In this review we look at the TP-Link Smart Plug HS100 and the HS110 (with energy monitoring). With the plugs you can control your electronic devices anytime, anywhere.
Enthusiasts who would like to get started with a smart home, but do not have the money to buy smart devices immediately, could well be off with a Smart Plug. Such a plug ensures that you can also control your non-smart devices from a distance. A company that has Smart Plugs in its range is TP-Link. And we were sent three modules to test them out. Two without energy monitoring and one with.
What is a TP-Link Smart Plug?
A TP-Link Smart Plug ensures that from now on you can also control non-smart devices from a distance. So if you like the fact that you can control certain devices remotely, but don’t have the money to purchase smart devices immediately, then a Smart Plug is a handy intermediate step. A Smart Plug from TP-Link can be controlled remotely. So suppose you choose to use a lamp in the module, you can now switch it on and off remotely. You also have the option to program scenes, set a schedule of when the Smart Plug should turn on or off automatically and set a timer. In addition, you can also indicate when you are not at home, so that the module can automatically switch the light on and off to ward off burglars.
With the plugs from TP-Link you can also see exactly how long the device has been on. You will also find averages from the past. If you choose to purchase a Smart Plug with energy monitoring (HS110), you have the advantage that you can also see how much energy the smart plug (or actually the connected device) has already used. You can then also view daily averages for this. It is clear that with such a plug you can better keep an eye on how much energy certain devices actually use.
The TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug HS100 has a suggested retail price of 36.90 and the HS110 has a suggested retail price of 46.90.
TP-Link Smart Plug – Content and design
TP-Link sells its Smart Plugs in beautifully designed packaging. From that packaging, where the company has opted for English as the working language, it becomes clear exactly what you can do with the Smart Plugs and which smartphones can use the corresponding application without problems. Besides the fact that you will of course find the smart plug in the box, you will also find the necessary instructions for use. The Quick Start Guide is one that really stands out. That is just one small card on which TP-Link explains in detail, with the necessary images, how to install the Smart Plugs.
You will only find the modules in one color. TP-Link has opted for white for the Smart Plugs. In addition, you can quickly find out whether you have a plug with or without energy monitoring. The inside of the power strip is white in a version where you can see how much energy has been used. The HS100, the version without energy monitoring, has a gray-colored interior. A disadvantage is that TP-Link has designed its smart plugs in such a way that you can no longer use your double socket if you have installed a plug. The device then covers the second socket.
TP-Link Smart Plug – Installation and configuration
The biggest fear for enthusiasts who get started with a Smart Plug is undoubtedly the long installation process. Fortunately, this is absolutely out of the question at TP-Link. With the included Quick Start Guide you have the plug installed and working in no time. This can be achieved in three simple steps. The first step is to download the corresponding application, the second step is to connect to the Wi-Fi network and the third step is to follow the instructions in the app. In our case it took less than five minutes to operate the first lamp with the smartphone. Adding remaining clever helpers was also a piece of cake. Users must also have a 2.4 GHz network to get the plugs connected.
TP-Link Smart Plug – The app
TP-Link has designed its app for operating smart products very user-friendly and beautifully designed. As soon as you open the Kasa app for the first time, you will see an on-screen explanation of how to add a device. The user must then indicate what type of device it is, and you can choose from a Smart Plug, Range Extender, Smart Switch or a Smart Bulb. Then you will again see what to do on your screen and TP-Link will search for your added device itself. Once you have followed the steps, the installation is completed and you will be taken to the home screen. Handy during installation is that you can immediately indicate which device you are going to use on the Smart Plug and which icon should be displayed.
After the installation of the available Smart Plugs, you can see exactly where you stand on the start screen. You can also get started right away with the remote switching on and off of the available plugs. If you want to find out more about how long the plug has been activated, for example, you can click on one of the configured devices. If energy monitoring is also available, you will also see the results if you have clicked on a device. You can also schedule a few things in the same screen. For example, you can create a schedule when your Smart Plug should be activated or switched off, you can indicate when you are not present, so that the Smart Plug starts an irregular schedule to prevent burglars and you can use a timer.
Enthusiasts who also want to use the remote control of the Smart Plugs when they are not connected to the home network, must create an account. Only in that case can you use all the functionalities that the application offers. A disadvantage of the application is that you cannot select a language. So you are stuck with the English language, although that was no problem at all for us.
TP-Link’s Smart Plugs do exactly what was expected of them. We just couldn’t enjoy Plug & Play, but it was close. Within a few moments, all three Smart Plugs were installed and we could get started with remote control of the Smart Plugs. In addition, the devices worked without problems. At first, operating the Smart Plugs without being connected to the same network worked against it for a while, but after a number of tries that also worked. Undoubtedly, the problems will have been partly related to the stability of the networks involved.
The Smart Plug with energy monitoring also provides a clear picture of how much energy certain devices actually use. This way you always have a clear overview of what certain devices do and how badly they affect the energy bill. Partly due to the fact that you can see this and that you can easily operate the devices, you will be able to see this reflected in the energy bill over time – depending on the number and type of devices of course.
Not quite ready to purchase smart products, but still want to get a glimpse of a smart home? Then purchasing Smart Plugs is an ideal start. This way you can operate the necessary electrical appliances, even when you are not around at all. For that you need the English app. Not only is a Smart Plug very useful if you don’t feel like getting up to turn on your lights, but also to keep burglars out, for example. They will no longer be so eager to enter your house as soon as they find out that a lamp is lit every other minute. Also, because you can use certain schedules, you can ensure that you will use less energy. In this way, such a Smart Plug could also pay for itself over time. And with these Smart Plugs you can at least be sure that you will not spend a day installing them. Although enthusiasts should keep in mind that installing such a plug in a double socket will immediately lose your second socket. It is also important to first check whether your 2.4 GHz network is stable enough.
- Installed in a flash
- Easy to use
- Clear app
- Only works on 2.4GHz networks
- App in English
- Covered second outlet