Smart plugs are a great way to add automation to lamps, fans and other small appliances. While these connected plugs bring your dumb devices into the smart home, there are a handful that do even more than simply automate power. The $30 Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug from TP-Link handles Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integration, as well as scheduling, away mode and . It's a capable smart plug with a great app, but the Kasa's size keeps it from making the top of my list.
The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug is similar in most ways to its Belkin Wemo Insight Switch ($50 at Walmart) and the Geeni Energi ($29 at Amazon) smart plug -- also block adjacent outlets with bulky design. Bloated housing aside, the TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug offers reliable power with a 120V or 15A input and a max load output of 15A. That won't work for powering a large appliance like an , but it should be plenty for most small to medium ., except when it comes to size and energy monitoring. While the mini fits well across a wall outlet without blocking the adjacent plug, the Wi-Fi Smart Plug isn't designed with space-saving in mind. The clunky, vertical shape blocks outlets above and below. It's hard to imagine the addition of energy monitoring warrants such a big device, but TP-Link isn't alone here. Two other energy-tracking smart plugs we've reviewed -- the
Setting it up the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug is quick and easy. The entire process took me less than 10 minutes. Even if you've never set up a smart plug before, I can't imagine setup taking more than 15 minutes. Download the Kasa app for iOS or Android devices, and it displays step-by-step instructions for creating an account and connecting your smart plug to your existing 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection. A green Wi-Fi icon on the smart plug illuminates when the connection is established. Within the app, you can customize the name, icon and location of the smart plug for easy referencing.
Once you've connected your smart plug to your Wi-Fi network, adding it to Google Home ($99 at Walmart) or Amazon Alexa is just a matter of linking accounts. For Google, you'll choose the Kasa brand from Google's list of smart-home devices and log into your Kasa account. Once you're logged in, Google will detect your smart plug. In the Amazon Alexa app, you'll need to enable the Kasa Home skill, log into your Kasa account, then prompt Alexa to discover devices. HomeKit users are out of luck here, since TP-Link's line of smart plugs aren't compatible with Apple's home automation platform.