This smart gadget can help keep your home safe while you're out

·2-min read
Photo credit: Good Housekeeping UK
Photo credit: Good Housekeeping UK

Whether you're going on a summer staycation or heading back to the office, leaving your home unattended is often a source of anxiety. Houses that look as though they’re empty can be targeted by thieves, so using smart home tech to make it look like you're at home could be a way to get some peace of mind. Smart plugs can do just that, and we've spotted that the TP-Link Kasa Mini Smart Plug, a GHI top performer, is currently half price on Amazon, down to £9.99 from £19.99.

If you're new to making your home smarter, your plugs are a great place to start. These can schedule your lights to turn on and off or periodically turn on your radio while you're out, to mimic the appearance of someone being at home. This works via an app, which you can access on your phone or tablet, leaving you worry-free.

Smart plugs look the same as regular ones, except they have a socket on the front that you plug your electricals into – lamps, speakers, TVs, coffee makers, slow cookers and more. Once you’ve set the plug via your wifi network you're good to go. As an extra bonus, they also work with voice assistants (Alexa, Siri and Google Home) but check that the model you have in mind works with your particular setup. These TP-Link ones work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

The GHI rated the Kasa smart plug by TP-Link as the best budget option in their round-up, and that's before the 50% discount. These can provide you with some additional reassurance while you’re out for a really affordable price and the team liked how easy the plugs are to install and that the app shows you how much energy you’ve used too.

The version without energy monitoring is the one on offer right now, but you can still pick up the energy monitoring one for £17.99. Want more than one plug? You can also get a pack of three for half price too – and you'll make a bit of a saving on the individual price too at £24.99 for the bundle.

If you'd prefer your smart plugs as an extension block, TP-Link sells one too and it's currently 29% off. The Kasa wifi power strip is another favourite from our tests, with a high score of 88/100. It comes with three plug sockets and two USB ports for charging smartphones and other USB devices like wireless headphones. Because each socket is separately managed in the app, you could set it up to turn off the TV or lamp at a certain time, or start your slow cooker so dinner's ready for when you get home.

Related: Best wifi security cameras in 2021

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