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WLAN sockets, radio-controlled sockets, Bluetooth sockets in the check
WLAN sockets, radio-controlled sockets, Bluetooth sockets in the check
Video: WLAN sockets, radio-controlled sockets, Bluetooth sockets in the check
Video: Wifi Controlled Power Socket 2023, February
Anonim

In the meantime, countless providers of WLAN sockets, Bluetooth sockets and radio-controlled sockets are bustling on online marketplaces and in technology houses. What exactly the differences are and for whom which model is recommended, we explain in the radio socket comparison.

The idea is by no means new: A radio-controlled socket between the device plug and the wall socket ensures that household helpers or multimedia devices (e.g. decorative lighting or music system) can be conveniently operated from the couch using a remote control.

Since the smartphone has become our constant companion, the whole thing has also worked with the help of an app: it enables the control and automation of all connected radio sockets with the mobile phone. WLAN and Bluetooth sockets are the simplest ways to smartly refurbish your home - without having to buy new smart home devices.

Before you buy a radio-controlled socket, you should, however, find out about the differences between radio, Bluetooth and WLAN plugs. Did you know, for example, that many WLAN sockets do not use WLAN at all?

Funksteckdose
Funksteckdose

Did you know that many WiFi sockets do not use WiFi at all?

Photo: Osram

Differences: radio vs. WLAN vs. Bluetooth

App-controllable sockets are available in two versions: WLAN and Bluetooth. Both WLAN sockets and Bluetooth sockets could theoretically also be referred to as "radio sockets", since they are logically both radio-based. Nevertheless, it is important to know that there are differences between radio, WLAN and Bluetooth sockets.

What is a radio-controlled socket?

A simple radio-controlled socket that does not communicate via WLAN or Bluetooth is controlled via a special radio remote control, which is included in the delivery. It does not allow control via app or linking to other smart home devices. The system is self-contained. Depending on the design, about six to ten adapter plugs can be controlled via the remote control. It is therefore worth buying packages that already contain four to six plugs including remote control. The buttons are often already assigned to a specific connector, but the assignment can often be chosen freely.

What is a WLAN socket?

A WLAN socket allows control and automation of the connected power supply devices via app, as well as connection to smart home systems and voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

A little confusing at first: A WLAN socket does not necessarily work directly via WLAN. Many smart home systems use energy-saving radio languages, such as ZigBee or Z-Wave. Accordingly, the associated adapter plugs also use this radio standard and are nevertheless often referred to as a WLAN socket.

Only the control center of the smart home system, which is connected to the home internet router, converts the radio signal from the socket into WLAN. This is how the smooth communication with the smartphone or tablet comes about - and justifies the designation as a WLAN socket.

So there are two types of WiFi sockets:

  • The Plug'n'Play variant: The smartphone communicates directly with the WLAN plug via the home Internet connection.
  • The system variant: The smartphone transmits the control command via WLAN to the Smart Home control center, here the WLAN signal is “translated” into the radio language of the socket.

The second variant is only interesting for people who already use a certain smart home system and want to connect a suitable smart plug to it. For example, anyone who uses the innogy Smart Home System would logically buy the innogy adapter.

In the smart plug comparison, we only present plug'n'play solutions that do not require an additional control center and can be easily controlled or automated using the appropriate app.

What is a Bluetooth socket?

A Bluetooth socket receives or sends information via the Bluetooth connection between the plug and the input device such as a tablet or smartphone. Just like WLAN sockets, Bluetooth sockets can be integrated into home automation. The prerequisite is that the control center of the smart home system is Bluetooth compatible.

For example, Elgato Eve uses the iPhone or iPad as a control center. The Elgato socket can be linked to other smart home devices via HomeKit or the Home app.

The range of Bluetooth sockets is still quite small, which is due to the fact that Bluetooth radio is quite power-intensive when communicating directly with a smartphone or tablet. In the Bluetooth socket comparison, we therefore only present two current models.

Examples: How the radio-controlled socket accompanies everyday life

  • With the push of a button, various devices can be disconnected from or connected to the power grid at the same time - for example, when all residents have left the house. This saves electricity and increases safety.
  • With the push of a button, the complete decorative lighting shines in and around the house.
  • The stereo or home cinema can be started via the app.
  • Thanks to a smart socket, the "stupid" coffee machine can be controlled by voice command, for example using a voice assistant such as Amazon Echo or Google Home.
  • The real-time power consumption can be viewed precisely in the app. Power guzzlers are simply exposed and disarmed.
  • On vacation, smart sockets simulate the presence of residents by switching lamps on and off irregularly. This is how burglars are effectively deterred.
WLAN-Steckdose und Smartphone
WLAN-Steckdose und Smartphone

WiFi socket and smartphone

Photo: Elgato

Buying advice for WiFi sockets: what is important?

There are few purchase criteria for simple radio-controlled sockets. Radio range and price are the most important points here. With WLAN sockets it looks different. Depending on the manufacturer, the Smart Plug offers different functions. In the purchase advice for WLAN sockets, we present an overview of all important purchase criteria and options.

Plug'n'Play or smart home system

If you do not use a smart home system, you must make sure that you are using a plug'n'play plug when purchasing the WLAN connector. In the product description, these are usually marked with the note "no gateway or control center required for operation". WLAN plugs that are part of a smart home system require a base station and can then be connected in scenes with the system components using the app.

Power consumption display via app

A practical secondary function of many WLAN sockets is the possibility to view the current power consumption of the connected device as well as a consumption history via the app. Some models also estimate the approximate cost of electricity.

Programming options

Basically, routines can be programmed for certain days of the week and times. These can apply to an entire group or to individual plugs. There are also special functions that not all manufacturers offer: programming for a specific date, random switching as presence simulation and automatic switching depending on sunrise and sunset.

Voice assistant / Amazon Alexa compatible

WLAN sockets are also becoming increasingly popular because they make lamps, music systems and televisions controllable by voice. The prerequisite is that the adapter plug is compatible with a voice assistant. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's Siri are among the most popular.

USB interface

A new trend and therefore not yet often found are WLAN sockets that have one or more USB ports installed. This is useful for charging cell phones or laptops, for example, in the same slot.

Suitability for weather

If you want to use WLAN sockets outdoors, you will find weatherproof versions that cover the power input with a flap. In a comparison of radio-controlled sockets, we point out whether the manufacturer offers a waterproof version.

The best WiFi sockets at a glance and comparison

TP-Link H110: multiple test winner

The Smart Plug from TP-Link has meanwhile become the favorite among the public among the WLAN sockets - even though it is not one of the cheapest offers. In numerous practical tests, the TP-Link H110 has proven to be a reliable adapter in recent years, regardless of whether it is time control, current measurement or the connection with voice assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa. The TP-Link offer is also interesting if you want to build a small smart home system. The associated Kasa app not only integrates the WLAN connector, but also smart LED lamps and IP cameras from TP-Link. However, a separate home bridge is required to work with Apple HomeKit.

TP-Link H110
TP-Link H110

TP-Link H110

Photo: TP-Link

Advantage: connection with TP-Link Smart Home, presence simulation

Disadvantage: no sunrise function

Compatible: HomeKit (only via bridge), IFTTT, TP-Link smart home devices

Voice assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Siri

Weatherproof variant: No.

Price: Around 30 euros (current Amazon price)

Meross intelligent WiFi socket: strong underdog

Meanwhile, the TP-Link H110 is competing with many good alternatives. This includes the Meross WLAN connector. Not surprisingly, because former employees of TP-Link, Microsoft and Cisco work for the Meross team. The smart connector is compatible with the currently most important voice assistants, offers real-time power consumption measurement, detailed consumption statistics and rounds off the offer with a sunrise function. The lamps switch off automatically at sunrise and automatically come on at sunset. Of course, you can also use the timer function to automate as needed.

WLAN Steckdose von Meross
WLAN Steckdose von Meross

WLAN socket from Meross

Photo: Meross

Advantage: sunrise / sunset function

Disadvantage: no presence simulation

Compatible: IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, Nest

Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Home

Weatherproof variant: No.

Price: About 17 euros (current Amazon price)

Etekcity WLAN Smart WiFi Plug: minimal design

There is not always a lot of space for the adapter plug. Anyone looking for the narrowest possible solution will find an answer in the Etekcity WiFi Plug. Timers and schedules can be set via the Vesysnc app. Consumption statistics are also clearly displayed. All popular voice assistants speak with the WLAN socket, in addition there are IFTTT applets for connecting in scenes. Compared to the TP-Link H110, the Etekcity WLAN connector cannot save switching behavior for a specific date, so the settings relate to specific days of the week and times.

Etekcity WiFi Plug
Etekcity WiFi Plug

Etekcity WiFi plug

Photo: Etekcity

Advantage: presence simulation, slim design

Disadvantage: No switching on certain data

Compatible: IFTTT

Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Weatherproof variant: No.

Price: Around 20 euros (current Amazon price)

Maxcio WLAN socket with USB port

The Maxcio WLAN socket stands out from comparable smart plugs due to its particularly successful design and subtle blue operating lighting. In addition to the visual advantages, the Smart Plug scores with a special feature: USB devices can be charged or operated via a USB input. However, the USB device cannot be controlled via app or voice assistant, this is reserved for the connected power supply. Points are deducted for the Maxcio Smart connector for the missing consumption display. However, the measurements would not show a clear consumption picture for each device if two devices were connected to the connector.

WLAN-Steckdose von Maxico
WLAN-Steckdose von Maxico

WiFi socket from Maxico

Photo: Amazon / Maxico

Advantage: USB port for parallel use

Disadvantage: No real-time energy consumption, no consumption statistics

Compatible: IFTTT

Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Home

Weatherproof variant: No.

Price: Around 17 euros (current Amazon price)

AVM Fritz! Dect 200 WLAN socket: For Fritz! Box users

If you own a Fritz! Box with a DECT connection and surf the Internet via it, you can conveniently use it as a smart home control center. AVM offers some smart home devices that can be connected in scenes via the Fritz! Box web interface. This also includes the AVM Fritz! Dect 200 WLAN socket. The price is not without, but all the features that you want from an intelligent socket are on board: schedule switching, random switching, sunrise function and the link to the Google calendar. Statistics not only provide information on electricity consumption, but also on electricity costs and the CO 2 balance.

AVM Fritz!Dect 200 WLAN Steckdose
AVM Fritz!Dect 200 WLAN Steckdose

AVM Fritz! Dect 200 WLAN socket

Photo: AVM

Advantage: Linking with DECT-compatible smart home devices

Disadvantage: high price

Compatible: FRITZ! Boxes: FRITZ! Box 7490, FRITZ! Box 7390, FRITZ! Box 7360, FRITZ! Box 7320 (1 & 1), FRITZ! Box 7270 (from version v2), FRITZ! Box 7272, FRITZ! Box 7240 (1 & 1), FRITZ! Box 6842 LTE, FRITZ! Box 6840 LTE, FRITZ! Box 6810 LTE, FRITZ! Box 6360 Cable, FRITZ! Box 6490 Cable

Voice assistant: Amazon Alexa (via third-party skill)

Weatherproof variant: Yes

Price: Around 40 euros (current Amazon price)

Amazon WiFi socket: Optimized for the Alexa app

It remains to be seen whether Amazon was completely objective when it came to rating its Amazon Smart Plug as “Amazon's Choice”. But if you are a busy user of Amazon Alexa or the Alexa app, you can consider whether the almost 30 euros could be worth it for Amazon's WLAN plug. Finally, the Alexa app not only allows voice control of the smart plug, but also the setup of routines and automation depending on other smart home devices that are compatible with Alexa.

WLAN-Steckdose von Amazon
WLAN-Steckdose von Amazon

WiFi socket from Amazon

Photo: Amazon

Advantage: Manage all Alexa devices in one app

Disadvantage: Relatively high price, no power consumption measurement, no sunrise function

Compatible: Alexa universe

Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa

Weatherproof variant: No.

Price: About. 30 euros (current Amazon price)

Osram WLAN socket: For fans of Philips Hue

Philips Hue is the most popular smart LED system on the market. So far, there is no matching smart plug. That is why many Philips Hue users switch to the Osram adapter plug. It transmits via ZigBee and can therefore be easily connected to the Philips Hue Bridge. The smart plug can also be easily connected to other smart home control centers such as Qivicon, Homee or Echo Plus and connected in scenes. Attention: As the only WLAN socket in comparison, the Osram Smart Plug needs a Smart Home Gateway to establish the connection with the smartphone.

Osram WLAN Steckdose
Osram WLAN Steckdose

Osram WLAN socket

Photo: Osram

Advantage: Compatible with all open ZigBee Smart Home systems

Disadvantage: functions depend on the smart home system used

Compatible: Philips Hue Bridge, Amazon Echo Plus and other open ZigBee gateways

Voice assistant: depending on the smart home system

Weatherproof variant: Yes

Price: Around 20 euros (current Amazon price)

Overview of Bluetooth sockets and comparison

Elgato Eve Energy Bluetooth socket: For Apple users

Elgato has tailored its Eve series for use with Apple HomeKit. It's no wonder that the Elgato Eve Energy WLAN connector looks like an iPhone icon and can be directed to Siri using a voice command. Elgato Eve is a small Bluetooth smart home system that, in addition to the smart plug, also links a radiator thermostat and door / window contacts. In the Elgato Eve app, the power consumption of the smart plug, including the expected costs, can be clearly viewed. However, an Apple TV 4 or an iPad in Home Hub mode is required for use on the go.

Elgato Eve Energy Bluetooth Steckdose
Elgato Eve Energy Bluetooth Steckdose

Elgato Eve Energy Bluetooth socket

Photo: Elgato

Advantage: Smooth integration with Apple HomeKit

Disadvantages: limited to 4 switching times per day

Compatible: Apple HomeKit

Voice Assistant: Apple Siri

Weatherproof variant: No.

Price: Around 50 euros (current Amazon price)

Comfort house PROGtime Blue socket: For Android users

Comfort house PROGtime Blue is a simple Bluetooth socket that allows up to four defined switching times per day. The smart thermostats from Komforthaus can also be controlled via the appropriate EUROprog 2 app. Additional functions such as statistics and presence simulation are, however, sought in vain here.

Komforthaus PROGtime Blue Steckdose
Komforthaus PROGtime Blue Steckdose

Comfort house PROGtime Blue socket

Photo: Amazon

Advantage: Good Bluetooth range

Disadvantage: limited to 4 switching times per day, low functionality, programs have to be set up again after manual operation

Compatible: EUROprog2 app

Voice Assistant: -

Weatherproof variant: No.

Price: Around 50 euros (current Amazon price)

The best radio sockets in comparison

If you want to do without smart functions altogether, it is best to use tried and tested radio-controlled sockets - without WLAN and Bluetooth connection. We present three popular models.

mumbi 4-channel radio-controlled socket

mumbi 4-Kanal Funksteckdose
mumbi 4-Kanal Funksteckdose

mumbi 4-channel radio-controlled socket

Photo: Mumbi

  • Radio socket for inside
  • Switching capacity: maximum 1, 100 watts
  • Self-learning function for teaching the buttons
  • Status light
  • Range: 30 meters

Price: A set of 6 costs about 30 euros (current Amazon price)

benon B2112 radio-controlled socket

benon B2112 Funksteckdose
benon B2112 Funksteckdose

benon B2112 radio-controlled socket

Photo: Benon

  • Radio socket for inside
  • Switching power: maximum 2, 300 watts
  • Self-learning function for flexible teaching of the buttons
  • Radio-controlled sockets are already learned on delivery
  • Status light
  • Range: 30 meters

Price: A set of 5 costs about 30 euros (current Amazon price)

CSL outdoor radio socket

CSL Outdoor-Funksteckdose
CSL Outdoor-Funksteckdose

CSL outdoor radio socket

Photo: CSL

  • Weatherproof radio-controlled sockets for balcony and garden
  • Self-learning function for flexible teaching of the buttons
  • Status light

Price: A set of 3 costs about 25 euros (current Amazon price)

Alina Günder

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