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TP-LINK Wi-Fi Smart Plug HS100

TP-LINK Wi-Fi Smart Plug HS100
Offered by Duty Free Shop Price: CDN$ 60.65

The Smart Plug is a brilliant idea that’s been well implemented


What’s in the box
When you open the box you’ll find the usual. The Smart Plug itself and paperwork on how to get support, a rather unusual document (have a read it’s written up by no less than Mr. Ty Coon) outlining the licensing of software used in the device, and the only really useful document the Quick Start Guide. That’s it, there’s nothing else because nothing else is required.

Onwards to the hardware, how’s it set up
Making this little gadget work is extremely simple and you don’t need to be a computer whiz or geek in general nor do you need a 9-year-old to figure it out. The Quick Start Guide is well laid out and if you follow the steps as shown it works. I did have a little bit of hang up with registration. To make this work outside of your home Wi-Fi network you will need to register and create an account with TP-LINK. You do this right through the app interface and its very simple. My problem was that it took over 20 minutes to get the verification email which is your indicator that you will now be able to travel to Timbuktu and still turn on the Christmas tree lights. Even before you get the verification email you can still connect to the Smart Plug and start using it locally, as far as your wireless reaches.

Connecting the app to the device. The app walks you through this simple process. Just follow the onscreen instructions and in about 5 steps you have control over the device from your iOS or Android phone. You will need to push the buttons on the device. They are easily accessed, please see images below.

The app, in case you want to have a look at it beforehand is called Kasa.

Does it work?
Yes, it works very well and very quickly. When using the app on the same wireless connection the reaction time is under 3 seconds. When using it through a cellular network it can take a few more seconds, longest time I recorded was 10 seconds but it could take longer depending on your carrier and location as service quality can have an effect. The app does tell you if you have successfully turned your home bound device on or off (dial goes green for “on” and a warning message if unsuccessful) which is a necessity when dealing with something on the other side of the planet.

I can see a real benefit to having more of these devices I the home and the fact that TP-LINK makes it so easy to set up and use them makes buying more an even easier decision.

I did play around with it to see if I could get any wireless range out of it. I placed it in our garage which has poor Wi-Fi coverage as this should provide a good test. I found that with a couple of AC outlets it took a few tries to make it work. Again if it can’t connect and switch the device on or off it lets you know. What I also discovered was that these AC outlets were in shadowed areas where my phone also has poor Wi-Fi coverage. I have to say that this device works as good as my BB PRIV and iPhone 4 when it comes to working in areas of poor Wi-Fi coverage.

Other thoughts
When turning something on or off remotely it’s very important to know if your command was successful, this app provides that detail.

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