Electronics Home Products Office Today I want to talk about an interesting product I stumbled upon called the “Tonbux Alexa-Enabled Wifi Smart Surge Protector.” It’s essentially a connected outlet strip. There’s a number of these on Amazon that are all identical, except for having a different name on the top. Nothing else is different, and they all work exactly the same. I will link to a couple of them down below.So what can you do with a connected outlet strip and why would you want one? A connected outlet strip allows you to turn things on and off remotely, so that’s power on and power off remotely. You can control it through an app on your phone. The strip can also be hooked up to Amazon Echo or Google Home devices, which allows you to control the connected outlets with your voice. There are other products that can do this, but they’re not outlet strips, and they have only one outlet. So if you’re doing this with multiple products, an outlet strip would be a much more economical way to go. Maybe you have two or three or four lamps in a room and possibly a charger for your phone and/or a tablet. Your phone and tablet can be plugged directly into one of the USB ports on the connected outlet strip. These USB ports can be controlled the same way as the regular outlets.I started using these outlet strips for a very specific purpose. At some point, I decided we needed some security cameras in our office, so I found some very economical security cameras. The cameras we used were YiCams, and you should check out the review on those cameras here because they’re awesome for the money. I’ve had a number of more expensive cameras that we installed in a house, and what I find is every once in a while they need to be restarted. They will just lose the ability to get that picture and so I will need to restart the camera. Often, the cameras are in a place that makes resetting the power difficult. For instance, I have a camera in my garage and to get that camera I’ve got to get a ladder out. There’s usually stuff in front of the ladder that I have to move out of the way first. Then I have to set up the ladder, climb up it, pull the cord, plug it back in, and put the ladder away. It’s much easier if I can go to an app or tell Alexa to kill the power and then turn it back on.In my office, we mounted all of the cameras in different areas on the ceiling. We drilled a hole in the ceiling and pulled the power wire through the hole. Instead of trying to place new outlets in the attic near each camera, we decided to run all the wires to a central location. As we were running low on outlet space, this would require an outlet strip. As I was searching, I came across the Tonbux Smart Surge Protector. The thought of installing cameras and not using an outlet strip like this was ludicrous because I knew from time to time I would have to reboot one or some of the cameras. That said, these cameras have been running for 4 to 5 months as of this writing, and I’ve only had to reboot two cameras one time each.The smart outlet strip is one of those products that, once you know about it, at some point you’ll need it. When that happens you’ll go, “I know just what I need to accomplish this,” whatever “this” may be.Despite what some of the reviews have said we have had no problem with these devices. They have worked flawlessly for us, and I don’t think the setup was any more difficult than setting up any other app. Tonbux recommends the Jinvoo app, but you can also use the Smart Life app which is what we use. From what I understand if you’re going to control this with Google Home you absolutely want to use the Smart Life app.This may not be as cool and exciting as a lot of our other products are, but when you need this device, nothing else will do the job as cleanly and economically.Remember I do the research, so you don’t have to. Check back often, maybe subscribe.