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Friday, November 30, 2018

Maybe Don’t Buy Ikea’s $10 Smart Plug

A few months ago, we heard rumors of Ikea launching their own smart plug under their existing Tradfri smarthome product line. It’s now available in Ikea stores and online, but you probably shouldn’t buy it for a number of reasons.

Sight unseen, $10 for a smart plug sounds like an amazing deal. After all, the next cheapest smart plugs worth buying are usually only $16-$18, and that’s during a really great sale. However, there are a lot of caveats with this Ikea Tradfri smart plug, unfortunately.

For starters, you need the Tradfri gateway in order to connect the smart plug to your network, since it uses ZigBee rather than just straight-up Wi-Fi. It’s possible that it could connect to any ZigBee hub, like the Echo Plus, but that’s not officially known at the moment.

The Tradfri smart plug is expected to work with Apple’s HomeKit platform at some point in the future, so that’s definitely a plus, but there’s no word on whether or not it will work with Alexa or Google Assistant, which would be a huge downer if it didn’t work with voice platforms. However, existing Tradfri products do with Alexa and Google Assistant, but the smart plug itself is unknown.

In any case, rather than getting the Tradfri smart plug, it’s probably better to spend a bit more cash and get a Wi-Fi smart plug instead, like TP-Link’s Kasa smart plug, which can be had for $18. It’ll do pretty much anything you want it to, and it doesn’t require a separate hub or gateway.

However, if you already have a Tradfri gateway and use Tradfri products anyways, the Tradfri smart plug actually may not be a terrible bet, especially for such a low cost.

Source: Ikea via Pocket-Lint



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