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TP-Link home security review: Devices compared

Verified by Amy Reeves

TP-Link, a Chinese-owned company, is a well-known global provider of networking devices and accessories, including home security systems. TP-Link is parent company to Tapo, which manufactures and designs smart home products, including security cameras, motion sensors, smart light bulbs and switches, allowing homeowners to create their own customisable TP-Link smart home ecosystem. 

While the brand does not offer any curated home security packages, its wide product range includes high-tech cameras and sensors to protect UK homes. Unlike its competitors, there is no professional monitoring available, but customers can self-monitor via the Tapo app, with an option to subscribe to Tapo Care for full monitoring access. 

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60-second review

Rating: ★★

 

TP-Link’s subsidiary company, Tapo, designs and manufactures home security products that provide a good level of protection for UK homeowners. However, the product range is not the most diverse when compared with competitors. It also doesn’t offer any ready-made home security packages, but what it does offer is an opportunity to create fully bespoke systems best suited to your home’s design. 

 

All of TP-Link’s home security devices, including smart home devices, can be connected together to create a personalised smart home ecosystem – all of which are monitored via the Tapo app. While TP-Link offers two subscription plans (Basic and Premium) under Tapo Care, there is no professional monitoring available.

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How we test smart home security systems

100+
hours of research
10
customer service calls
62
security systems compared
600+
customer reviews read
6
experts consulted

Our Independent Advisor experts have researched and tested several home security systems in order to provide fair, unbiased and accurate recommendations. We compare products, features, quality and prices alongside what others in the industry say and how customers have also reviewed their experiences.

Our reviews are determined by the following categories:

  • Reputation and credibility
  • Security and performance
  • Features
  • Plans and pricing value
  • Customer experience

We examine 35 elements within these categories, including:

  • Monitoring services and contract types
  • Data backup and storage
  • Warranties
  • Flexibility/customisation in bundles
  • Quality (image, sound, product)
  • Installation

All of our home security articles are fact-checked by our in-house team, to give consumers the knowledge they need to make an informed, up-to-date and confident decision. 

For more information, read our article on how we review home security systems.

How does a smart home security system work?

Smart home security systems are usually connected to the internet via a smart hub device. Once all of the devices are connected, users can view live footage and receive alerts and notifications through a mobile app. Smart home security systems typically include a high-resolution camera, unlike traditional security systems that rely on infrared image formation and detection. 

With smart home security systems, some providers will have options for both professional and self-monitoring subscriptions, whereas traditional home security can only be monitored professionally. Using your smartphone, you’ll have the ability to arm, disarm and monitor your home security system remotely. Some home security systems can also integrate with your smart home ecosystem, with lights and sound systems being turned on to give the illusion of someone being home when detectors are triggered. 

  • Equipment cost: Smart Motion Sensors start at £17.99 and an Outdoor Smart Security Camera is available from £59.99
  • Monthly fee: £2.49 to £9.99
  • Power outage backup: No 
  • Mobile phone backup: No
  • Live streaming: Yes  
  • Push alerts: Yes
  • Remotely arm/disarm system: Yes
  • Voice assistants: Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • Apps for: iOS and Android 

Pros

Lots of camera options to choose from Live streaming for cameras via the Tapo app Reasonably priced equipment pieces

Cons

Does not offer any pre-built home security packages No professional monitoring

There are a few areas where TP-Link is lacking when compared with its competitors. 

Not only does it not offer any curated home security packages, there is no professional monitoring available either. This means customers will have to self-monitor, whereas top providers ADT, SimpliSafe and Ring have options for professional monitoring that include alerting emergency services, if necessary. All of TP-Link’s self-monitoring functionality and features are also not available to customers unless they pay a monthly fee for one of the Tapo Care plans. 

However, TP-Link does offer an extensive range of indoor and outdoor cameras with high definition and smart AI. Hey! and Eufy home security also only offer self-monitoring, but TP-Link offers a broader range of equipment. However, Eufy’s package may work out cheaper, but this depends on how many pieces of equipment you decide to purchase from TP-Link.    

Product Equipment cost Monthly fee Power outage backup Mobile phone backup Live streaming Push alerts Remotely arm/disarm
TP-Link From 29.99 £2.49 to £9.99 X X
Eufy £139 N/A
Abode From £294.99 From £7.99 5 hours
SimpliSafe From £249.96 From £15.99
ADT Bespoke From £35.99 24 hours
Ring From £219.99 From £3.49 24 hours
Yale From £29.99 N/A 8 hours No
Best alternative to
SimpliSafe offers a huge range of customisable home security systems to suit any size house. Homeowners can choose self or professional monitoring, with monthly prices starting at £15.99.
4
Excellent Trustpilot rating
Easy to install yourself
No long-term contracts
LEARN MORE At SimpliSafe

TP-Link offers a wide range of equipment but mostly specialises in cameras, both indoors and outdoors. The provider doesn’t have any ready-made home security packages, so our researchers have selected pieces of equipment that would suit a variety of home sizes. 

Most, if not all, of TP-Link’s equipment is reasonably priced. It would be difficult to suggest a package price, as this will depend on which pieces of equipment a particular household requires.  

Equipment name Price
H100 Smart Hub with Chime £19.99
T100 Smart Motion Sensor £17.99
T110 Smart Contact Sensor, Window/Door Safeguard £14.99
T310 Smart Temperature & Humidity Sensor £19.99
D230S1 Smart Battery Video Doorbell £149.99
C320WS Outdoor Smart Security Camera £59.99
C500 Outdoor Pan/Tilt Security WiFi Camera £59.99
C420 Smart Wire-Free Security Camera £89.99
C210 Pan/Tilt Security Camera £39.99

Optional monthly costs

With TP-Link, there is no professional monitoring available, unlike some of its competitors. Users instead can self-monitor their system via the Tapo app. However, if you’d like full access to the self-monitoring features, you will have to subscribe to Tapo Care, which can be paid either monthly or annually. 

Plan name Monthly price Annual price Features
Basic Plan 1 Camera £2.49 £25.99 – 7-day video clip history – Rich notifications with snapshots – AI detection (including person detection and baby crying detection) – Privacy zones
Basic Plan 5 Cameras £8.99 £89.99 – 7-day video clip history – Rich notifications with snapshots – AI detection (including person detection and baby crying detection) – Privacy zones
Premium Plan 1 Camera £2.99 £29.49 – 30-day video clip history – Rich notifications with snapshots – AI detection (including person detection and baby crying detection) – Privacy zones
Premium Plan 2 Cameras £5.49 £53.99 – 30-day video clip history – Rich notifications with snapshots – AI detection (including person detection and baby crying detection) – Privacy zones
Premium Plan 3 Cameras £7.99 £80.99 – 30-day video clip history – Rich notifications with snapshots – AI detection (including person detection and baby crying detection) – Privacy zones
Premium Plan up to 10 Cameras £9.99 £97.99 – 30-day video clip history – Rich notifications with snapshots – AI detection (including person detection and baby crying detection) – Privacy zones
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Editor’s Choice
40% off! Use UKINDY40 at checkout
Best Monitoring
Over 148 years of experience
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Rated 4.6 on Trustpilot

Equipment overview

Smart Hub

The Smart Hub allows you to connect up to four pieces of equipment, including cameras, doorbells and sensors. The hub works by connecting to your wifi network; once all of your devices are linked to the hub, its ultra-low-power wireless protocol ensures connected devices’ power lasts up to 10-times longer. Its smart alarm and chime function works with smart cameras, video doorbells and sensors and comes with 19 ringtone options. Save recorded videos from your smart cameras onto the hub’s local micro SD storage and view them at a time that is convenient for you. 

The hub is voice control integrated and works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. To create a smart home ecosystem, the hub also allows for the connection of up to 64 smart devices, including switches and buttons. 

Smart Motion Sensor 

The motion sensor must be connected to the smart hub and it is battery-powered, easy to install and is mounted using three metre adhesive or attached using built-in magnets. Its wide-range detection captures the motion of up to seven metres away with a 120-degree view. The smart motion sensor can control smart lights based on your movement and schedule its energy-saving capabilities to turn on connected smart devices as you come and go. Receive instant alerts to your smartphone via the app when in away mode.   

Smart Contact Sensor

The contact sensor monitors the opening and closing of doors and gives you app alerts in real time. You can also set your contact sensor to turn on the lights automatically when you open the door, providing you have installed a smart light bulb. 

Smart Temperature and Humidity Monitor 

Detect humidity and temperature with high accuracy and receive instant app alerts whenever levels fall outside of preset preferences. Data is collected every two seconds and the monitor has the ability to turn on or off relevant home electronics connected to Tapo devices, such as fans, heaters and humidifiers. 

Smart Battery Video Doorbell

The video doorbell allows you to view anything that happens in front of your door via the Tapo app. Its starlight 2K 5MP resolution works even in low-light conditions and the colour night vision displays clear and detailed colour at night. The camera’s ultra-wide view (160 degree diagonal), allows users to view visitors head to toe as close as one metre. Its smart AI detection can establish whether there’s a person or vehicle and notify users via the app. The doorbell also has two-way audio allowing for a quick and convenient response. 

Indoor Pan/Tilt Wifi Camera

The indoor camera records in ultra-high definition with a 360 degree pan and tilt ability, allowing for a wide view range. Its night vision provides a visual distance of up to nine metres and it comes with two-way audio communication via an in-built speaker and microphone. The camera can also be controlled via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. 

Outdoor Pan/Tilt security Wifi Camera

The outdoor pan tilt security wifi camera provides a 360 degrees horizontal and 130 degrees vertical view range with built-in spotlights for full-colour night vision. Its high-speed rotation tracks movement with 2K resolution. It also comes with a customisable audio alarm that is triggered in the event of an intruder. 

What do customers say?

TP-Link home security receives just 2.2 out of a possible five stars on Trustpilot. However, there are only 38 customer reviews available, all of which note motion detection issues and weather-related problems with the outdoor camera. 

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“I have the Tapo indoor wifi CCTV camera. Brilliant. One downside is you can only zoom in when live but that is no big issue, it beats Yale’s indoor wifi camera – nothing but trouble with that! Loads to my phone app instantly, so the moment isn’t lost when you look at the time. Looks like linking it with a smart plug is an issue but mine is just on mains. A few teething problems to load but it got there in the end. One slight drawback is that if it’s raining it picks up raindrops and focuses on them, but overall really pleased. Night vision is best left on daylight mode and it works – no glare from the window. I’ll definitely be investing in another at some point.”

 

“I have the C310 camera. Initially, it worked fine. The two downsides to this camera is, it cannot differentiate between people and animals. I find it annoying when I have notifications saying that a person has been detected only to play it back and find either my cat or other cats have activated it. Also, I am having issues playing back recordings, stating unable to play due to a network issue. Tapo needs to keep up with the software to avoid such problems. I am considering buying another make of camera to replace my C310.”

App overview

The Tapo app is available to download through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Once downloaded, users can add each home security device, as well as other Tapo smart devices to their app. The Tapo app will search for them via Bluetooth and, once connected, you’re able to name the devices and select which room they belong to. 

If your TP-Link system includes a camera, you’re able to view live footage, recorded footage and receive instant alerts if there’s motion detected or someone in the camera’s view. The app will also send notifications when any of your installed motion sensors detect movement.

Though all of your TP-Link devices can be monitored via the app, you will only have full access to everything that TP-Link home security offers with Tapo Care. 

There are two subscription plans, Basic and Premium, with each giving more monitoring features to users. It’s important to note that TP-Link does not offer professional monitoring with or without Tapo Care. 

With Tapo Care you can:

  • Turn on or off smart home devices
  • Preset away mode
  • Set timers to turn devices on or off
  • Schedule when devices should turn on or off
  • Monitor cameras
  • Use voice control

TP-Link does not offer any ready-made packages, unlike most of its competitors. However, it does offer a good variation in equipment types with various indoor and outdoor cameras and sensors available. 

TP-Link’s equipment is all connected via the Tapo Smart Hub, which is connected to your home network – through this, users are able to monitor their smart home security system via Tapo’s app.

Since TP-Link doesn’t provide home security packages, we’ve curated three different use case packages for small, medium and larger homes that should help you decide which pieces of equipment would be best suited to your home’s design and size. 

Suggested package: Best for small homes

  • What you can get: 
      • 1 x Smart hub
      • 1x Outdoor security camera
      • 1x Contact sensor
      • 1x Battery video doorbell 
  • Upfront cost: £244.96
  • Monthly fee: £2.49 to £9.99

Small homes can usually be protected with fewer pieces of equipment than larger homes, though it is important that those pieces cover the main areas that could be under threat from any type of intruder. 

TP-Link’s outdoor camera provides great protection and can reveal bright colour images, even in low-light conditions. The camera has a 2K QHD live view, it’s wireless, comes with cloud storage and has a field of view of 127 degrees. 

As well as an outdoor camera, the smart video doorbell not only allows for a clear view of who is on the other side of your door but allows for a two-way audio experience for convenience and safety. 

The contact sensor allows users to know when a door is being opened or closed. TP-Link’s smart contact sensor sends real-time alerts via the Tapo app and also has the ability to turn on lights automatically when you open the door, so long as you have installed smart light bulbs. 

For every TP-Link home security system that you curate, you’ll need to purchase a Smart Hub. This will connect all of your devices together via your home network and allow for monitoring via the Tapo app. 

Suggested package: Best for medium homes

  • What you can get: 
      • 1x Smart hub
      • 1x Outdoor pan/tilt camera,
      • 2x Contact sensor
      • 1x Motion sensor
      • 1x Smart battery video doorbell
  • Upfront cost: £277.94
  • Monthly fee: £2.49 to £9.99

When our researchers considered what pieces of equipment were required for a medium-sized home, the emphasis was not only on the outside but also protecting the inside. 

For a medium home, we chose the Outdoor Pan/Tilt Security Wifi Camera, which allows for a higher level of protection than the outdoor camera we chose for smaller homes. It provides 360 degrees horizontal and 130 degrees vertical view range with built-in spotlights for full-colour night vision. It tracks motion with high-speed rotation with a 2k resolution.

Much like for smaller homes, a smart motion sensor will give users the ability to monitor any opened or closed doors via the Tapo app. This sensor is usually placed inside the home and can capture motion from up to seven metres away. The motion sensor, when in away mode, will alert you via the app if it detects movement. It can also control smart lights based on your schedule and movement and turn on connected smart devices when you come and go – as long as you have set this up in the Tapo app.

TP-Link’s smart video doorbell not only captures live footage in low-light conditions but has two-way audio that allows users to communicate with someone outside, while remaining safe in their homes. The video doorbell can also detect whether there is a person or a vehicle in view of the camera and send an alert via the Tapo app if you’re away from home. 

All of the above equipment pieces will need to be connected to the Smart Hub. This device connects to your home network.  

Suggested package: Best for large homes

  • What you can get: 
      • 1x Smart hub
      • 2x Wire-free security camera system 
      • 1x Battery video doorbell
      • 2x Contact sensor 
      • 2x Motion sensor
      • 1x Humidity and temperature sensor
      • 1x Indoor pan/tilt home camera
  • Upfront cost: £475.90
  • Monthly fee: £2.49 to £9.99

Unsurprisingly, larger homes usually require more pieces of equipment to best protect them. With more entry points, it’s best to install more cameras and motion sensors to ensure a good level of security. 

TP-Link offers a camera bundle that is ideal for larger homes. The smart wire-free security camera system includes two cameras that can be installed outside – either in the front of your home to span a large area, or one outside the front door and the other placed at the rear of the property. 

The smart camera has a 180-day battery life and comes fitted with a low protocol that extends usage; its battery is rechargeable, too. The cameras can be installed wherever suits your home, thanks to them being wire-free. Much like other TP-Link cameras, you can view a live feed via the Tapo app, but with the smart wire-free security camera, there’s also an in-built alarm that can notify you of an intruder. This added layer of protection is triggered when motion is detected, sounding an alarm that aims to deter unwanted visitors. 

For larger homes, sensors inside as well as mounted door sensors are beneficial. It’s important to protect your entry points, and TP-Links smart contact sensor does that by sending alerts via the Tapo app if the door is opened or closed. This sensor can be placed either at the back or front door, or both if you purchase more than one.  

The smart motion sensor is battery-powered and can be wall mounted in a place that suits your home. It connects to the smart hub and can detect motion of up to seven metres away with a 120-degree view. Larger homes might also benefit from purchasing two of these, placing one upstairs and one downstairs allowing for comprehensive protection. 

Both the humidity and temperature sensor and the indoor pan tilt home security wifi camera are well-suited to larger homes and especially for homeowners who may be away from home for long periods of time. 

The humidity and temperature sensor sends alerts to the Tapo app wherever levels fall outside of preset levels – this is customisable in the app. The highly accurate sensor sends data every two seconds and can be integrated into your smart home ecosystem by pairing up the sensor with smart fans, heaters and humidifiers. 

Installing TP-Link’s indoor home security camera comes with a plethora of benefits. The camera works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and has two-way audio for convenient communication. It records in ultra-high definition day and night with a 360 degrees pan and tilt ability allowing for a wide view range. Since the camera comes with advanced night vision that can record images from up to nine metres away, it’s a great way to guard your home at night time. In the event of an intruder, its sound and light alarm will trigger sound and light effects to deter unwanted visitors. As well as this, when motion is detected you’ll receive notifications via the Tapo app.  

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Independent Advisor’s verdict

TP-Link does not offer any home security packages, but does offer a wide range of equipment that can be curated into a fully customisable smart home security system to suit any type of home. TP-Link’s equipment is relatively affordable compared with its competitors, but since you’ll be building your own package, the total cost can sometimes work out more expensive than a home security package.  

 

While this may not be best suited to homeowners who are looking for a quick and easy purchase, some may find the customisable route better, as it allows for a tailored security system. TP-Link has a wide range of indoor and outdoor cameras, all of which come with high resolution and work well in low-light conditions. It also offers a series of motion sensors for doors and inside the home and some also come with humidity and temperature sensors. 

 

However, there are some pieces of equipment that are missing that other home security brands provide. These include key fobs and keypads, but this is only a downside if you require them. These pieces of equipment are typically useful if you’re likely to have guests stay, such as if you were to rent your property out or list it as an Airbnb.

 

TP-Link doesn’t provide an option for professional monitoring, which is an obvious downside when compared with its competitors. Instead, it offers Tapo Care, a monthly subscription service that allows for full access to self-monitoring and cloud storage. 

 

Overall, TP-Link falls short in many areas compared with other providers. It only really works if you don’t require professional monitoring and don’t wish to purchase a home security package.

 

Rating: ★★

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Frequently asked questions

Yes, all video streams associated with any of your Tapo cameras are private and secure. Footage can only be viewed by those who are signed in to your Tapo app or Tapo Care.

Yes, homeowners can access their Tapo cameras via the Tapo app when away from home. You’ll be able to watch live feeds from any of your cameras, as well as view recorded footage. 

With Tapo Care, homeowners can monitor up to five cameras on the Basic plan while Premium plan customers can monitor up to 10 cameras.

Yes, you can still use your TP-Link camera or watch the live view without an internet connection. But you’ll need to ensure that your phone and the camera are connected to the same wireless network. You won’t be able to receive any notifications without an internet connection but your camera will still record and this will be stored on your SD card.  

rachel

Rachel Sadler

Home Tech Writer

Rachel is a seasoned writer who has been producing online and print content for seven years. 

As a home tech expert for Independent Advisor, Rachel researches and writes buying guides and reviews, helping consumers navigate the realms of broadband and home security gadgets. She also covers home tech for The Federation of Master Builders, where she reviews and tests home security devices. 

She started as a news and lifestyle journalist in Hong Kong reporting on island-wide news stories, food and drink and the city’s events. She’s written for editorial platforms Sassy Hong Kong, Localiiz and Bay Media. While in Hong Kong she attended PR events, interviewed local talent and project-managed photoshoots. 

Rachel holds a BA in English Language and Creative Writing and is committed to simplifying tech jargon and producing unbiased reviews.

amy

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.