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D-Link’s new smart plug ditches high-tech features for a lower pricetag

Smart plugs are the backbone of the DIY connected home. By acting as a network-connected middleman between your wall outlets and the powered gizmos in your house, they allow you to remotely control and automate “dumb” appliances. Over the past couple years, dozens of manufacturers have developed their own versions. There are ones equipped with habit-learning software, ones that track your energy usage, and even a few that can detect your presence.

D-Link’s latest plug doesn’t do any of that. Instead, the company’s new smart plug eschews any sort of cutting-edge (and only marginally useful) technology in favor of something equally enticing: a lower price point.

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In contrast to D-Link’s first smart plug, the DSP-W215 ($50) this new model can be had for just 40 bucks — although it won’t be able to track your energy usage like its predecessor. All it does is connect to your Wi-Fi network and thereby allow you to monitor/control your outlets from anywhere in the world via an accompanying mobile app. Ten bucks isn’t all that much cheaper, but even so, the lower cost of entry might give D-Link a leg up on competitor companies like Belkin and SensePlug.

The $40 D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug is available starting this week on both D-Link’s website and Amazon.