Get your smart home started with a smart plug — here are our favorites

Smart plugs may seem like a cheap party trick, like your attention-seeking friend who shushes the group to yell at Alexa to turn on the lamp. But they’re great devices for everyday use, because they’re super convenient and can even save energy if used correctly. For example, plugging in an energy-sucking game console and turning off the smart plug when you’re not using it can cut back on your energy usage. 

If this is your first smart home product, a smart plug is a great gateway device. It connects pieces you already own and love to the internet.

How do smart plugs work?

Smart plugs pair with your WiFi to bring that smart home feel to the electronics you already own. Depending on which one you get, you’ll be able to control regular appliances like lamps and fans via a mobile app or compatible voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa. So, your favorite lamp with specialty bulbs can join the ranks with any smart light bulbs you have in your home. Read more…More about Mashable Shopping, Smart Plugs, Smart Home, Tech, and Consumer Tech IMAGE: Amazon

BEST FOR AMAZON DEVICE INTEGRATION Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon’s smart plug pairs with Alexa to automate your home.

* Hub required: No
* Works with: Amazon Alexa
* Energy monitoring: No

$24.99 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon

BEST FOR ENERGY MONITORING Currant Wifi Smart Outlet

Manage your energy consumption with this monitoring smart plug.

* Hub required: No
* Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
* Energy monitoring: Yes

$59.99 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK TP-Link Kasa

At an affordable price, this plug doesn’t skimp out on important features.

* Hub required: No
* Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, IFTTT
* Energy monitoring: No

$14.99 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon

BEST BUDGET OPTION Gosund WiFi Outlet

This low-end smart plug is still pretty good.

* Hub required: No
* Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
* Energy monitoring: No

$8.99 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon

BEST FOR CONTROLLING MULTIPLE DEVICES Kasa HS300 smart power strip

Control multiple devices at once with this smart power strip.

* Hub required: No
* Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Nest, Microsoft Cortana
* Energy monitoring: Yes

$79.99 from Amazon IMAGE: IKEA

BEST FOR COMPATIBILITY IKEA Trådfri Wireless Control Outlet

IKEA produces a smart plug compatible with most devices.

* Hub required: Yes
* Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Microsoft Cortana, IFTTT
* Energy monitoring: No

$9.99 from IKEA
http://dlvr.it/RsSL5S

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