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Like TP-Link’s new EP10 sensible plug, the Kasa EP40 outside plug affords little in the way in which of modifications from its predecessor, the KP400. Cosmetically, the variations are modest, and the all-black unit retains its somewhat chunky, semi-circular look, with two three-prong retailers on the entrance and two particular person, LED-illuminated management buttons on the highest. The new IP40 maintains an IP64 ruggedness score—although be aware the rubber socket cowl flaps on the brand new {hardware} don’t really feel very safe and tend to pop off simply.

Like different Kasa units, setup is finished through the Kasa app. Fortunately, I didn’t have the identical stage of setup complications that I skilled with the EP10. While the method stays archaic—connect with a short lived Wi-Fi community, then bridge it over to your property Wi-Fi community (2.4GHz solely)—I didn’t have any hassles with the configuration.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart plugs, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.

Like TP-Link’s new EP10 indoor smart plug, the Kasa EP40 outdoor plug offers little in the way of changes from its predecessor, the KP400. Cosmetically, the differences are modest, and the all-black unit retains its rather chunky, semi-circular appearance, with two three-prong outlets on the front and two individual, LED-illuminated control buttons on the top. The new IP40 maintains an IP64 ruggedness rating—though note the rubber socket cover flaps on the new hardware don’t feel very secure and have a tendency to pop off easily.

kasa smart app 1 Christopher Null / IDG

The two outlets on the Kasa Smart EP40 outdoor smart plug can be controlled independently, via the app or with buttons on the device itself.

Like other Kasa devices, setup is done via the Kasa app. Fortunately, I didn’t have the same level of setup headaches that I experienced with the EP10. While the process remains archaic—connect to a temporary Wi-Fi network, then bridge it over to your home Wi-Fi network (2.4GHz only)—I didn’t have any hassles with the configuration.

I did encounter one quirky problem: The Kasa EP40 refused to let me rename the sockets, which is allowed during setup or afterwards in the app’s settings menu. Whether I tried to do so, both during setup and after the fact, the Kasa app generated an error and left the default socket names in place. (After several days of testing, this finally resolved for an unknown reason and I was able to make changes.) Otherwise I encountered no trouble with the device during my testing.

Maximum power supported for each outlet is 15 amps/1875 watts, and TP-Link claims an exceptional 300-foot range for its Wi-Fi radio due to an “internal amplifier.” I didn’t have an outlet far enough from my router to test this latter claim thoroughly, but I never had any trouble with disconnects or weak signal strength.

Aside from individual control over the two outlets—just swipe left or right within the app to move between them—you won’t find any significant changes in the app vs. other Kasa smart plugs – with the sole exception that the external LED status lights can be disabled through the app. Additional features include a randomized away mode, a scheduling system, a turn-off countdown timer, and individual runtime monitors that show overall usage for the past day, week, and month. Runtime is calculated individually for each outlet, and again it only provides total time of operation, not electricity consumed. Again, all these features can be (and must be) configured individually for each socket. The unit connects to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby if you’d like voice control or more advanced scheduling options.

The most notable feature of the plug however is now its price. Currently priced at $18, it’s a dramatic drop from the $45 launch price of its predecessor and now represents one of the better bargains in the business. TP-Link has the bigger smart home lighting ecosystem, so if you have other Kasa Smart products, this is the outdoor smart plug you should buy. If you haven’t picked a smart home platform, or if you’re just looking for a good outdoor smart plug to control your holiday decorations, the Wyze Plug Outdoor is a slightly better value.

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