Despite having a few shortcomings, the TP-Link Kasa Cam Outdoor has everything you need in a dependable DIY surveillance camera and a little bit more. It can still be a great pick for many households with the right techniques and tricks in its use.
- Good price
- Wired design frees you from the need to recharge
- Camera can be accessed by multiple devices at the same time
- Free cloud storage
- Sharp video quality
- Very easy installation
- Wide field of view
- Sturdy construction
- Versatile and flexible
- Not compatible with many smart home environments
- Not exactly tamper-proof
- Some users don’t find the siren and speaker to be loud enough
- No web portal
An exciting recent change in tech is that more and more smart products are becoming more affordable and easily available to the public. Just a couple of years back, creating a smart home isn’t possible for everyone as many cannot afford the costs. Today, however, an increasing number of manufacturers are making the technology available at friendlier price points.
The TP-Link Kasa Cam Outdoor is a good example of such. As a part of the Kasa environment that is shaking up the home tech industry right now, it offers solid features and reasonable price tags. Combined with the manufacturer’s reliable reputation, the aforementioned security camera was really able to tickle the fancy of experts and regular homeowners alike.
Did the Kasa Cam Outdoor (KC200) pique your curiosity, too? Find out more about it in our review below.
TP-Link Kasa Cam Outdoor KC200: A Detailed Review
Design and Features
Appearance-wise, the Kasa Cam Outdoor is charming in its own way with its rounded design. It looks modern with its clean lines and black and white coloring. It’s also roughly the size of a tennis ball, so it wouldn’t be glaringly present but it can still be visible enough to let intruders know that they are being watched. With its silhouette and appearance, it also won’t be too hard for it to match or complement your home’s architecture.
If you liked the look of the Logitech Circle 2, this could be a good dupe as it’s slightly more affordable and has a lot of similar features with it. Its video quality is great, the unit is well-built, it has all of the basic features you’ll want in a DIY security camera, and is very easy to install. All in all, it’s also a solid option if you want a rounded security cam.
Setup and Usage
Lots of DIY home security cameras today are very painless to install so it shouldn’t be surprising that this is also one of the promises of the KC200. However, its case is still a bit different as it utilizes a magnetic mounting base. With this, you don’t really have to screw the camera on the base anymore. You just need to place it on top of the magnetic base and you’re good to go.
The mounting base has a movable plate that allows easy configuration. You just need to slightly push, pull, and rotate and you’ll be able to get the right angle for your device.
You will still need to drill the base onto a wall if you’re installing them in one, though. Also, because this product is a wired device, some basic electrical wiring would be required.
Don’t worry as the power cord tethered to the device is weatherproof so you don’t really have to drill a hole on your wall to insert the cables. You can have it run along the outside wall without having to worry about it getting exposed to the elements.
Getting the device itself up and running is also very simple to do. There’s a manual included in the package that will help give you a rundown of the steps. The app will also give you prompts of what to do next when connecting the device to the app and your wireless network so some might not even need to use the manual at all.
True to TP-Link’s performance and reputation, the video quality of the KC200 can hold a candle to its more popular, expensive, and established competitors. Thanks to its glass lens and 2MP sensor, this device has a crisp, bright and accurate images so you can be sure that you won’t miss anything when monitoring your property. You can also select the video resolution (360p, 720p, or 1080p) in the app, letting you control your monitoring and bandwidth consumption.
Its 130-degree field of view is also a strong point as it’s wider than what lots of other brands offer. And despite this wide coverage, there’s no fish eye distortion or loss of quality on the edges of the shot. In short, you’ll consistently get good picture quality.
Track and Zoom
Unlike the other Kasa cameras in TP-Link’s line up, the Kasa Cam Outdoor doesn’t have a tracking feature. It has an 8x zoom, however, so you can still close in on the areas that you want to pay more attention to in the footage.
The built-in microphone on the Kasa Cam Outdoor is very decent but it doesn’t have any noise-canceling features. As a result, it can still pick up some background noise. The speaker, on the other hand, needs some improvement due to its low volume. Because of this, it might be a bit difficult to use if you want to yell at the person in front of the camera in order to deter them from what they want to do.
Its 80 dB siren can also come in handy but we’re not sure if it’s really loud enough to alert the neighbors about the intruder. If only it was about 20 dB louder, it would be more disruptive and attention-grabbing, if you ask us.
Motion and Sound Detection
Like lots of other mid-range home security cameras, the KC200 also does not have a continuous recording option. It starts recording when its motion sensor gets tripped or when you log onto the live feed. Its sensor is responsive so you don’t have to worry about missing out on anything.
To avoid getting bombarded by notifications, you can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor, set up to 4 activity zones, and indicate how long a movement should last for it to trigger a reaction in your device.
Aside from motion detection, this camera can also detect sounds which is not always included in cameras at this price point. This is a great plus as bangs and crashes might not be within the range of your camera but the racket they make can be picked up by your security device.
Cloud Storage Costs
When you purchase the Kasa Cam Outdoor, you’ll get 2 days’ worth of storage space for free. It can be used for up to 30 days, after which you’ll need to pay for the subscription to get the full use of your unit.
These paid plans cost $7/month ($70/year) per camera for the Premium which offers a 30GB memory limit and 30 days of video history. The cheaper option costs $4/month ($4/year) per camera and covers 14GB of memory and 14 days of video history.
Smart Home Compatibility
While other Kasa products are compatible with IFTTT appliances and devices, the Kasa Cam Outdoor is not. However, you can still add it to your smart home environment if you have Alexa or Google Assistant in place.
Mobile App and Web Portal
Operating the Kasa Cam Outdoor is a cinch, thanks to its app (Google Play or Apple App Store). It’s designed to be highly functional, guaranteeing that you’ll get to customize the settings of the camera according to your needs. As a result, you won’t have a hard time navigating the app and controlling the camera.
Those who prefer to tweak their devices’ settings on a computer won’t be able to do so with the KC200 as it doesn’t have a web portal.
Can you watch its live feed on multiple devices?
Yes, it’s possible for multiple devices to log onto the camera’s live stream without anyone getting kicked out.
How long is the power cord that comes with this product?
The included power cable is 10 ft long. However, the manufacturer also sells extensions for those who need more.
Does it have local storage?
No, the Kasa Cam directly stores its footage on the cloud. It doesn’t have an SD card slot and it also can’t work with a DVR.
Is the magnetic base secure enough to prevent tampering and theft?
The magnet is actually very strong that it’s not that easy to pluck the camera off its base. However, proper placement can also help you prevent such situations. If you install the camera high up, it won’t be very easy to reach and can make stealing the device too bothersome.
A quick look at the TP-Link Kasa Cam Outdoor and you’ll easily see that it pretty much has everything you need in a reliable DIY home security camera. It’s easy to install and use, loaded with useful features, and is affordably-priced. Top it all off with the dependable reputation of its manufacturer, and you’re also guaranteed quality and good performance. So, even with a few shortcomings, it can still be a suitable choice for lots of households.