Wifi Outlet Reviews
- Best Overall
- Editors Choice
- Best Budget Outlet
- Best For Beginners
- Determining Your Needs
- Benefits to Using Smart Outlets
- Important Considerations
- Must Have Features
- Read Next
Smart Wi-Fi Outlets have many features including turning on your lights, turning off electronic equipment and many other things. If you travel or work at night you will appreciate the peace of mind and increased safety that using these smart outlets provides.
You can even turn on the coffee pot from the car with these ingenious little devices. As long as the item is plugged into the smart outlet you will have access to it from your phone or computer.
There are many different kinds of Smart Wi-Fi outlets to choose from. Deciding which one is the right one for your needs involves a few preliminary steps on your part. Knowing what to look for is one of the most important elements in choosing the right outlet. If you are totally new to using any type of smart devices, you will appreciate the ease in which smart outlets can be used.
The purpose of this guide is to give you as much information as possible on the different types of smart outlets and the features that go with each. With this knowledge you will be able to sort through all the choices much easier and with less stress. The result will be smart outlets that meet the needs of you and your family.
WeMo Switch Smart Plug
|No subscription or hub needed||Away Mode randomly turns lights on and off
TP-Link Smart Plug
|Control devices from your Smartphone or tablet||Easy to install and use
|Best Cheapest Outlet|
TOPGREENER Dual SMART
|Charges two devices at the same time||Tamper resistant
|Best For Beginners|
D Link Smart Plug
|Can create personal schedules to control devices in the home||Free app and no subscription necessary
|The Up and Runner|
|Adjusts to personal preferences||Makes all lights dimmer lights if desired
|Works With Alexa|
Iris Smart Plug
|Small compact size||Monitors energy use of all lights and electronics
Smart Outlets Buyer’s Guide
Determining Your Needs
Before choosing a smart plug it is important to figure out what your needs are. This step will ensure that you purchase the correct smart plug that will enable you to do everything that you want within your home. We have listed some questions below that you should ask yourself before you start researching so you can narrow the field of choices and make the purchase process easier. With all of the different choices available it is very easy to become overwhelmed if you don’t know what you need or what to look for. These questions will help prevent that.
What devices do you want to have control over?
Smart plugs allow you to control whatever device that is plugged into them. This can be lights, televisions, video game consoles, coffee pots, curling irons and anything else you want to have control over. Think about what devices in your home would be more convenient if you could control them from your Smartphone or tablet.
How many devices do you want to control?
A smart plug will allow you to control whatever items are plugged into them. Think about how many different devices you want to control. One smart plug will allow you to control a few items if you use but you want to take care not to overload the outlet. You can use a power strip to control more devices off of one smart plug, but the same rules apply.
Be mindful of the power load you are placing on that one unit. If you want to control many different things you will need to purchase several smart plugs. Many companies offer packs that have several smart plugs included so you can spread them around and control things all around your home.
Do you travel often?
If you travel a lot and your home is empty on a frequent basis, smart plugs can increase your security by making it appear as if people are home. This is one of the biggest appeals of smart plugs since they can be programmed to randomly turn lights and televisions on and off at different intervals.
They are much harder to distinguish from mechanical timers which turn the lights on at a designated time each day. Smart plugs allow for a more “lived in” look, randomly choosing lights to go on and off. You can change up the order from wherever you are so you will keep the burglars guessing if they are watching.
Do you mind purchasing a hub or subscription service?
Some models of smart plugs require you to purchase a hub or subscription service to utilize the features of the smart plug. Many people don’t mind this extra expense if they are particular to a specific brand of smart plug that requires it. There are several that don’t require the addition of anything other than a free phone or tablet app, so be aware of what each brand you are considering requires.
What type of Smartphone do you have?
This is important due to the fact that some smart plugs only provide Smartphone capability with certain phones. There are some that only work with the iPhone line of Smartphone so if you have an Android and purchase this type of smart plug you would not be able to access anything from your phone.
Benefits to Using Smart Outlets
There are many benefits to purchasing smart Wi-Fi outlets and plugs for your home. With home automation being so popular these days it is very easy to get the type of automation you want, providing yourself with these benefits. We’ve listed the most popular reasons and benefits people love these smart outlets.
You can control your lights and other devices from anywhere
This is a very important benefit if you work away from home or you travel a lot for business. Anything you have plugged into the smart plug will be able to be controlled from wherever you are even if it is out of town. To control your devices from your phone you will need the app that goes with the smart plug and Wi-Fi connectivity. In some cases you will need a hub or subscription service as well.
Using smart Wi-Fi outlets and plugs can increase the safety of your home dramatically. Gone are the days where your home has to remain completely dark because you’re working at night or you are out of town.
With smart plugs you can make it look like someone is home every night by turning on different lights as soon as it gets dark and rotating those lights so they look natural and not programmed. You can even set your television to turn on in the evening so it appears as if someone is watching TV.
More Peace of Mind
It’s easy to forget to turn everything off in the usual hectic hustle and bustle of getting the kids ready for school and yourself ready for work. Having certain devices plugged into a Smart WI-Fi- outlet means you can make sure those devices are turned off, even if you are already at work. Common appliances that are often forgotten include coffee makers, curling irons, irons and similar devices. This assurance that everything is turned off can bring a lot of peace of mind.
Savings on Power Bills
Another benefit to using smart Wi-Fi outlets is the energy savings it can provide. Many of the models of smart plugs offer energy monitoring so they will tell what devices are the biggest energy users. By knowing this information you can make sure these devices get turned off completely when you are not home. This will result in lower power bills and extended lives of the devices as well.
Make note of your current technology
To make sure that your smart Wi-Fi outlets fit in with what you already have, make sure that you take into consideration what you are already using in your home. Does your home have motion sensor lights that are hooked up to a timer? Do you have an iPhone or Android phone that you use? Make sure that you know what platform your current technology is using before you purchase your smart plugs so they integrate easily.
Why are protocols important and what are they?
Communication protocols separate the different types of platforms from each other. It is how your devices communicate with the electronic devices and gadgets in your home. Each smart Wi-Fi outlet or smart plug on the market will have a specific protocol that it uses. These protocols include Z-wave, Bluetooth and a regular Wi-Fi connection. The most important thing to remember is to make sure that the new smart plugs you purchase will work with the protocol you are using.
Must Have Features
Everyone wants to get a great deal on the products they purchase but when you are searching for smart Wi-Fi outlets and plugs you don’t want to make it ALL about cost. Looking for the cheapest models can get you cheaply made models as well so you need to look at all aspects of the product and not just how much it costs.
Smart Wi-Fi Plugs can have many different features. This will vary from model to model. You will find smart plugs that are simple in design and that have very few extra features and you will find others that are feature rich and have all kinds of bells and whistles.
When it comes to features, look for the smart plugs that have the features you will actually use. A lot of features are great but if you don’t want to use any of them it makes no sense to purchase that particular model. We’ve listed some of the more common features that you will find with many Smart Wi-Fi plugs.
Scheduling features are great for many reasons. You can set up different schedules for different days of the week or times of the day and change them whenever you choose to. This is perfect for those who work at night or who regularly go out of town on business. The schedule will allow you to turn on certain lights and devices at certain times. Some models of smart plugs offer an Away Mode that allows for random turning on and off which is better when you will be out of town. You can also set certain lights to come on as soon as it is dark to prevent having to go home to a dark house.
Some smart plugs have the capability of sensing presence in the room and automatically turning on the lights. This makes coming into the room very convenient, especially if your hands are full of dinner and a drink or other items.
If having lower power bills is important to you, you will love the smart plugs that help you monitor the energy usage of all the devices plugged into them. This will help you determine the big power users so you can turn them off whenever they are not being used.
This is very important to protect the electronic devices you have plugged into the Smart Plug from power surges due to storms or power bursts. A big power burst from a storm can literally ruin a television, video game console or any other electronic device so this protection gives you some peace of mind that your items won’t be ruined during a bad storm.
Integration with other smart devices
Having all the smart devices integrate with each other properly is very important in keeping everything running smoothly. If the different devices you have don’t work together well it can cause a big, frustrating mess. Make sure that the existing devices you have work with the new ones you are purchasing. You will appreciate the convenience it all provides.
Home automation sounds much more technical and scary than it actually is. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated and won’t be if you have the knowledge you need to make the right decisions. High demand and popularity of these convenient home automation devices makes it easier than it has ever been to find exactly what you are looking for especially if you have done the work ahead of time to determine what those needs are.
Many people get their feet wet with home automation by starting with smart Wi-Fi outlets because they are easy to set up and use. It is a great way to test the home automation waters and see what kinds of things you can do with the electronic devices in your home. You may love home automation so much you will want to add even more Smart Home devices to your life.
The information we have provided in this guide will help you understand smart outlets and plugs so you know what to expect when you first start using them. Most models are not hard to set up or use and come with instructions that help you as well as customer support if you run into any trouble.
Now that you have read this guide, you have all you need to determine the kinds of smart plugs and outlets that will help you achieve your home automation goals. We have also provided you with the different features that smart plugs can have and have even given you the top 6 products on the market to look at and consider.
Don’t forget to look at customer comments from those who have purchased the smart plugs you are interested in. This kind of insider information is valuable in determining whether the smart plugs you are considering will work for the needs you have and what they require to work properly. If you have a Smartphone and devices you want to automate, you have everything you need to get started with home automation.