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Get a Koogeek Smart Plug for $23.99

From the Cheapskate: Ready to dip your toe into home-smartening electrical outlets? This one works with Apple's HomeKit and normally costs $35. Plus three bonus deals, including a free Walking Dead game!

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

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I can't say I'm sold on the whole smart home thing, much as I love my app-powered thermostat and voice-powered Amazon Echo. The Echo's smart in and of itself, but it has no integration with my actual house.

I mean, heck, if I want a lamp to turn on and off at designated times, a cheap mechanical timer will get the job done. Smart home gear tends to get expensive.

Not today, though: For a limited time, Tomtop is offering the Koogeek Smart Plug for $23.99 shipped when you apply promo code P1US at checkout. Regular price is $34.99.

This is exactly what it sounds like -- an electrical outlet that plugs into an existing electrical outlet. It connects to your home network via Wi-Fi and works with Apple's HomeKit, meaning you control the outlet via your iPhone or iPad.

Plug in said lamp, for example, and you can subsequently say to Siri, "Turn on the lamp." Add Koogeek's app into the mix and you can schedule timers, monitor energy consumption and -- if you deploy multiple plugs -- create "scenes" to control multiple devices simultaneously.

The reviews at Tomtop and Amazon are mostly positive, but rightly note that the design of the plug is such that it nearly blocks the second plug in your typical wall outlet. I say "nearly" because although it does prohibit the use of a three-prong plug, a two-pronger (like, say, another lamp) can still fit.

What's more, I had trouble testing mine because of Apple's idiotic iCloud Keychain requirement, notably the way it requires verification. Most users won't have this same issue, but ultimately I can't comment on how well the plug works -- or the operation of the app, which looks pretty straightforward, at least.

Once I get all that straightened out, I do have one potentially smart use in mind for the Koogeek: resetting my cable modem and router on a nightly basis.

Your thoughts?

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