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2019-10-28 11:08:28
Model: HS103  
Hardware Version:
Firmware Version:



I have a pair of mini plugs (as well as a network expander) that have never worked.  I put them away and try again.




I'm setting up a lamp. After several attempts, I try to type the question, but I keep making guesses not in the instructions or on the software. I get through one hurdle and then comes the next one, so I begin to type this in real time.  Does anyone remember the term "Plug and Play"?  Why do I have to adapt everything to a new model that seems to think the world revolves around this new plug?  How would anyone understand this using the instructions and help?


The instructions say to download Kasa for my IPhone. The name changed at the Appstore, but I have it.  The first step is to add the device.  I press the + then select devioces then smart plug lite/mini.  I plug in the switch and it flashes blue and orange.  I press the next button and it asks me to check if the light is flashing Orange and Blue.  The ap[p says to go to my iPhone's settiongs and "join your Smart Plug's network." It tries to connect and says "Unable to Connect to Your Smart Plug Wi-Fi."  I have a guest network and one on 2.4 and 5.0......what network can they be talking about?


I try all.  I reset the plug each time.  I verify I am seeing Orange and Blue.  Maybe this is Blue and Orange.   Hmmm,


I am two feet from the plug and maybe 10 feet from the router.  I have a laptop, smart tv and printer connected.  I don't understamd why the plug didn't join MY network. I go to the web page for help and type out the error message word for word, but find nothing.   I search by the model number.   There are others with the same question but no answers, just an icon for Forum that is not a link. I am in a forum.  What rabbit hole have I entered?  But the forum is not the forum and I find this.  


I recall that Stalin had maps made up of the Soviet Union that were wrong, to confuse invading armies.  Have customers become invadors?  I've built computers from scratch, have set up networks when you needed to customize each cable, and even opened ports on routers for networked printers.  I begin to hear Grace Slick singing "White Rabbit."  "


One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you, don't do anything at all

Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call

And call Alice, when she was just small

When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low

Go ask Alice, I think she'll know

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen's off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head


No pills or mushrooms today, but it seems just as strange. I start to write this question.  One more time, I don't understand why I have to switch Wi-Fi networks.  Was this a disloyal little plug that preferred one of my neighbor's networks? I go back to setup and look through all my neighbor's creative names and I see TP-Link.  That's NOT a Wi-Fi network....that's a device....or a node.  A Wi-Fi network has a router connecting to the internet. But I forgot that down this rabbit hole everything is backwards.   Wish I DID have a hookah-smoking caterpillar.


So I select it.  My phone finds this so-called network.  But that means my phone is not connected to my other devices. Now how can I remain on my Wi-Fi?  And how is there a Wi-Fi network without a router?  Must be the mushrooms.  After finding this "network" I get the error message "No Wi-Fi Networks Detected" That's the first error that makes sense.  In the distance I hear part of "Who's on First" where a very frustrated Lou Costello screaching to Bud Abbott. "That's what I'm talking about."


But in this world, I join a non-network network, disconnecting from own, only to add my network to this non-network network.  Alice, care to give me one of your pills?  Now it says, "We cannot find a suitable network for your device to connect to."  Is this trying to join a network, or evaluating a prospective suitor? This must be software designed by Emily Post.  Nah, she wouldn't end the sentence with a preposition.  That would be something up with which she would not put*!  And "we"?  Oh yeah....the red queen.   I begin wondering about the future of my neck.


I see the option to join another network.  Huh?  The plug created its own network and I just joined it. Why join a different network?  But in this upside-down world, why do I expect ANYTHING to make sense or have some logic?  I've joined this "network" but now I add in my network.  Seems appropriate....the new baby expects the whole world to revolve around it.  It asks for the password....good sign....this is the first time I was able to get through a question on the first try. The moment I type the first letter, I get an error message stating the password needs at least 8 characters.  No s***!   Hey! @#()&, I told you to wait until I MAKE the error. Perhaps my password is unsuitable for royalty. When I reach the 8th character of my 14 character password, the error goes away.  I get the green light, even though I haven't typed the full password. In this world, I know better than to trust a green light.  I check all ways through this intersection and as true to form, I see if I had followed directions, they would be scraping my remains from the street.  So that's the game....it purposely misleads me into one trap after another.  I continue to wartch my step, and finish typing, cautiously looking all the way around this intersection before hitting Enter.  Safe!  I wish I had left a trail of breadcrumbs.


It seems I'm back at the beginning.....it's looking for the network.  But it works.  "Copngratulations!" Then I have new firmware to installS "so I have to best Kasa experience." I'm afraid that train has already left the station.  I'd settle for one that takes under two hours.  There goes that green line going around the screen again.  I'm afraid I will get dizzier. Wow...it finished. My switch appI ears on the menu.


I soldier on.  I am still on step one!  I try connecting to this network.  I glance and notice the light is blue.  IIsn't it suipposed to be flashing orange and blue?.   S***!  I'm going to have to reset it.  But despite another misdirection, it connects.  Time to name it.  I begin to give it a name, then notice a typo.  I press the backspace, and once again get a warning that it needs a name....before I ever hit Enter.   Sheesh!


I select an icon for the device.  Now I need to select "Albums" or "Camera."  WTF?  It's not a camera, so I select Album.  I don't see what eitther has to do with this.  Kasa then tells me it wants to access my photos.   My internal privacy alarm flashes.  Why would a lamp need to connect to my photos?


Now I will move the switch to the spot it belongs and hope to god I don't have to repeat this.  Then I will connect to my new Echo and finally figure how to use this software.   Logic dictates the words "on" and "off" will be the choices.   Considering this journey so far, I expect to see "Mexico." "Saturn," and "Tuesday" as choices.  I'm going to take the next week off for vacation so I can put a plug in the wall that I can control remotely.   What Fresh Hell is this?*


Maybe I just should have run wires throughout the place.  It's not November yet.  With luck I'll finsih this year.


Remember when instructions were both accurate and clear?  I think that was when companies responded to customer questions instead of convincing customers they were responsible to help other customers.  I musta missed my obligations when I skipped the EULA.   I hope I have enough food so I can finish this.



*Appologies to Mr. Churchill and Ms. Parker.


4 Reply
2019-10-30 23:13:09



There was a lot to take in here and it took a minute or two to find what the acutal issue was.  


1.  Devices can genrate a WiFi network without a router.  This type of network is called Ad-Hoc.  While there is no internet access a local link between two devices is created.  When the plug states to connect the the devices network this is what it refers to.  The app does give an example of the network name as well.  It does appear you connected to this during your setup process.  Yes for a few moments you will not be connected to your other devices or internet but this is only temporay till the device is configured.


2.  During one of the final steps you will be asked to connect to your home Wifi.  This is when the default network is disabled and you connect your product to the internet and to the cloud service. 


3.  the final step is to assign an icon to the devcie.  You can choose from a default one or you can choose a personal icon from your phone's photo album.  If you choose album you will be asked to give the app permission to access you photos.  This is not nessaasry or require just tap on a icon and click save.  *note by default a icon is chosen for you,


Once you choose an Icon for the device you have completed the setup.  


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2019-10-31 00:33:18

@Carl Thank you.  This was a Lewis Black-style diatribe.  I started whe I didn't know what to do, but figured it out eventually and kept writing. I know it was hard to follow (it's much better listened to than read). 


My point was that the directions were unclear and incorrect.  There is no reason that the instructions couldn't have taken an average person a few minutes.   Instructions need to be tested witn someone who has a computer and knows what the product can do. If the questions were re-written, it could be so much easier.  


Such a simple change can vastly improve sales, customer loyalty and reduce calls for help.  My attempt at sarcasm and humor may have missed the mark.



2020-08-19 21:24:19

@In_TP_Link_Hell So what was the fix? Your rant did not clear it up for me. Right now I have multiple switches all of which are giving me a "unable to connect to your smart switch wi-fi" error in the Kasa app. Even after manually switching my phone to the adhoc network from the switch! It is maddening, and all the app does is direct me to the useless support website.


I'd return these peices of crap if they weren't hardwired into my wall at this point.

2020-12-01 10:36:20

@jpain3 I wish I knew. I'm banging my head against the wall