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Two brothers founded the Chinese company TP-Link in 1996. Their first product was a groundbreaking network card, which proved so reliable that it quickly outsold many of those made by other retailers.

They achieved this by using twisted pair cabling instead of standard cables. This simple innovation canceled out electromagnetic interference from outside sources, which made the connection more stable and therefore, reliable.

The idea of using a twisted wire to cancel out interference was not a new one. Alexander Graham Bell invented this form of wiring, in 1881, as a way to clean up the signals carried by telegraph and telephone wires.

Over the years, the founders of TP-Link have repeatedly adapted existing technology to solve common problems, which is part of the reason they make such reliable products. Today, they are best known for their Wi-Fi routers, extenders, power line adapters, print servers and switches.

Recently they have started to enter other markets, including the home automation sector. Their ability to produce Wi-Fi devices that have a stable connection makes their products some of the most reliable.

TP Link Smart Plug

This smart plug is a great example of what we mean. You can use it to control any device that is connected to the plug and do so from anywhere.

The plug is connected to your home Wi-Fi network. Using the free Kasa app, you can turn the plug on or off. In the off position, power is cut to the appliance, and, of course, in the on position the flow of power is restored.

Turn any electronic device on and off remotely

This means that if you have appliances that do not have a timer function built in, so you can still turn them on and off as you need to. So, for example, if you know you are going to get home at about 10pm you can turn your pre-loaded slow cooker or halogen oven on at the appropriate time, so that when you get in you have something hot to eat.

There is also the option to schedule the plugs to turn on and off at certain times of the day. The away mode is a great way to set your lights to operate as if you were at home, when you are actually traveling.

Importantly, if you have a power outage, the plugs remember what they are supposed to do. When the power comes on again, they automatically reconnect to the Wi-Fi network and resume normal operation.

Installing a TP Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Installation is usually easy and fast. Some people have had installation issues, but their experience was very much the exception to the rule.

To use the plugs, all you need to do is to download the app. Then put the Smart Wi-Fi plug into any outlet, and use the Kasa app to connect each plug to your network.

You do not necessarily have to own a home hub to make these smart plugs work. The app is free, so there are no monthly subscription fees to pay.

Unfortunately, if you have an older Android device, iPhone or iPad, you will not be able to take advantage of this innovative home security accessory. The free Kasa app only works with devices that are loaded with iOS8 or higher or Android 4.1 operating systems.

Control one device or a group of appliances

These plugs can be used to control a single item or a group of devices. For example, you can choose to turn your hall light on using your phone when it gets dark, so it looks like you are at home. It is also a great way to turn on outdoor lights remotely, which has been shown to deter home invaders.

Alternatively, you can tell it to turn a lamp and a heater on in the bedroom of an elderly relative, at a pre-programmed time of night. That way you can be sure they can see to go to bed and that the room will be warm for them.

TP Link remotely controlled and programmable light bulbs

If you are looking for a simple way to control your ceiling lights and lamps using your voice or want to program lights to turn on and off at pre-determined times, these TP-LINK smart light bulbs are ideal. Using smart light bulbs, it is easy to make it look like you are at home, when in fact you are out.

They come in various formats, including 50w and 60w equivalent bulbs, and are available in both white and multicolored configurations. You can also dim all of these bulbs using the app. In addition, by pairing them with your Amazon Alexa hub, you can use your voice to turn them on and off or dim them.

These smart home security light bulbs can be controlled in exactly the same way the plugs above can be. To program them or turn them on or off remotely, you use the TP-Link Kasa app, which can be run on any device that is using Android 4.1 or iOS 8 or above.

Potentially, you can also use these bulbs outside in a sheltered place, like a porch. They operate in temperatures of between -4 and 102F.

Technical support

One of the best things about TP-Link products is the level of support you get. The company’s technical team is available 24/7, via a toll free phone line.

Using with home automation hubs

If you have an Amazon Echo or Wink 2 and are looking for devices to extend your home security network, these two TP Link products are excellent options. They are both compatible with those hubs.

Being able to use voice commands to turn on lights in certain areas of your home is a useful feature. If you are in bed and hear someone moving around outside, all you need to do is to use a pre-programmed voice command to turn on a light or a group of lights to scare the potential thief off.