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If you’re looking to start making your home a bit smarter, smart plugs are a great place to start—you’ll be able to control your appliances by wi-fi, set up schedules, and with some devices even monitor your energy usage 5 Smart Hacks To Save Electricity In Your Smart Home 5 Smart Hacks To Save Electricity In Your Smart Home he trick to saving electricity is in knowing where most of your energy is consumed. Read More . The Belkin WeMo system 3 Ways The Belkin WeMo Can "Smarten" Your Regular Household Lamps 3 Ways The Belkin WeMo Can "Smarten" Your Regular Household Lamps We took the time to look at the possibilities for turning your regular household lamps into smart lamps. Read More is one of the most popular home automation systems, but if for whatever reason you’re looking for alternative, here are 6 to consider.

ThinkEco Modlet (from $44)

ThinkEco’s modern outlet is designed to give you both control over your appliances and information on how much energy they’re using. With power consumption readings every minute, you can get a really good handle on how much power your devices are drawing throughout the day. The Modlet comes with standard schedules that will reduce vampire loads (the electricity your devices consume while they’re in sleep or standby mode), and you can create your own custom schedules as well.

thinkeco-modlet

ThinkEco TE1010 Modlet Starter Kit, White ThinkEco TE1010 Modlet Starter Kit, White Plug right into your wall outlet to gain wireless control of your electronic devices Buy Now At Amazon $50.00

With the ThinkEco app you can view your energy consumption and control your outlets directly from your iPhone or Android, making it easy to turn on lights, coffee makers, or air conditioners when you need them.The usage data is transmitted to a USB receiver. And if you use ThinkEco’s other devices, like their smartAC air conditioner controller, you can control those as well.

Ankuoo NEO ($37)

If you look at enough smart plugs, you’ll see that almost every single one has something in common: they’re white. Occasionally you come across one that’s black. Not the case with the Ankuoo NEO! Beyond the bright colors, this is a pretty standard smart plug; the plug can be controlled via wi-fi or the iOS / Android app, and you can put it on a schedule to save power or make it look like you’re home when you’re out.

ankuoo-neo

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Ankuoo NEO Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, White Ankuoo NEO Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, White Turn on or off your home electronics from anywhere at any time Buy Now At Amazon $20.99

Ankuoo also offers a NEO Pro plug that monitors your energy usage and displays your stats through the app. Due for release soon is the NUT plug, which also incorporates a proximity sensor that will deactivate the plug once you’ve moved out of range—a great way to turn your heater, coffee maker, or lights off when you leave the house. Ankuoo looks to be a very new company, but has so far garnered good reviews on Amazon.

D-Link Systems DSP-W110 ($37)

D-Link’s first wi-fi smart plug came out to pretty lackluster reviews, but their second offering, the DSP-W110, has a much better reputation. It offers the standard feature set for a sub-$40 smart plug: you can set schedules for on/off, and you can control it via wi-fi or an app when you’re away from home.

d-link-dsp-w110

D-Link Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, On/Off, Works with Amazon Alexa D-Link Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, On/Off, Works with Amazon Alexa Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately) Buy Now At Amazon $39.99

D-Link’s smart home devices emphasize simplicity and ease of use, and their wi-fi plug is no exception. The DSP-W110 lacks both energy monitoring and a catchy name, but it will work with D-Link’s other smart home offerings, which will let you set up some basic smart home capabilities 6 Smart Home Projects You Can Take On This Weekend 6 Smart Home Projects You Can Take On This Weekend Here are six ways to add a little ambient intelligence to your daily routine. Read More on the cheap. The control app is available for both iOS and Android.

Bayit Switch Wi-Fi Socket ($40)

Much like the DSP-W110, the Bayit Switch doesn’t offer a lot of features, but it does offer a pretty good value. Wi-fi and iOS / Android app-based control and custom schedules let you start your home automation, like every other smart plug, but Bayit claims that it has an intuitive, plug-and-play setup that you can complete in two minutes.

bayit-switch

Bayit is a relative newcomer to the smart home scene, with only three products on the market (the socket, a web cam, and wireless LED bulbs), but if they really can provide easy setup at a $40 price point, they could be a company to watch in the near future.

Edimax Smart Plug Switch ($38)

Although most of their products are for networking, Edimax has released their first home automation product in the Smart Plug Switch. As with most of the others on this list, it’s a very simple one—plug it in, set it up, control it from your iPhone or Android, set up a schedule. Annoyingly, the plugs are packaged with CDs that have instructions on them – not exactly environmentally friendly or useful at all in 2015.

edimax-switch

Edimax Smart Plug Switch (SP1101W) Edimax Smart Plug Switch (SP1101W) Easily switch on/off via iPhone, iPad, Android Buy Now At Amazon

Edimax also has an energy-monitoring version, the Wi-Fi Smart Plug with Energy Management, that provides the same functionality but also records how much electricity is going through the switch and displays it through the Edimax app. At $50, it’s on the expensive side of the non-WeMo plugs, but not by much.

SmartThings Smart Power Outlet ($55)

The SmartThings outlet only works if you have a SmartThings Hub, but although it doesn’t have quite the versatility of the other wi-fi plugs, it does have the strength of the SmartThings brand behind it. In addition to making your outlet controllable by wi-fi and turn on from a schedule, it also extends the range of your hub.

smartthings-smart-power

Samsung SmartThings Outlet, Works with Amazon Alexa Samsung SmartThings Outlet, Works with Amazon Alexa Connects to the Samsung SmartThings Hub to automate and monitor your home from the SmartThings smart phone app. Buy Now At Amazon $53.99

While the other smart plugs are good for starting your process of home automation, the SmartThings outlet will only work if you’ve committed to the SmartThings system—which isn’t a bad choice, as it’s one of the better hub-based systems Battle of the Smart Home Hubs: What's Out There and What's Coming? Battle of the Smart Home Hubs: What's Out There and What's Coming? Read More out there (it also has the upside of working with iOS, Android, and Windows phone, which makes it more widely compatible than other options). The upside of that is that setup is likely to be easier than the other plugs on this list.

Which Should You Buy?

If you’re looking for a smart plug that’s not the Belkin WeMo, you have a number of options. For my money, I’d go with the ThinkEco Modlet, as the wi-fi control combined with the multiple modes of electricity monitoring make it a good deal for $44. However, if you’re looking to get into the SmartThings system, or you already have a SmartThings Hub, the Smart Power Outlet is also a good option.

Do you use smart plugs in your home? Or other ways of managing the energy usage of your devices Energy Saving Tips For Buying & Using Electronics Energy Saving Tips For Buying & Using Electronics Electronics make up a significant portion of your household energy costs. Computers, printers, and WiFi routers alone account for around 25% of your electricity bill. While electronics are becoming more efficient, their increased use offsets... Read More ? Have you used any of the ones mentioned here? Or would you recommend the WeMo above all else? Share your thoughts below!

  1. William
    October 25, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Is there a smart plug that will work with the European sockets? Or will I need 2 adapters for every plug?

    • Dann Albright
      November 12, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      I believe both Belkin and Edimax make European plugs, so you shouldn't need an extra adapter. Though it might depend on exactly which type of socket you have.

  2. ambrogio
    August 23, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Iwould like to control my plugs with a Nokia Lumia 920.
    Is it possible ?
    Does the plug include a web server ?
    Thanks
    Ambro

    • Dann Albright
      August 31, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      You'd have to check the specific compatibility information for each plug to see if it'll work for your phone. As far as I'm aware, none of the plugs include a web server.

  3. jasonlau61
    May 26, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Currently, the Wi-Fi smart switches/outlets are being favored over the ZigBee or Z-Wave switches/outlets because the latter require consumers to purchase a hub to make them establish a communication connection with their smartphones, tables, and PCs, but with thousands of physical objects that are fitted with chips and sensors and gain the ability to communicate coming in the future, Wi-Fi will no longer apply because its power consumption is too high to make individual smart device to be a network extender, then Zigbee or Z-Wave will expand the market. The question is: when the IOT his mass adoption?

    • Dann Albright
      May 30, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      That's an interesting point; I know that people are researching low-power wifi options right now, so maybe that could affect the trajectory of IOT adoption and how much power it uses. Low-energy Bluetooth seems like another way to go. I feel like companies will be highly motivated to find a good solution that will allow consumers to not use Zigbee or Z-Wave, just because buying a hub is probably a big obstacle when it comes to entry into the market.

  4. MikeP
    May 22, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Automation Manager (on play, also runs on a pc/mac) adds Tasker, command line, http and browser based control capabilities to the wemo line, as well as better reliability and performance.

    • Dann Albright
      May 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      That sounds really useful—thanks for sharing that! Do you use it? What have you set it up to do?

      • MikeP
        May 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        I'm up to 25-ish devices now, mostly used for automatic lights on/off. Interior lights fade in at sunset, all off at dawn. Basement lights on with an arm full of laundry. Outside lights when the front door or garage door opens, the geofence triggers, or the IP camera spots motion. I even have the security alarm flash the outside lights when it sounds so I can tell the 911 folks - "look for the house with the flashing lights!!!" :). I'm using the Automation Manager rules engine as it's quicker and more flexible than the built in belkin rules and much quicker to respond than IFTTT.

        I've started playing the TP HS100 and HS110 wifi sockets. Very inexpensive relative to most others and so far so good. Might be candidates for this list too.

        • Dann Albright
          May 30, 2016 at 1:57 pm

          That's a lot of devices! Sounds like you're making great use of the wifi plugs available. I'm inspired to try a few of those things myself, actually. :-) Will look into the TP HS100 and HS110. I'm always a fan of inexpensive!

  5. Bradut
    March 23, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Just purchased a WeMo after a little bit of research, including this website.

    I needed an automated way to reset my GoFlex NAS which is having issues in the last time and found-out that the only smart plug which I can access without a mobile phone app, but directly through its IP is WeMo.

    No other device has so many internet resources [read 'hacks'], not to mention that no vendor offer a browser based or web API access to their products.

    The direct IP access methods are described in some forums dedicated to this device, and, moreover, I was lucky to find the source code of a program that allows to turn on/off WeMo from command line.
    Now I can extend that program and reset NAS' power whenever it becomes non-responsive.

    With respect to the mobile app controlled devices, in my opinion users became "prisoners" of vendors, as there is no standardization in accessing to these smart things.

    • Dann Albright
      March 23, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      That's a pretty cool use of the WeMo! I wasn't aware that you could access it through the command line; that's awesome. And it sounds like you've set up a really great system.

      I agree with the problem of a lack of standardization; it's pretty irritating. Some companies are making hubs that can work with a variety of brands, but then you're still tied to the hub. I think it's a step in the right direction, just not an end solution. It might be tough for a while, as companies want to tie customers to their brands, while customers want to be able to create their own custom systems. I have to imagine that the customers will win out eventually, but it might take a bit.

      Thanks for reading!

    • io io
      August 30, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Br?du?, I long decided to drop using smart plugs and any other network device which involves using a three-party server. I've been using network security cameras for about 14 years and since then I'm paying happily for a static IP address. I purchased and used only items that allow IP access without a mandatory website account. They do not need to inform their server to redirect the web page or the client application to a new IP address every time the network device is assigned a different one by the DHCP. This way the cameras deliver video with minimum delay, which in case of a security breach is essential. Also, I do not feel comfortable knowing that my private video feed resides on or just passes through an unknown server. I live in Alaska and security is a must.

      I also have two QNAP TS-470 Pro NAS devices separated by the Atlantic, that I need to cold reboot when they become unresponsive. Currently, as a work-around I'm using an electro-mechanical timer with pegs.

      Please, could you share with me/us in this forum anything more about your findings about the 'hack' on controlling the WeMo only by its IP address?

      Thank you,
      Adrian

      • Bradut
        August 30, 2016 at 10:41 pm

        Hello Adrian,

        Sure, I am happy to share, and I will post here my resources I have published on the WeMo users forum.
        Besides, if you don't feel comfortable with Visual Studio and C#, I may provide you with an executable that would do the job for you.

        I found two C# hacks to controll a WeMo smart-plug:
        1. https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B3RTucUBY2bwVFZsYU5teUNEVEk
        [from this page: https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B3RTucUBY2bwVFZsYU5teUNEVEk%5D

        I have compiled it in C# and worked!
        You only need to customize the code and pass your WeMo's local IP as well as the parameters 1 or 0 to turn it on / offf.
        It may be improved by having the code to read WeMo status, especially b/c the device lacks the "Power on' feature and will be always off after a power shortage.

        2. A complete and flexible solution here:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifzmJFdvNEE
        Coding Belkin WeMo Switch C# .NET API Library - Auto Power Cycle Cable Modem on Disconnect
        The only downsize I found is that using device discovery in the network is a liittle bit slower, so I would cache the IPs after the initial call.

      • Dann Albright
        August 31, 2016 at 6:56 pm

        Sounds like quite the system you have going up there! I haven't heard any information about hacking WeMos other than the comment above, so hopefully that commenter (or someone else who knows what's going on) can help you out with this.

    • Bradut
      September 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Dann,
      I have posted my reply to user "Io Io" on August 30, but it did not show up.
      I've tried twice
      Aren't links not allowed in comments?

    • Bradut
      September 2, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      @io io (August 30, 2016 at 8:11 pm)
      Hi Adrian,
      If you are interested in controlling your WeMo without the mobile app, I recommend you to google for "wemo api c#"
      I have also posted all my references on the WeMo users forum, and you are welcome to contact me at BradutDima@yahoo.com

      Regards, Bradut

  6. RMajors
    November 12, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I have found that I need to use a wifi switch to reset my SmartThings v2 hub from time to time when it fails to reconnect to the Internet. Yes, the v2 hub currently has a bug that will prevent it from reconnecting to the Internet after an unsuccessful attempt. This means that if your internet is down for more than say 25 minutes, the hub has stopped trying to reconnect and will remain offline. I chose the Ankuoo wifi switch because of its low price ($28 on Amazon) to reboot the hub remotely and it works well for this but it also requires you to remove the batteries from the v2 hub and leave them out so it's not without some loss of functionality on the hub. Hopefully they will fix this someday.

  7. Ed
    May 23, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Dont buy WeMo if you dont want to Share you SSID.
    Wont work with Amazon Echo even though it claims to.
    Dont buy WeMo if you don't agree to the terms and conditions in the app such as ...

    Your device and app history.
    Identity
    Your contacts. (why do they need your contacts?)
    Location
    Phone
    Photos / Media / Files (What is WeMo doing with my pictures?)
    Camera (WTF - camera access for a light switch)
    Call information (whether a call is active and remote number - HUH?)

    ... These are from the app BTW

    • Dann Albright
      May 25, 2015 at 10:26 am

      App permissions are often weird . . . thanks for pointing those out. I have no idea what WeMo wants with your photos or camera. It's possible that there'll be some sort of integration in the future, I suppose.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Brad Oshman
      June 30, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      The WeMo app allows you to use a custom photo instead of a standard icon for each WeMo device, which would explain the phone and photos access.

      • Dann Albright
        July 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm

        Ah, good point. That does explain those permissions. Not sure why they need all the rest of them, but there could be a reason behind a number.

    • alex keaton
      September 29, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Dont forget the disconnecting completely when doing firmware updates

      • Dann Albright
        October 5, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        Thanks for the tip!

    • TimH
      January 25, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      My WeMo works perfectly with my Amazon Echo. All I have to say is "Alexa... turn on/off the lights" and she says OK and turns them on/off.

      • Dann Albright
        January 28, 2016 at 7:24 pm

        Good to know! That's pretty cool.

  8. Carol
    February 10, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Can we make use of these in europe too?

    • Dann Albright
      February 11, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      If I remember correctly, most of these plugs have Euro versions. I'm quite confident that the Ankuoo and Edimax plugs both come in multiple configurations, but the others might, too. A quick Amazon or Google search should answer your question quickly!

    • Wifi Plug
      July 31, 2015 at 10:04 am

      We also have a UK smart plug with energy monitoring.

      It is the World's Smallest smart plug and has IFTTT Functionality.

      http://www.wifiplug.co.uk

      • Dann Albright
        October 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm

        That looks pretty great! Thanks for sharing that.

  9. Gary
    February 10, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I'm not necessarily saying the SmartThings plug is bad and my post was a little disingenous because the SmartThings plug is Zigbee based. Most of the functionality described is because of the SmartThings hub software and configuration, and not the switch itself.

    That said, there are a lot of Z-wave devices out there who can give you the same or better feature set for the same price point. Look at the Aeon Labs Smart Plug. Besides the basic on/off feature that the SmartThings plug does, but it will also dim and reports energy usage.
    Right now, it's a ~$30 on Amazon compared to the $55 for the ST plug.

    • Dann Albright
      February 11, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      The Aeon Labs plug looks like a good one! And for $30, that's a fantastic deal. Thanks for pointing this out, Gary!

  10. Gary
    February 10, 2015 at 12:31 am

    The smart things plug should be replace with "Almost any Z-wave plug you want" and some can be had for cheaper.

    • Dann Albright
      February 10, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Why do you recommend other Z-wave plugs instead of SmartThings? And are there any specific ones you recommend?

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