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iHome Outdoor SmartPlug review: iHome's latest smart plug is meant for the great outdoors

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iHome Outdoor SmartPlug

(Part #: iSP100B12TX)
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The Good iHome’s Outdoor SmartPlug works well and integrates with several virtual assistants and smart home platforms.

The Bad For $40, you’ll just get one smart outlet, and the plug itself has a bulky, unattractive design.

The Bottom Line iHome’s Outdoor SmartPlug performs well and works with a lot of smart home platforms, but the $40 price tag might seem like a lot for the functionality of just one outlet.

6.5 Overall
  • Features 7.0
  • Usability 7.0
  • Design 5.0
  • Performance 7.0

Options are pretty limited when it comes to outdoor smart plugs. They've taken a backseat to the plethora of connected outlets and switches offered for inside the home. The Outdoor Smart Plug from iHome is here to address that and at $40, it's a less expensive alternative to the iDevices Outdoor Switch ($70 at Amazon.com). If you don't need two smart outlets, then consider iHome's model. It's a reliable, affordable smart plug that doesn't sacrifice on quality.

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The iHome Outdoor SmartPlug is a well-performing, bulky box with just one smart outlet. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

While the iHome Outdoor Smart Plug is half the cost of the $80 iDevices plug we reviewed a few years ago, it's also technically half the plug. iHome's model works just as well, and with the same voice assistants we've come to expect: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Homekit and then some. The difference is quantity of outlets. The iDevices Outdoor Switch comes with two power outlets, while the iHome Outdoor SmartPlug ($32 at Amazon.com) comes with just one.

The Outdoor SmartPlug ($12 at Amazon.com) looks very much like the iDevices smart plug and neither are particularly attractive and certainly not discreet. A thick, black 6-inch cord connects iHome's bulky black outlet box with your wall outlet. Part of the plug's bulkiness is to protect it from the elements, but it's still a bit of an eyesore, especially if the exterior of your home is a lighter color. The Outdoor SmartPlug comes with an anchor and screw for hanging the outlet up beside your regular plug.

You'll need a GFCI outlet and a 2.4GHz wireless internet connection to use iHome's Outdoor SmartPlug, which has a maximum load of 120V AC, and 15A (1,800W). That's nearly identical to the iDevices Outdoor Switch, save for the wattage, where iDevices is rated for only 10A (1,200W).

You'll also need to download the iHome Control app on your Android or iOS device (with iOS 9.3 or later) in order to set up the plug. The iHome Control app guides you through setup, including connecting the device to your Wi-Fi network, naming it and attaching it to a specific room. For me, that process was quick and easy.

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