Review: iHome iSP6X Smart Plug

Since I have been writing about a number of HomeKit devices this week, I decided to toss in a HomeKit smart Plug into the mix. Meet the iHome iSP6X Smart Plug:

This is a smart plug that allows you to turn a device such as a light on and off using your phone or the smart assistant of your choice. It does support the following smart assistants:

  • Siri
  • Google Assistant
  • Amazon Alexa

It also supports:

  • Wink
  • Samsung SmartThings
  • Nest
  • Apple HomeKit

This review will focus on usage with Apple HomeKit and Siri.

The cool thing about this HomeKit smart plug is that you can have two of these stacked on top of each other. That’s great if you want to control two devices that would normally occupy that space.

On the side, you will get a physical on/off switch, an indicator for WiFi (Green for connected to WiFi, Red if it isn’t, and blinking if it is looking for WiFi), and an indicator for whether it is providing power to a device. Speaking of WiFi, it supports 2.4GHz WiFi. Which is fine because it isn’t as if you’re going to be pushing the volume of data that a HomeKit camera would.

Setup is easy:

  • Download and open the iHome Control app from the Apple App Store.
  • Plug the smart plug into a desired outlet. The LED will start blinking to indicate it is ready for setup. (TOP TIP: There is a number on the bottom of the device, write that down before plugging it in).
  • Tap Add Device in the Devices tab and follow the on-screen directions to complete setup.
  • When prompted, scan the number at the bottom of the device or type the Accessory Setup Code which you wrote down earlier.
  • Follow the directions to add the plug to HomeKit

Once set up, there’s really not much to this smart plug. You can turn the device that is attached to it on and off using Siri or the Home app. During my testing it was quick to respond and I didn’t have a problem with it. One thing that I should note is that as far as I can tell, it is impossible to add this smart plug to HomeKit without using the iHome app. But the good news is that as far as I can tell, you don’t need to keep the iHome app on your phone other than to update the firmware if required. Finally, during my testing, I found no evidence that the iHome iSP6X Smart Plug connected to any third party servers. That implies to me that unless I find any other evidence, these smart plugs aren’t a potential privacy risk for your network. I did note that the iHome Control app does access your HomeKit data (with your permission) on your iPhone and does not require you to create an account to use it. Which is good. But there’s none of the privacy and data usage info that Apple requires for iOS apps in the App Store as this app hasn’t been updated in a while. Which is bad. iHome would do well to update this information so that consumers are fully informed about what their app does or doesn’t do. Not to mention updating the app as well.

I found the iHome iSP6X Smart Plug on Amazon for $35 CDN which is a good price for this smart plug. While it would be great to have the ability to directly add this switch to HomeKit, and the questions about what their apps do from a privacy perspective, there’s really no other downsides. Check it out if you need a HomeKit compatible smart plug.

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