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Review: Belkin WeMo Switch WiFi smart plug

Belkin WeMo Switch

So you’re starting to build a “smart home”? You’re looking for a way to automate lamps/electricals within your house? Or are you looking for a way to turn things on and off without having to leave the comfort of your warm bed? If you answered “YES!” to any of these, then the Belkin WeMo Switch is the perfect starting point for you.

Features
Install/Setup

Installation of the WeMo switch is probably one of the quickest I’ve ever completed. It’s really as simple as: plug in the device, grab your phone/tablet, download the WeMo app from the App Store or the Play Store, connect your phone/tablet to the WiFi network named “WeMo…”, once connected open the WeMo app and follow the on-screen instructions (basically, type in your home WiFi network password). It’s a simple as that. Everything you need is on a small pamphlet in the box (instructions to download the app) and the rest is all onscreen.

Belkin WeMo app (iOS)

The WeMo app is extremely intuitive and easy to use. Open the app and you’re greeted by your setup devices. Turning your WeMo Switch on and off is as straight forward as clicking the power icon next to your device.

Belkin WeMo app devices
Image courtesy of Belkin via the iTunes App Store

 

As you can see in the screenshot above, on the right hand side of each device there’s a “power” button. Tapping this turns your device on and off.

If you dig down into the “Rules” that can be configured, you can setup a device to turn on and off dependent on a set of criteria. This can be turn on at a certain time, turn off at a certain time, turn on and off by sunrise/sunset, turn on with motion (if you have a Belkin NetCam) or power usage alerts (if you purchase the Belkin WeMo Insights Switch).

If you want to extend the “Rules” capability, you can integrate your WeMo Switch with IFTTT (If This, Then That). There’s an extensive, prebuilt library of rules that have been created by other WeMo Switch users!

One change I would make – adding new devices is buried away in the settings menu. It could be easier to find, for example a + icon in the bottom right of the devices screen.

Day-to-day usage

Initially, I had a lamp plugged in to the WeMo Switch. I didn’t tell my wife and for a day I’d turn the light off and on randomly whenever she was in the same room. After multiple complaints, I eventually told her that I’d installed the switch.

Now, we have our Motorola Scout 85 security camera plugged in to the WeMo switch, to attempt to resolve one of my mentioned issues. Now, when my camera becomes inaccessible, I can simply “turn it off and on again” (classic!) remotely and voila!

It’s worth noting that the WeMo Switch is slightly larger than I was anticipating. As you can see in the image below, the WeMo Switch takes up over half of the plug socket. As long as the device you have plugged in next to it doesn’t need to be repeatedly unplugged, you’ll be fine.

Belkin WeMo Switch Plugged in

Summary

This device is extremely simple, yet profoundly useful! As soon as I can afford it, I’ll be purchasing a few more WeMo Switches and I’d love to get my hands on a few lightbulbs as well as a NetCam HD.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I’d highly recommend this device to anyone and everyone. Some may see this as simply a plug and at £39.99 will look at you as if you’d just kicked their car, however once you give them the app and a lamp plugged into the WeNi Switch – their minds will change.

Useful links

Belkin website: http://www.belkin.com/uk/

WeMo Switch install guide: http://www.belkin.com/us/support-article?articleNum=80142

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/b6t/Switch-Wi-Fi-Smart-Control-Lights-Appliances-Amazon/B009SA9Z6

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/WeMo-Switch-Smart-Wi-Fi-Amazon/dp/B00BB2MMNE

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This is not a sponsored/paid review. All opinions are entirely my own and unbiased.

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Will Stocks

As a career "IT person" and technology enthusiast, I've been around technology for over 8 years now. From enterprise-grade hardware to consumer equipment, IT Support to Systems Administrator - I'm passionate about all forms of tech, learning how it works, integrates and the scenarios in which different people would use them. I started willstocks.co.uk in 2017 and have also contributed to other websites around the Internet.

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