How to Set Up the TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug

TP-Link’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug is a fairly popular option for those looking to turn lamps and fans on from their phones, especially since it’s regularly on sale and was even a part of Amazon’s Echo deals over the holidays. Here’s how to set it up.

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If you’ve shopped for a smart plug in the recent past and just wanted the cheapest option from a reputable brand, it’s likely you bought this TP-Link model or its multi-pack. You can grab one for around $15-$20 when it’s on sale, but if you bought an Amazon Echo during the holidays, you had the opportunity to tack one onto your order for just $5.

To start the setup process, you first need to download the Kasa app on your iPhone or Android device. This is TP-Link’s official app for its smarthome devices.

After installing it, open up the app and tap the “Create Account” link in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Type your email address, create a password, and then hit the “Create Account” button.

You’ll need to verify your email address to continue. Open your email inbox, select the email you received, and then click the verification link it contains. Once that’s done, you can return to the Kasa app, and then tap the “Continue” button.

Next, you can choose whether or not you want to allow the app to access your location. This allows you to set a schedule for the smart plug based on sunrise and sunset. If you don’t need to do that, then there’s no reason to share your location.

You’ll then be taken to the main screen. To set up your smart plug, tap on the “+” button in the top right corner of the screen.

Scroll through the list and select the device that you’re setting up. In this case, we’ll select the “Smart Plug”.

Now, plug the smart plug into an outlet and wait for it to boot up—it should take just a few seconds. The Wi-Fi logo lights up orange and then eventually flashes between orange and green. When you see this, tap the “Next” button in the app twice.

Now, you need to access the Wi-Fi settings for your phone, and connect your phone to the TP-Link Smart Plug’s Wi-Fi. Once that’s done, you can return to the Kasa app.

You’ll now move onto naming the smart plug. Type in whatever you want, and then hit the “Next” button.

Select an icon you want to use to identify the device in the app. This really isn’t that important, but it is kind of fun. You can even choose a photo from your camera roll for a specific reminder of the device you’re controlling. Select your icon (or photo), and then tap the “Next” button.

Next, the device must join your home Wi-Fi network. Type the password for your network, and then hit the “Next” button. If you want to use a different Wi-Fi network than the one Kasa pulls up first, tap the “I’d like to use a different network” link at the bottom of the screen.

After connecting to your network, the device must grab the latest firmware update from the Internet. Tap the “Update Now” button.

Give it a few minutes for the update to install. During this time, the smart plug may turn on and off automatically.

When the update is complete, hit the “Done” button.

Tap “Done” again.

Your smart plug now appears on the main screen in the Kasa app, and you can tap the power button to the device’s right to turn it on and off.

Tapping the smart plug opens up more information about its usage.

Tapping the “Total Runtime” figure brings up more information about how long the plug has been on, along with 7-day and 30-day total and averages.

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The TP-Link Smart Plug provides basic runtime information that’s pretty in line with what other smart plugs offer. Unfortunately, the information is not as detailed as that provided by the Belkin’s WeMo Insight (which can actually estimate energy costs), but it’s certainly better than nothing. Plus the Kasa app is really easy to use.

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He's also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.