plugs, which we found on the market.
4 Best Smart Plugs
In the smart plug category we present to you four identical in terms of functions and performance items, each with unique features.
The consumers are familiar with TP-Link as with a reliable manufacturer of network equipment, including the smart plugs. It is therefore not surprising that the #1 Best Selling smart plug in the Home Automation Modules category also belongs to this brand. Functionality and features of its performance will be clear even to those who have never held such a device in their hands. The design is straightforward as all you have to do is to simply insert the plug into the socket and immediately move on to configuration.
TP-Link Smart Plug is configured with the help of special software. First, you connect the plug to Wi-Fi and then you configure it any way you want with a user-friendly interface. Everything is intuitive: the on / off switch, device timer (it is especially useful for absent-minded users who leave the iron or heater turned on), or the automatic shutdown, which works if you move away from at a certain distance. Also a brand new voice control via Amazon Alexa feature can be integrated if enabled. You can even schedule automatic shutdown of the device to save energy. For that you’ll spend some time playing with the settings, but at least your energy bills will be less intimidating, as well as the network overheating (read over 1700 customer reviews to make sure of it).
No confusion occurs when you control multiple smart plugs as the device will immediately suggest being renamed and being assigned a special icon so that you don’t have to resort to typical “room 1/2/3” tags. Scheduling this plug is the simplest and most intuitive task in comparison with others.
Price: $29.99 Check the current price
If the first item seems to be overpriced, turn to the next one with simpler functions and a more pleasant price tag.
Orvivo product is cheap and cheerful. This #1 Best Seller in the Electrical Split-Bolt Connectors category is the cheapest market leader as it is only priced ~$19.99 while having sufficient functionality. If you can do without temperature control, customization, scheduling and voice control, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that Orvibo cut off everything unnecessary and only provided us with the most basic smart plug functions: on/off switch and a timer.
The product is focused on home chores, such as turning the coffee machine on before you come home, turning the appliances off during severe storm and other shut on and off options. You can install up to 20 of such smart plugs (the number is limited by the software) which is more than enough. In case you need more, then you should certainly forget about plugs and think about ordering a full-fledged smart system.
Price: ~$19.99 Check the current price
This ~$39.99 smart plug will appeal to all the Apple fans. It is first of all compatible with Apple Homekit, which is an iOS app for controlling and synching all of the Apple devices at home.
The most distinctive feature of this very product is that it is compatible not only with the smart phone and tablets. The Plug can be bound to a Mac, smart watch or even an iPod, as it is compatible with all Apple gadgets. Its functionality is identical to that of the first reviewed product as it has timers, schedule, smart shutoff, and among other things, the integration of Siri, as an analogue of Alexa.
This is the most expensive product covered here, but the consumers of Apple gadgets have never been stopped by overpricing. Others have quite a range of choice.
Price: ~$39.99 Check the current price
A security bot with remote control smart plug – Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch
This is a #1 Best Seller in the Security & Surveillance Accessories category on Amazon.com. This is also the only not a Wi-Fi smart plug covered in this review. The control is carried out through a remote and not a mobile gadget.
All of the smart options are not as flexibly adjusted as in the previous devices, since the remote control only allows switching the gadgets on and off. After you turn the smart plug on, it automatically synchs with your device and turns it off once it detects any deviations in the said device’s performance. The sole fact of the number of this item having over 4200 customers’ reviews means that this is one of the best devices available on the market and also proves the effectiveness of smart auto-adjustments. That’s why you’ll barely find anything better if you’re looking for a plug with a trouble-free interface.
Price: $29.98 Check the current price
GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Duplex Receptacle, In-Wall Outlet
In-wall outlets are less popular on the market than their plug counterparts as they are usually in the same price range, require more effort and are not mobile. The only leader in this category is the Z-Wave outlet for ~$31.87.
This is a classic product which is mounted to the wall and doesn’t instantly show off any of its smart options. You’ll see the same level of performance and it is controlled with a smart phone. Just like the Apple plug, it is compatible with other Z-Wave smart controllers, but works well independently as well. It has a standard for its price segment range of functions, including timing, scheduling and Alexa voice control. The device might seem to be overpriced, but you’ll hardly be able to find cheaper analogues of this in-wall outlet for the same price. Read over 1500 customer reviews to decide whether it is worth buying.
Price: ~$31.87 Check the current price
A smart plug is just another reason for furnishing your home and territory to make them state-of-the-art. By the way, smart technologies are not limited to sockets exclusively. You can configure smart sprinkling of your backyard with the help of a tiny device. You can read about it in our sprinkler irrigators review.