The $40 D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug is a decent option if you’re interested in basic home automation. Pair the plug with a lamp or other small appliance and use D-Link’s free Android or iOS app to turn it on and off, set custom schedules, and monitor its energy usage. It’s very similar to the $60 and the $50
On the performance side, D-Link’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug and app were both periodically glitchy during testing. While D-Link’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug is OK at performing its functions, it doesn’t seem like it can compete with the thoughtful dependability of Belkin’s WeMo switches.
This white, single-outlet plug measures 3.5 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 1.4 inches deep. It weighs 4.4 ounces and has a rectangular shape with rounded-off edges. It’s rated for 100 to 125 volts of alternating current (VAC). That means that the outlet should be used to power lamps or other small appliances (large appliances have higher VAC requirements).
The Mydlink Smart Plug app works with Android 4.0 or higher and iOS 6 or higher on tablets and smartphones, and on Wi-Fi and cellular connections. It operates on a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi frequency and you can control up to 10 different Wi-Fi Smart Plugs at the same time using the app.
The $40 D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug fits into any three-prong electrical outlet on a wall or a power strip. Like a standard outlet, D-Link’s plug is more functional than it is aesthetically compelling; it probably won’t be winning design awards anytime soon. It does blend into a two-outlet wall unit fairly seamlessly, and I’m guessing that was the intention.
But just when I was about to blame the blandness of traditional outlets for the blandness of this smart outlet, I started thinking aboutand . Both companies have managed to make household objects into design statements rather than something you try to hide in a dark corner. They weren’t satisfied with the uninspired design that dominates their appliance categories, so why should D-Link’s plug look so plain?
D-Link isn’t alone, though. Its Wi-Fi Smart Plug is similar in style to the $50 , the $60 , and the $49 . Still, Belkin definitely improved on its plug design between the WeMo Switch and its more recently introduced Insight Switch, so I’m not quite ready to let D-Link off the hook.
D-Link’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug has a power on/off button with LED indicator underneath that lights up green when your connected appliance is on. There’s also a status LED that will glow red when it’s powering on, trying to reset, or broken. It will blink orange during its initial setup or if it isn’t correctly connected to the Wi-Fi network. It will blink green when the Wi-Fi is connecting and it will display solid green when it’s successfully connected.
You can press the power button manually on the switch if you want to power your connected device directly. There’s also a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button. Pressing it and the WPS button on your router, if your router has one, will initiate a connection between the plug and the router. If your router doesn’t have a WPS button, there’s another set of steps you can follow during setup, but you might end up using the Smart Plug’s WPS button anyway; pressing and holding the WPS button until the LED status light turns red will reset your plug to factory settings.
Early setup is about as simple as possible. Find a three-prong outlet that’s in a convenient spot for the gadget you want to operate and plug in the Smart Plug. Then, download the app and follow the steps ; this is where things got more complicated.
I had a really hard time actually finding the Mydlink Smart Plug app in both the iOS and Android app stores. In the Google Play store it’s called Mydlink WiFi Smart Plug and in iTunes it’s called Smart Plug.
Once I found and downloaded both apps, setup got easier, but there were still a couple of confusing parts. For example, the setup menu gives you the option of a WPS setup or a manual setup. If you have a router with WPS, then this is fairly straightforward. If you don’t, you have to go the manual setup route. That’s the option I chose and you have to use a six-digit pin code located on a small card that’s included in the box (it’s also on the back of your plug, but that’s plugged in at this point, so that’s no help). After I entered the code, I selected the office Wi-Fi network and it connected.
Overall the D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug is a neat little idea. My biggest issue is that it covers my entire outlet therefore I can plug a multi-outlet power strip or something similar to the unused out or anything similar. While not a big deal for some, it is a big deal to me. However, when you look at the price $25.15, it’s hard to say much of anything except that you do expect more and better from D-Link, a company that has been around for a long time and makes a lot of great products.