A worthy addition to any smart home

Cupertino, November 6, 2021

Outdoors and innovative technology are often not well understood. Only low temperatures and rainstorms can make it almost impossible to extend your smart life on the terrace or balcony. Fortunately, smart outdoor sockets are designed to solve exactly this problem and you could do much worse than the TP-Link outdoor socket (EP40) from Kasa. From rooms to lights to outlets, if it's in a smart home, Kasa sells it. Its products are generally reliable and more affordable, which you can expect from this smart outdoor socket.

Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug is a robust, reliable device that works when you need it and does not cost an arm and a leg.

Specifications

  • Connectivity: 2.4 GHz 802.11b / g / n
  • Electrical evaluation: 125 V ~ / 15A / 60Hz
  • Weatherproof rating: IP64
  • Price: $ 21.99
Pro

  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings and IFTTT
  • Easy to configure with intuitive mobile application
  • Affordable price for the device with two sockets
Versus

  • There is no support for Siri or HomeKit
  • No energy consumption reporting

Buy this product

Design, hardware, what's in the box

In terms of smart technology, the TP-Link outdoor socket is quite modest. It's a small, black, half-circle - almost the size of a fist - with a short three-wire AC outlet at one end and the two smart outlets at the other. Honestly, if it weren't for the two narrow buttons on one side of the device that turn on those smart plugs, most would assume it's a very short extension cord. Fortunately, this is not the case.

Case EP40-5

The smart plug feels pretty sturdy from top to bottom. First of all, the AC plug is very thick. Thick enough, in fact, that I'm absolutely sure it's weatherproof, even on the fifth-floor balcony of my Chicago apartment. In addition, the smart plugs at the other end are equipped with weather-resistant caps, which are attached to the device so that there is no worry about losing them.

In terms of connection to WiFi, the signal was strong right on the gate, a necessity for any smart home technology. The device remained connected and ready to turn those sockets on and off. There were no reliability issues on my part. TP-Link says this model has improved wireless performance, with a maximum range of 300 feet.

Case EP40-10

So what's in the box? You can probably imagine, not too much. Of course, the smart plug is the main attraction and the only other items in the small box were the three-step instruction manual (download the app, connect the smart plug and follow the instructions in the app), along with a single screw and mounting bracket.

Software and integrations

When it comes to smart home technology, nothing is right Easy to configure, but the process can be simplified by a third-party application that helps you during the process. Kasa does not guide you exactly through everything inch of the process, but offers some simple integrations to make the process a little easier. I saw a small hiccup trying to pair the plug with my WiFi, but a quick trip to the settings made it work. I wish I could say that this is unusual for smart home devices, but hey, it happens.

If you want to connect the plug to Amazon Alexa, you're in luck. The Kasa app has a straightforward integration that requires nothing more than a simple login to Amazon to connect. However, you need to access the Alexa app to download the TP-Link Kasa skills. Once you've done that, though, you just need to add light to a room and you'll be on your way.

For Google Assistant users, the app doesn't just allow you to sign in. Instead, it sends you to the company's online tutorial guide, which will guide you through your Google Home app. We are a household of Google Assistant and then some, and it seemed to me that this process is quite quick and easy, especially since My Home and other smart lights were already set up. Of course, I had to create a new room (Patio), but I had it up and running in a few minutes.

PXL_20211105_163039733-1

The smart plug is not compatible with HomeKit, so Siri users are careful. Kasa also offers a tutorial guide for Samsung SmartThings, but we don't use Bixby, because ... you know. If you are a person with smart technology, Kasa also offers IFTTT integration, which allows you to configure a lot of "If then" scenarios.

Unfortunately, HomeKit users and Siri fans are out of luck, as the Kasa smart plug is not compatible with these devices. In addition, Kasa does not offer power tracking or monitoring, which I found useful on other smart outlets, including some from TP-Link.

Now, it's quite possible to have a smart socket for simple mobile commands, rather than voice activation, and that's ok! The Kasa application will have a list of your smart sockets (two for this product) and you will be able to easily turn them on and off by pressing a button.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The TP-Link Smart Outdoor Socket is rugged, easy to set up, and offers two smart sockets in one device, and honestly, that's all you need from a product like this. It does its job reliably, and I didn't want to throw my phone through a wall while trying to get it to answer Alexa and the Google Assistant. For just twenty dollars, this is a solid deal, especially given that comparable options are often in the "well over $ 20" range.

Case EP40-9

Cons are still notable. If you rely on Siri to manage your smart home or you are looking to be more aware of energy consumption, TP-Link Outdoor Smart Plug is not for you. However, this is probably a small part of people looking for smart outdoor outlets, so don't let these issues turn you off from a product you'll otherwise love.

Buy if ...

  • Use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa for your smart home

  • You need a sturdy smart outdoor socket

Don't buy if ...

  • You want a smart outlet mostly for energy tracking.

  • Use the Apple HomeKit for your smart home

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