How to Connect a Smart Plug to Wi-Fi

Start controlling your electrical devices in just a few simple steps

What to Know

  • Without hub: Use the companion app to connect to the smart plug's Wi-Fi hotspot and provide the app with your Wi-Fi password.
  • With hub: Use a companion app but connect to the hub and provide the Wi-Fi password. Hub handles communication with all smart plugs.
  • Not all smart plugs require a hub or even other smart home devices to work.

This article covers how to connect your smart plug to Wi-Fi using the companion app from the manufacturer, whether it should be connected to a smart home hub or not.

Preparing to Connect Your Smart Plug to Wi-Fi

Whenever you buy a new smart plug, the first step to get it working is connecting it to your Wi-Fi network.

This process can vary from one model of smart plug to another, but it generally follows the same basic steps.

When you first buy a smart plug, it will usually come with the feature to connect to your Wi-Fi network, but until you provide it with your network ID and password, it won't connect.

However, it does transmit its own Wi-Fi hotspot so that you can connect to the smart plug with your phone and provide the smart plug with those details. To do this, you'll need to be ready with the following:

  • The installed app for your smart plug on your Android or iPhone.
  • The smart plug is plugged into an outlet within the wireless range of your wireless router.
  • Your smartphone is connected to your home Wi-Fi.

If your smart plug came with its own hub, then make sure the hub is connected to your router with a network cable and that the hub is powered up.

This guide is geared toward standalone smart plugs that connect to your home wireless network directly. If it came with its own hub, this guide will still apply but the steps will apply to the hub rather than the smart plug.

How to Connect a Smart Plug to Wi-Fi

The following steps will walk you through the typical process to connect your new smart plug to your home Wi-Fi network. Make sure to connect your smartphone to your home Wi-Fi network before you begin this process.

The process below is for a smart plug that connects directly to a Wi-Fi network. Depending on the make and model some details may be slightly different.

  1. Visit the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store to download the companion app for your smart plug. In this example, we're using a WeMo smart plug and its companion app.

    If you aren't sure what smartphone app works with your smart plug, check the manufacturer website.

  2. Plug your smart plug into an outlet. With a WeMo plug, the Wi-Fi light flashes green and orange rapidly. This means the smart plug is broadcasting a Wi-Fi hotspot and is ready to set up. Your smart plug may use different indicator lights so refer to your manual for details.

    Image of installing a WeMo smart plug with indicator light highlighted

    If your smart plug uses Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi for the initial setup, this step may not be required.

  3. When you launch the companion app, it should start searching for new smart plugs on your network. If it doesn't, use the app menu to initiate adding a new smart plug. The app will recognize the smart plug Wi-Fi hotspot and initiate the Wi-Fi setup process.

  4. The app will prompt you to select your home network from Wi-Fi networks near you. Tap your home Wi-Fi network to continue.

  5. The next step will be to enter the Wi-Fi network password. The app will program your smart plug so it can connect to your home Wi-Fi network with this password.

    Connecting smart plug to Wi-Fi in the WeMo app, with connection signal, router, and password field highlighted
  6. Once you submit this, the app will pass the Wi-Fi login credentials to the smart plug and test the network connection.

  7. Once the smart plug connects to your Wi-Fi network, it'll appear in the list of devices in the app. If this is the first time you've connected to the smart plug, you may see a notification that a firmware update is required. Initiate the firmware update process.

  8. Once the initial firmware update is complete, you can start using your smart plug. Usually, the basic control available on the home screen is turning your smart plug on and off.

    Final steps to get your smart plug onto your network in WeMo app
  9. Another common smart plug control you'll find in most smart plug apps includes scheduling when to turn the smart plug on or off.

  10. You can also sometimes set an "away" mode where the smart plug will randomly turn on at night and off in the morning. If you plug a lamp into the smart plug, this can make it appear like someone is home while you're on vacation.

    Setting a schedule for your smart plug in the WeMo app's When and Away Mode settings
  • How do I connect a smart plug to Alexa?

    Steps to pairing a smart plug with Alexa will vary a bit depending on your smart plug manufacturer and model, but the process will be similar. Plug your smart plug into an outlet, download your smart plug's companion app to your mobile device, then follow the prompts to add and set up the smart plug in the app. Next, open the Alexa app and navigate to Skills and Games. Search for your smart plug's skill, then tap Enable to Use and follow the prompts to complete setup. Once it's set up, use Alexa voice commands to control your smart plug.

  • Do smart plugs work with Google Home?

    Yes. Many smart plugs work with Google Home devices, including the Google Home Mini. Visit Google for a list of Google Assistant-compatible smart plugs and devices. Some of the best smart plugs include Google Home-compatible devices from Kasa, Amazon, WeMo, and more.

  • How do I set up a smart plug with the Google Home Mini?

    Setting up a smart plug with the Google Home Mini, or any Google Assistant-enabled device, is the same process as setting up any supported smart device. In the Google Home app, tap Add > Set up device > Works with Google. Select your smart plug's manufacturer, then follow the prompts to set up the smart plugs.

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