The TP-Link Tapo C100 is the latest affordable smart home device from the new Tapo product range.

Currently, it is just £19.99 on Amazon but has an RRP of £29.99, this makes it the cheapest branded indoor camera I am aware of.

Kasa vs Tapo what's the difference?

Tapo is the latest product range from TP-Link offering smart home solutions at incredibly affordable prices. Great you say, but there is a catch.

While TP-Link makes both Kasa and Tap products, they use different Apps; the Tapo C100 will not integrate with my existing Kasa products at all.

So, whole these are both TP-Link, it is best to view them as entirely separate brands.

From a consumer point of view, this is annoying. Still, it is understandable from a business perspective, TP-Link obviously doesn't want to cannibalise sales of their more premium-priced products.

Features

At £19.99 this is a very basic indoor camera, but it ticks most of the boxes you will likely need:

  • High Definition Video – Records every image in crystal-clear 1080p definition
  • Advanced Night Vision – Provides a visual distance of up to 30 ft
  • Motion Detection and Notifications – Notifies you when the camera detects movement
  • Sound and Light Alarm – Trigger light and sound effects to frighten away unwanted visitors
  • Two-Way Audio – Enables communication through a built-in microphone and speaker
  • Safe Storage – Locally stores up to 128 GB on a microSD card, equal to 384 hours (16 days) of footage (based on laboratory conditions)
  • Easy Setup and Management – Manage everything with Tapo app

Setup

Set up is quick and simple, you will need the Tapo app to get things working, but it uses the same login as all other TP-Link products if you already have a Kasa device.

The app auto-detected my camera; then I had to select the Wi-Fi I wanted to use. Everything was set up in a couple of minutes.

You will need a microSD card for storage, and this is set up within the camera settings. From here, you can also set up the motion alerts and sensitivity. You can set up motion zones to limit the alerts to specific areas within the cameras field of view.

NVR/ONVIF

One surprise feature was the ability to integrate this within an NVR, or in my case BlueIris. The camera has ONVIF so it should be possible to integrate it on a wide range of recording devices with ease. You will need to assign a username and password within the 3rd party account settings, and this is what you will use for the login via ONVIF.  

Performance

Overall performance has been good, especially when you take the price into account.

With a moderate amount of light, the quality of the recorded video is good, more than enough for monitoring things indoors.

Screenshot from Tapo App
Screenshot from Tapo App

Nighttime performance is also OK, I initially placed the camera that was partially obstructed by a chimney breast, and this appeared to affect the IR illumination, so parts of the kitchen were very dark. Moving it to a spot with a clear view gave good black and white footage. In comparison. Some more expensive cameras have started to offer colour recordings in low light environments.

TP-Link Tapo C100 Home Security Wi-Fi Camera – Kasa vs Tapo what's the difference? 5
Screenshot taken from BlueIris

I found motion alerts a little eager to trigger, light changes will set it off quite quickly, but using the motion zones and sensitivity should help you dial in the notifications.

Like many indoor cameras, this offers two-way audio, as you might expect, the quality is not amazing but it works perfectly well.

Price and Competition

Tapo C100 vs Kasa KC100

TP-Link Kasa is the obvious alternative, notably the KC100 looks striking similar to the C100 and currently sells for £34.99 whereas the C100 is £19.99.

The Tapo has a 1/3.2 “sensor with 1080p Full HD and 130 degrees view while the Kasa K100 uses 1/2.7 “but also 1080P and 120 degrees.

The Kasa has audio detection as well as motion detection. Both have two-way audio and activity zones. I can't find any reference to the KC100 being compatible with ONVIF.

Others

Competition is extensive with options at many different price points; there are dozens of random brand on Amazon, but ignoring them you have:

  • Ezviz CS-C1C – £29.99
  • Reolink E1 Pro – £49.99 – PTZ camera
  • Blurams Home Pro – £50, cloud recording required, but AI person detection.
  • Netatmo Welcome – £160 – expensive but has facial detection, local storage and is probably the smartest indoor camera I have used
  • Yale Indoor Wi-Fi Camera – £49
  • Ring Indoor – £49
  • Arlo Q – £124.99

Overall

This is the cheapest branded indoor camera I am aware of, so even though I find it annoying you can't integrate it with Kasa, I can understand why, and it doesn't make this a bad camera. If you don't mind using multiple apps, there is no reason to avoid this camera, however some people like all there stuff in one place. I personally have Kasa, Ezviz, Netatmo, Ring, Eufy, BlueIris, Hue, SmartThings all installed on my phone with smart home apps attached to them, and it is getting a little excessive.

If you are happy to use the Tapo app, this is a perfectly good camera for the money. There is no AI object detection,  night time performance is only OK, and motion alerts are a bit over-eager, but nothing comes close to the price. Local storage also helps keeps the cost down compared to competitors (blurams, Ring, Arlo)

This is the Wi-Fi camera that I have easily managed to integrate with BlueIris via ONVIF, and the inclusion of this just seems odd on such a cheap camera. I am not complaining though, 20-quid for an indoor camera that can work with an NVR is amazing value and I thoroughly recommend it for such a system.

Overall, the camera is good, and the Tapo ecosystem looks like a decent, affordable alternative to Kasa, myDlink and others.

TP-Link Tapo C100 Review Rating
  • Overall - 90%
    90%
90%

Summary

Taking into account the ultra-low price, there is not much you can complain about here. Just be aware it won't integrated with TP-Link Kasa

Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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