he D-Link Smart Plug is a simple home automation gadget.
Pair it with a small home appliance, via a mobile app, and you can switch the appliance on or off remotely from anywhere in the world. Internet access is a must to use both the app and Smart Plug.
Hence, you need to connect the Smart Plug to your home network when using it for the first time. This can be done via Wi-Fi Protected Set-up (WPS) or a manual set-up.
First, you must install the mydlink Home app (Android or iOS) on a mobile device. The app then guides you through the set-up process.
For the WPS method, you simply press the WPS button on the Smart Plug before pressing the WPS button on your home router.
The manual set-up requires you to scan a QR code or enter a six-digit passcode, which are both found on the underside of the Smart Plug.
Once you have configured the Smart Plug and have an electrical appliance or gadget plugged in, it measures the power usage of the connected device and displays the information on the app.
You can switch the Smart Plug and its connected gadget on or off using the app. You can also set a schedule to control when the Smart Plug is turned on. There are five existing schedule templates for you to customise in the app.
If the Smart Plug becomes too warm (you can set this temperature in the app), it will switch itself off automatically. You can opt to have an alert sent to your mobile device when this happens.
The same applies to the Smart Plug's power monitoring feature. The plug can be configured to switch itself off and fire off an alert if a certain power usage limit is reached.
The app itself is less than intuitive and crashed a few times on my Android phone. Despite having only a limited number of features, the interface takes getting used to. It also takes about 5 seconds for the latest information (temperature and power usage) from the Smart Plug to show up on the app.
Although you can sign in to your mydlink account using a browser to view all your D-Link devices, you can control the Smart Plug using only its mobile app.
Compared with the WeMo Switch from rival Belkin, the rectangular D-Link Smart Plug looks plain. Unlike WeMo, the D-Link does not support IFTTT (If This Then That), a Web service that lets users create their own custom triggers and rules.
Simple and functional, this home automation tool needs a better companion app.
Platforms: iOS 6 or later, Android 4.0 or later
Value for money: 3/5
This article was first published on Mar 4, 2015.
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