Setting up and testing a TP-Link HS100 Smart Plug

The TP-Link HS100 is a smart plug you can control from your phone, tablet, Amazon Alexa or Google Home and is very simple to setup. In this review (and video) I unbox the smart plug, connect it up to my phone and set it up with Amazon Alexa.

Setup

The TP-Link HS100 does not require and special hub or smart home server. Once unboxed I plugged it in and then via the Kassa app on my phone I setup it up on the WiFi. Its was very quick to setup and the app handled the WiFi setup.

Using the Smart Plug

Once up and running you can turn the plug on and off from the app, it responds instantly and control a light, heater or your Christmas lights. It works within your home network and it also works over the internet so you can control it from anywhere with internet connection.

You can setup schedules to control the light via a 7 day a week timer. You can also set up events like turning on at dusk and turning off at sunrise. There is an away mode option so you can replicate turning on and off a device at different times so it looks like someone is home.

Amazon Alexa, Cortana Google Home & IFTTT


My favourite feature is the Amazon Alexa integration. You add the TP-Link skill to the Amazon Alexa app and then Alexa can control the plug. For example if you want to a control a heater just name the plug (in TP-Link app) Heater and then you can then say “Alexa, turn on heater” and it will turn on the heater. You can also incorporate it with Alexa Routines; you could have it part of a night mode routine or maybe a Christmas mode.

The TP-Link HS100 also works with Google Home and Cortana.

You can also control the plug with IFTTT (If This Then That) a web services where you can link services together. I setup my Netgear security cameras to trigger the plug when there is movement in the room. I use IFTTT to turn on my garden lights via a smart plug when it hits sunset time each day (using Weather Unlimited as the trigger).

With IFTTT you can combine a range of trigger to turn on the plug, it could be when you get a Twitter mention it turn on your light for 5 minutes or if you arrive home (via GPS on your phone) it turns the light on. You could even use a service like Life360 and have the lights turn off when the last person leaves home. Having the IFTTT integration gives you many options and I would not buy a smart plug that does not support it.

Conclusion

The plug is rated at 1.8KW so you could use an electric heater with it, it has a thermal cut-out if a device draws too much power. As you can see in this video the TP-Link HS100 is very easy to setup, responsive and works great with Amazon Alexa.

I got the plug from Amazon for £19 which is a good price for a smart plug, it us currently listed at £35 which puts it at the top end of the smart plug range. A very similar device is the D-Link DSP-W115 which costs £29 on Amazon.

Here is my video of setting up and reviewing the TP-Link HS100:

About the author Ian Dixon:
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.

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