What is the TP-Link Kasa Spot KC100 Indoor Security Camera?
Another one to add to the mix is the subject of our review. The Kasa Spot Indoor Security Camera (KC100) from TP-Link. Kasa is TP-Link’s Smart Home Ecosystem, offering an app which allows control of all their Kasa products such as cameras, light bulbs, switches, smart plugs and many more. All compatible with Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap and Google Assistant for voice control.
The Kasa Spot offers 1080P Full HD recording, two way audio, live view, instant notifications and more, for a princely sum of just £39.99. Read on to see if this very competitively priced security camera performs well in our tests and is ‘Always Spot on’….
Design and Specification
The Kasa Spot is Full HD 1080P at 15FPS using H.264 video compression, featuring a 1/2.7” image sensor, with an F/NO 2.0 lens featuring a focal length of 3.21mm and 130° viewing angle. The night vision is 850nm IR LED up to 20ft. It includes 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi and two way audio thanks to the built-in microphone and speaker. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
That may sound simplistic but that’s really all you need to do. The Kasa App, available on both iOS and Android, is very easy to use and well laid out. When installed and once the camera has powered on, you simply click 'Add camera' in the app and follow the very simple instructions and within a minute or so it is connected, configured and ready to use.
The fourth tab is for Smart Actions which currently is not yet enabled as you get presented with a message that they are in the process of deploying it and to stay tuned for more updates. The final tab is for Activity and, as it would suggest, shows any activity on the Kasa devices along with the ability to playback a recorded clip, download, share and even delete it, if it captured something you would rather not keep!
For a camera costing just £39.99, the settings section is particularly impressive with the range of available configuration options. Firstly, we have the activity zones. Here you can set up to 4 different zones of detection drawn on a snapshot of the current live view allowing the camera to only notify you when it detects motion in these zones, they aren’t individually configurable, so it’s all or nothing here, unfortunately.
Onto the Privacy and Sensitivity options, you can configure whether you want it to record video, video and audio or nothing at all, change the motion sensitivity level and a setting we haven’t seen before on any security camera which is a slider that allows you to set the camera to record motion only if it lasts longer than the selected duration, which can be from 0.1 seconds up to 5 seconds. There's a final setting of Listen for Sound, which will set the camera to record even when there is no motion detection but audio is detected - here there are three sensitivity settings.
The final few settings are to change the video quality, video rotation and turn night vision on, off or leave on automatic. You can even turn the status LED on the camera off if you wish. For such a low priced device, the options here are impressive.
Testing and Cloud Service
When motion is detected, within a couple of seconds you will get a notification on your phone (and Smart Watch), clicking this takes you directly to the camera activity page in the Kasa app. It gives you a snapshot of the motion detected and then within about 10 seconds you can start to view the recording. You can turn the notifications off if you wish, limit them to specific times and set it to only notify you once every 5 minutes regardless of how often it detects motion. You can also set a schedule via the Activity tab in the app to automatically turn alerts, activity clips and camera privacy on or off.
The captured video quality, both daytime and with night vision is very good thanks to the 1080P Full HD camera, allowing you to identify details or faces if needs be. The recorded audio is also very good. As with all Wi-Fi cameras, to get the best out of it you do need to feed it a good Wi-Fi signal, this will help to reduce the delay in receiving notifications, playback of recorded video and access to the live view. The two-way talk feature also works very well, albeit with a slight delay in the audio transmission.
As with most Cloud based security cameras, the Cloud services are not free and this is the same here with the Kasa Spot. Although at time of writing Kasa Care has not been launched in the UK, if you try to subscribe you get a message saying free trial will continue until Kasa Care launches. So if you fancy a security camera with free Cloud services for an indeterminate length of time, then this could be the one for you!
As a guide, the US users of Kasa Care currently pay $7 a month per camera (or $70 a year) for the premium service which includes 30 days of video history, 30GB memory limit and 128 hours of 1080P video. The basic service is $4 a month per camera (or $40 a year) and includes 14 days of video history, 14GB memory limit and 60 hours of 1080P video. If this service does ever launch in the UK, it could become pricey if you have more than one camera.
- Incredible value for money
- Excellent video and audio quality
- Premium Cloud subscription service currently free
- Well designed and laid out Kasa App
- No Ethernet Port
- No Power over Ethernet
- Not all features available yet
TP-Link Kasa Spot KC100 Indoor Security Camera Review
The Kasa Spot KC100 Indoor Security Camera from TP-Link offers an incredible package for what is a very low retail price of £39.99 (or available from a certain retailer at just £29.99 at time of writing!). Featuring 1080P HD video recording, night vision, motion detection and an excellent notification system. The Kasa App has been very well designed, is easy to use and offers an impressive level of configuration options. It’s an app clearly designed with the future of the Kasa Smart Home Ecosystem in mind.
The video and audio recording quality are excellent and the notifications are almost instant with only a very short delay from notification to being able to view back the recording. The Kasa system does seem fairly new still though, with a few features unavailable such as Smart Actions within the app, and the Kasa Care Cloud storage subscription service. The latter being a positive as whilst you normally have to pay for Cloud Storage, until Kasa Care is launched in the UK you get the premium level for free. It’s been at least 5 months, so you could be getting this excellent Cloud Service for free for some time to come.
Whilst it offers a lot for the money, it is still a budget product, so doesn’t include more advanced features such as an Ethernet port or the Power over Ethernet function. But that is clutching at straws to find some negatives of which there really are very few here.
As for alternatives, there are far too many to mention, but at this price point, it does remove a lot of the competition save for a lot of unheard of brands that you see on certain websites, with the more familiar brands such as Ring and Netgear wanting considerably more money for their Security cameras. As such, we can easily award the Kasa Spot KC100 from TP-Link our AVForums Highly Recommended Award.
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.