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TRENDnet Home Smart Switch Product

At a Glance
Product TRENDnet THA-101 Home Smart Switch with Wireless Extender [Website]
Summary Smart switch with 2.4 GHz N300 Wi-Fi Extender
Pros • Doesn't block adjacent duplex outlet
• Thermal overload protection
• Supports Android and iOS
• WPS button turns on/off load without using a mobile device
• Scheduled events
• Mobile apps show power consumption
Cons • Iffy device discovery
• 31 entry limit in site survey
• No IFTT (If This Then That) support
• No dimming
• Not Wi-Fi Certified
• Buggy setup

Introduction

It was only a matter of time before someone created a mashup of a smart switch and a Wi-Fi range extender. The TRENDnet THA-101 Home Smart Switch with Wireless Extender is the first one we've seen. With a price hovering just above $53 on Amazon (eligible for Prime), it's like buying a smart switch like D-Link's DSP-W215 and getting a N300 class range extender for free.

Like most Smart Switches that remotely control power to an AC load, the THA-101 is designed not to block the second socket in a standard U.S. duplex outlet. As shown in the product shot above, there's an switch on the right side of the unit that lets you turn the device On/Off. On the front, in addition to the three pronged load socket, there are LEDs to show power and Wi-Fi status.

On the lower left, there's a pushbutton that doubles as a WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) button (if held for 5 seconds) and as a switch to turn power on/off to the load socket. On the left side, there's a small factory default reset hole.

TRENDnet THA-101 doesn't block the top plug

TRENDnet THA-101 doesn't block the top plug

In the box with the device, you'll find a printed multilingual (English, French, Spanish, German and Russian) quick start guide and a CD containing the Quick Start guide in multiple languages along with the user manual in English. Taped to the plastic bag that contains the device, there's a label with setup information. It has an adhesive backing, so you can peel it off and apply it to the back of your device once you have finished your configuration. It's a good idea to hold onto this - you might need the information if you run into difficulties during the setup process.

The image below is the label that came with my Smart Switch. The QR code is unique to the device and you can use it within the iOS or Android app to facilitate setup. The Wi-Fi Name/SSID is also unique to your device.

TRENDnet THA-101 setup label

TRENDnet THA-101 setup label

Setup

One of the features promoted on the retail box is "Quick app-based setup". There is an app for Android devices in the Play store and a corresponding iOS app in the Apple App store. The Quick Start Guide provides step-by-step setup instructions for setting up the THA-101 using WPS or for setting it up manually for each platform, so there are four sets of setup instructions.

The easiest method for setting up the Smart Switch is by using WPS.

  • Step 1: Plug in the THA-101 Switch
  • Step 2: Download and install the TRENDnet Smart Home app for your mobile device's platform.
  • Step 3: Press the WPS button on your router, then press the WPS button for 5 seconds on the THA-101
  • Step 4: Open the Smart Switch app on your mobile device and then tap the add icon.
  • Step 5: Search for the device, type in the default password and click save.

I've included a short gallery to show how to set up the device on an iOS device. Though the app is an iPhone app, it ran fine on my iPad. You just have to rotate the iPad and use it in portrait mode. The Android application has the same look and feel and works the same way.

As noted, there are also instructions for connecting and configuring your device if you can't or don't use WPS.

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