Bye Bye Standby Online Controller review
Bye Bye Standby lets you control your mains appliances remotely, and the system is sold as a way of reducing energy consumption by switching off devices that would otherwise be left on standby.
This online controller is a new addition to Bye Bye Standby’s existing wireless devices: (note that you’ll need Bye Bye Standby, £17 exc VAT, for it to work). For non-PC-connected use, there’s a handheld remote control or wall-mounted switch. On the mains end, a switch plugs into the wall and appliances plug into that; you set an ID for each one with a couple of rotary switches.
Once the controller is connected to your router, you can connect to a simple web interface served by the controller itself. You can turn selected devices on and off via your browser by entering the ID from a drop-down list and clicking an On or Off icon. It doesn’t work in Firefox, but in Internet Explorer it worked fine. On top of that, once you’ve registered your controller unit on the Bye Bye Standby website, you can access your devices from the outside world.
The obvious criticism is that the devices themselves are consuming power all the time. The designers have thought of that, though, and they consume a tiny amount. In fact, the network controller unit consumes so little it didn’t even register on our Labs power meter. All well and good, but bear in mind the average router consumes around 15W. So to keep your home online 24 hours a day will result in an extra £13 or so on your electricity bill. Admittedly, if you already leave your router switched on all the time anyway it’s a moot point.
So, it works well enough and, with a couple of mains controllers attached to some four-way extension boards, you can completely switch off your entire computer kit from anywhere. You could also just bend down and switch them off at the mains yourself. Whether you want to pay money for the joy of remaining upright is down to you.