Smart plugs — or plugs whose built-in WiFi lets you control whatever it is they’re attached to, whether at home or on-the-go — are all the rage right now. While single WiFi plugs have been on my radar for a while, the idea of a half dozen of them in one, simple surge protector never crossed my mind. And yet, that’s exactly what you get with networking company TP-Link’s Kasa Smart WiFi Power Strip, which is on sale for $55 (or 31% off) today during Amazon’s Deal of the Day.
It’s all very simple, actually — which might be why it’s got more than 1,200 reviews and a 4.4-star average rating. The power strip works just like any other would: You plug it into the wall (using the life-changing angled plug design we’re seeing more and more of) and get a strip of six normal outlets and three USB outlets that are protected from surges. The interesting feature here is the built-in WiFi, which allows you to control each of the outlets individually, no matter what’s plugged into them. That’s important: The design means you’re not controlling the power strip as one unit but each of its outlets separately, essentially giving you six smart devices in this single strip (the USB outlets will charge as normal but aren’t smart). Any dumb device will work with the strip, too. Consider your favorite reading light, for example, or a coffee machine, your TV or gaming console, powered speakers, chargers, a smart assistant, and so on.
And if you connect the power strip to your smart assistant — be it Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or otherwise — you can use the voice commands you’re used to turn any of those plugged-in items on or off. Think, “Hey Google, please turn off my bedroom light” or “Alexa, please boil water for coffee.” Having six such outlets in one power strip is so obvious I feel silly for having gotten just a single smart plug before (which I’ve done several times, actually).
On top of all that, TP-Link lets you monitor the energy usage on each different outlet, which could both be a very easy way to learn exactly what your various devices demand in the sense of energy and to allow you to turn off or better manage your own footprint. Leaving stuff plugged in, in other words, doesn’t have to necessarily mean they’re still pulling energy from the grid.
This device is so smart and currently selling for such a great deal that it’s pretty much a must-buy (and especially so when you’re on the path to a smarter home).
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