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What is a Smart Plug and What Does it Do?

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Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular with many people beginning to embrace recent technological advances to create a more convenient living space. Smart plugs are one way these pioneers are turning their homes into smart homes. So, what is a smart plug?  

A smart plug is a device that allows you to start reaping the benefits of a smart home. What’s more, smart plugs are affordable and easy to use. They’re an ideal solution for anyone wanting to incorporate smart devices into their home, whether they own or rent their place. 

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about smart plugs. You’ll also learn about some of the best smart plugs available on the market right now! 

What Is a Smart Plug?

A smart plug is a device that allows you to turn almost any electrical device into a smart appliance. This means, with the right knowledge you can pretty much automate your home to your liking. 

A smart plug connects to your Wi-Fi network and allows you to control your appliances via a mobile device. You’ll need to download an app and follow the setup instructions, but after that, you should be good to go. This means you can plug in your favorite lamp that is just a little out of reach and turn it on and off without having to leave your seat, or you can schedule when you want the light to turn on or off, so you don’t even have to think about it. This is just one example of what a smart plug can do; the options are endless. 

Many people that convert their home to a smart home have numerous smart plugs set up on the same network. Having several plugs gives you more flexibility and allows you to control your entire home from your mobile device. 

Man using Amazon Alexa and Google Home

Already Have an Amazon Alexa or Google Home Device?

Smart plugs really come to life when you have a smart home hub. Connecting your smart plug to a smart home hub like Amazon Alexa or Google Home software allows you to control your home with your voice. So, you won’t even need to get your mobile device out to control your favorite lamp, you can just say “Alexa, turn on my favorite lamp”. 

What Does a Smart Plug Do?

Smart plugs allow you to set up your electrical devices and control them to your liking. You can control most appliances with an on/off switch. Popular uses for smart plugs include: 


Smart plugs are also an excellent safety and security solution. For example, if you are away from home and you remember you’ve left something switched on, just open an app on your phone and switch it off. This is especially important if you’ve left a heating device or iron on. 

Smart plugs are a great security solution. You may already have security cameras set up in your home, but smart plugs can also help create the illusion that someone is always home. This is the perfect deterrent to stop intruders from breaking into your home. If you’re on vacation, you’ll be able to operate the lights from your phone. You can also turn on music devices, televisions or other appliances that can make it appear as if you’re home. 

Set up your smart plug routine

Most smart plugs will also allow you to create “routines” or “schedules”. This means when you’re away, you won’t have to worry about remembering to control your appliances. It also means that when you are home, you can create routines to make your life that little bit easier.  

For example, maybe you struggle to wake up in the morning, even with an alarm. With a smart plug routine, you can set your lights to turn on and wake you up! 

Best Smart Plugs

So, you’ve read about what smart plugs can do, you’re probably wondering how you go about finding a good one. If you’re in the market for a smart home system, view our top recommendations here. We find that the best smart home system is the one that meets your needs while making you feel comfortable and safe. Whatever your smart home goals are (saving money, becoming more energy efficient, protecting your home, etc.), we want to help you find the best system for you. 

Effortlessly compare top home security brands today.


Hopefully, you’re no longer thinking “what is a smart plug?”. You should now know the benefits of smart plugs and understand why they’re such an excellent addition to your home. If you’re looking to transform your home into a smart home, then smart plugs are an excellent first step. 

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Alyssa DiCrasto

Editor at Smarter Home

Alyssa is a writer and editor who has spent her entire career making complex topics easy-to-understand through clear, unbiased writing. With a degree in Professional Writing and Information Design, she specializes in creating content about a variety of technical products and applications. Alyssa has been with Smarter Home since it’s beginning, helping develop our rigorous editorial policy. At the end of the day, she hopes she is able to help readers find the information they need to make the right security and smart home choices for them.

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