Don’t buy a smart plug if it doesn’t have these features

Smart plugs are one of the most interesting devices for automate certain appliances in our home. when we go to buy a smart plug, we must look at its main technical characteristics, above all, we must look at the specifications related to the maximum load that the plug in question supports. There are models that support up to 16A, which makes 3.6kW of power. However, it is also very important that it is compatible with the different home automation assistants that exist. Next, we are going to explain the importance of your smart plug being compatible at the software level with these assistants.

Software functions that a plug must have

A very important feature that we should know about smart plugs is the maximum load it supports when connecting different appliances. There are low-end models that only support up to 10A (2.3kW), however, there are other models that support up to 12A and even up to 16A that a normal plug supports. Another aspect that we must take into account is the form of connection to the local networkthere are models with WiFi, others have ZigBee and others are compatible with Z-Wave.

However, for the user, it is also very important to support you have at the software level, if it has management in the cloud or Cloud, or if it also has local management without the need for an Internet connection. Next, we are going to explain what software functions must have for the purchase to be successful.

Easy management in the Cloud

The possibility of installing the plug and managing it from anywhere, just by having an Internet connection to turn the plug on and off, as well as to configure different parameters, is a very important point that we must consider. Today, the vast majority of models that come onto the market make use of the manufacturer’s cloud to make it easier for users to configure and use the device in question.

The use of this Cloud is always totally free, since said support is incorporated when purchasing the hardware device. All brands such as D-Link, Shelly, TP-Link Tapo and a long etcetera use their cloud to serve users. For this reason, it is so important that we have an Internet connection at home, otherwise they will not be able to connect to the cloud and we cannot use it.

Voice assistant support

By having compatibility with the Cloud, the vast majority of manufacturers have integration with Amazon Alexa and also with the Google assistant. In this way, we can link the manufacturer’s Cloud with the Alexa account or the Google assistant to send voice commands. If you don’t have Alexa or Google Assistant for privacy, this feature won’t interest you, but a large number of users use these voice assistants to get started with home automation and home automation.

Amazon Echo device

Depending on the integration that we have in Alexa and Google assistant by the manufacturer, we can turn it on and off, or we can also make other more advanced settings.

Support for local administration

What happens in the event that we do not have Internet or that the manufacturer’s cloud goes down? If our plug only works through the cloud, we will not be able to use it, we are “tied” to the fact that it is permanently connected to the Internet and the cloud. What happens if we buy a plug from a brand and decide to close access to the Cloud? In this case we are the same, we will not be able to use the device.

The solution to this is that the device also has support for local administration, either through an application, or a web server built into the device to later integrate it into our home automation system. Manufacturers like Shelly allow us local administration via the web without problems, it comes with the default firmware. For this reason, this manufacturer is one of our favorites.

Compatible with HomeAssistant

More and more users have NAS servers at home, or a mini PC that acts as the center of all home automation with Home Assistant. Home Assistant is the most used software in the world to centralize all home automation and smart devices in our home, it has a large number of integrations and support for hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of devices.

If our smart plug is compatible with Home Assistant, we will not need access from the Cloud, because we can control everything from our home automation center.

As you can see, it is very important not only to look at the technical characteristics, but also at the software of the different smart plugs so that they meet our needs.

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