General Questions about the Tapo Camera

Released On: 2021-06-22 08:18:52Last update time: 2023-10-19 13:23:43

Part 1: Installation related

Q1: What kind of devices and OS versions is the Tapo app compatible with?

A: Any mobile device running iOS 11.0 or above, Android 5.0 or above. ( Note: The required or minimum OS version will be updated in line with future app updates. We recommend periodically checking for the most up-to-date information on Google Play or App Store regarding the OS requirements needed to run the Tapo app)

Note: Currently, there is no plan to support additional operating systems such as Windows phone, Kindle, or Kindle Fire. The Tapo app is only available on mobile devices and not computers.


Q2: Can you also use a SIM card for the camera?

A: No, the camera does not work with a SIM card.


Q3: What encryption types are supported by Tapo Cameras?

A: The Tapo cameras support WPA or WPA2 encryptions.

WEP, Portal, WPA/WPA2-enterprise, or WPA3-only network is not widely supported.

Note: Tapo cameras do support hidden SSIDs.


Q4: What are the frequencies used for Tapo Cams? Does the Tapo Cam use the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band?

A: Tapo cameras only support the 2.4 GHz band


Q5: What do the various LED colors mean on the Tapo Cam?

A: The Tapo Cam has an LED on the front, you can know the current status of the camera from the LED. It's suggested to find the UG of the camera on the official website to see the LED status meaning.


Q6: How do I turn on or off the green LED on the front of the Tapo camera?

A: If you want to turn on or off the green LED on the front of the Tapo camera, navigate to your camera’s Device Settings page on the Tapo app and look for the Status LED option.


Q7: Does the Tapo camera work with SmartThings?

A: No, Tapo cameras are only compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Currently, there is no plan to add support for Samsung SmartThings or IFTTT.


Q8: Does the Tapo camera work with an IPv6 address?

A: No, the camera only supports IPv4


Q9: Can I use the Tapo camera without the Tapo app and without an account?

A: No, Tapo cameras require the Tapo app and a TP-Link ID account.


Q10: Can you use and activate the Tapo Camera without Wi-Fi?

A: Tapo cameras can be used when wireless is offline or unavailable. However, the cameras will require to be initially set up and configured with a Wi-Fi connection. You will also have to have 24/7 recording enabled with a MicroSD card inserted and formatted.

Note: You will not be able to access the live view of a camera that is offline.


Q11: Can you rotate the camera 360 degrees?

A: Stick cameras like the Tapo C100 have a ball and socket joint on the base and can be manually rotated 360 degrees. Pan Tilt cameras like the Tapo C210 can be rotated 360 degrees, via the pan/tilt control in the Tapo app.


Q12: How to change the wireless network?

A: Currently the only way to change wireless networks is to reset the camera and reconfigure it.


Part 2: Motion Detection related

Q1: Do I have to use an SD card for the Tapo camera to record if motion is detected?

A: No. Tapo Cameras can record activity either via a cloud subscription (sold separately) or by recording to an installed and formatted MicroSD card. The choice is up to you.


Q2: Does recording overwrite the oldest footage?

A: Yes, by enabling the loop feature the oldest recording will automatically be overwritten when room is needed on the MicroSD card.


Q3: Does the Tapo camera take photos if movement is detected?

A: If you subscribe to the Tapo Care service, you will be able to use the advanced function “Rich Notifications with Snapshots”. This will take a snapshot each time movement is detected.


Q4: Can I choose where to store the recordings of my Tapo C200 camera?

A: Tapo offers two recording options MicroSD local storage and Tapo Care cloud storage. Local storage is stored on an inserted and formatted MicroSD card, and Cloud Storage is stored on our secure cloud servers.


Q5: Does the Tapo camera support manual recording?

A: Yes, go to your camera’s live view and look for the record button. Tap once to begin recording. Tap again to stop.


Q6: How can I view 24-hour recordings on the Camera app?

Note: This requires a MicroSD card to be inserted and formatted and 24/7 recording enabled.

A: Tap on the desired camera from the main page in the Tapo app. Tap on Playback and Download. You will see a timeline. If activity was detected you will see callouts below the timeline. Tap on one of these to be taken to that part of the timeline and review the clip


Q7: How do I delete recordings from SD cards through the Tapo App?

A: Please navigate to the camera’s Device Settings page on the Tapo app and tap Format on the Storage & Recording>microSD Card page if you want to delete all recordings. Or you may need to put the SD card into a computer (with an SD card reader) or phone to delete the corresponding recordings.


Q8: How do you adjust the sensitivity settings on a Tapo Camera?

A: Navigate to the camera’s Device Settings page on the Tapo app, then tap Detection, where you can find the Detection Types (such as Motion Detection, Person Detection, etc.), click on the detection type you want to enable, and then change the sensitivity of the detection to a lower/higher level.


Q9: What is the Motion Detection Distance

A: The specific value of detection distance cannot be given since it is related to more factors like the size of the object, the range of movement, and the sensitivity of the camera. Please see the specifications for our camera to see the maximum distance of detection.

Part 3: Live View related

Q1: Who can view my camera and video recordings?

A: Only the individuals who have signed into the associated Tapo camera account can view your camera and clips. You may also share a specific camera with another Tapo account through the share feature.

All video streams and activities associated with your Tapo Cam are private and can only be viewed by those signed into the Tapo Camera or who have the authority to access your SD card.

*Note: We recommend that you never share your account information with anyone.


Q2: Can I view multiple Tapo cameras at the same time?

A: Yes, on the live view screen you can set up a Grid view to see up to 4 cameras at one time


Q3: Can multiple accounts/devices view the Tapo camera at the same time?

A: Currently, each camera can be controlled or managed by only one account on the Tapo App. You can share it with 5 different accounts at most, and these accounts will have access to the Live View, Talk, Voice Call, Pan/Tilt Control, and the Playback & Download Features of the Camera, but will be unable to change the other settings of the camera.

Each camera also supports up to 4 simultaneous video streams. You could use up to 4 devices to view the live feed of the camera simultaneously using the Tapo App or via RTSP. 


Q4: Why can’t I use Tapo Care, SD card, and NVR at the same time?

A: Due to the limited hardware performance of the camera itself, Tapo Care works best with one of the NVR or SD card recordings.

If you are using an SD card and Tapo Care at the same time, the NVR(RTSP/ONVIF) will be disabled.

To restart the recording on the NVR, please remove the SD card from the camera.


Part 4: ONVIF & RTSP related

Q1: How can I use Tapo Cameras with Chromecast?

A: To use Tapo cameras with Google Assistant, you need a Google Chromecast, a Google Home Hub, or any smart display that supports Chromecast (such as a TV with built-in Chromecast). After configured, you can watch the live feed from any Tapo camera via a spoken command, and you can refer to this link to know the commands the camera supports.

Currently, the Tapo cameras don’t support the “camera on/off” command due to possible security risks. For example, an intruder could potentially shut off your cameras with a simple command.

Watching the live feed of Tapo cameras through Google Assistant will use your internet traffic as it’s a Cloud-to-Cloud service. In consideration of your extranet traffic and performance, the live feed will stop after 5 minutes. However, you can ask Google to show the camera again if you want to continue streaming.


Q2: How to view a Tapo camera on a computer? Can it be viewed via a web browser?

A: Currently, we don’t have camera control software for a PC nor can we view the Tapo camera directly on the web, we can only watch the Live View of the Tapo Camera on the Tapo app or sync the camera screen to devices like Echo show, fire TV, etc.

Users may use third-party software to view and manage the camera via RTSP/ONVIF, and here are the detailed instructions.


Q3: Will the Tapo camera work with NAS or NVR/DVR?

A: Currently, battery-powered camera models(such as Tapo C420, C400, and D230) do not support ONVIF. Other Tapo Cameras support the standard ONVIF protocol (Profile S), so it will work with NVR/DVR or NAS devices that support the standard ONVIF protocol as well.

Refer to this link to learn more about how to connect a Tapo camera to a NAS or NVR.


Part 5: Audio & Video related

Q1: Can we change the video quality of the Tapo camera when watching the video with Echo Show or Fire TV?

A: No, it is not possible to change the video quality of the Tapo camera when watching the video with Echo Show or Fire TV.


Q2: What can I do if the audio from the Tapo camera sounds a bit muffled?

A: If the audio is muffled or there is noise/echo when watching the live view or recorded videos of the Tapo camera, try the below troubleshooting steps.

1. Relocate the camera in case there is any other device that may have interference with it.

2. Move and put the phone much farther away from the camera or at least put them in two different rooms and test the two-way audio again.


Q3: What can I do if the video recordings from the SD card cannot be played on a computer?

A: The SD card will be divided into multiple folders automatically once formatted on the Tapo App, and all of the folders will be named xxxxxxxx_000000_tp00001.mp4, xxxxxxxx_000000_tp00002.mp4, and so on. This folder or clip cannot be played or opened as there is no recording in it. The recorded videos will fill in these folders one by one.


Part 6: Other Questions

Q1: How many Tapo cameras can be managed by one account?

A: There is no quantitative limit on the cameras that can be set up or controlled by one account on the Tapo App, however, Tapo Care is only available to a maximum of 10 cameras on one account. If you would like Tapo Care for more cameras, you will need another account.


Q2: How secure is this camera?

A: Data security is important to us and we understand that it is essential for your peace of mind. We use industry-standard AES 128-bit encryption with SSL/TLS to encrypt the camera data, ensuring your home security.


Q3: What's the bandwidth required for the Tapo camera to work properly?

A: The recommended bandwidth for each camera will vary due to different camera types and resolutions. The upload bandwidth for each camera would be around 5Mbps to stream a live feed or upload videos. Please ensure your network meets this requirement and if necessary, adjust the resolution accordingly to stay within the upstream limit.

Most importantly, however, the actual streaming experience would be affected by the surrounding wireless interference and the signal strength, even when the bandwidth is enough. In this case, it’s suggested to eliminate possible wireless interference (like Bluetooth devices, USB 3.0 devices, cordless phones, and microwave ovens) or place the camera closer to the router.


Q4: Can I bind/use the Tapo Camera with my current Kasa Cam/NC Cam account?

A: Yes, users can use the same account to log in to the Tapo App and manage the Tapo camera.


Q5: How do I change my login email address on the Tapo App for the Tapo camera?

A: If you want to change the login email address on the Tapo App, please click on ‘Me’ on the bottom menu of the Tapo App, and just hit Log out. Then Log in again and type in your new email address and password, then you will be able to see all the cameras bound to the new account.

But please note if your Tapo cameras have already been bound to the previous account, you will need to remove those cameras first from the old account and bind them to the new one, here is the guide for unbinding them from the old account.


Q6: Can I use my Tapo camera anywhere if there is no internet?

A: You can use the camera or watch the live view without an internet connection, but please ensure both your phone and the camera are connected to the same wireless network. The Local storage with the SD card will still work, and users can view the saved recordings through Playback.

Note: Notification or any other service associated with the TP-Link Cloud will not work if there is no internet access.


Q7: Does Tapo Cam monitor 24/7?

A: Except for the battery-powered Tapo Cameras, such as Tapo C420, C400, and D230, etc., other Tapo Cameras can monitor 24/7, and the users can set the Continuous Recording or Detection Recording schedule on the camera's Device Settings> Storage & Recording> Recording Schedule page.

1) A microSD card is required to enable the Continuous Recording feature.
2) Your camera must be powered on and NOT in Privacy Mode for the monitoring to take place.


Q8: What is Privacy Mode?

A: With Tapo Cam’s Privacy Mode you can enable or disable streaming and recording of video and audio. When you enable this option, your camera will not record audio or video, and you will not receive any event notifications.


Q9: Can I turn my Tapo camera on or off from my mobile phone?

A: Unfortunately, it doesn’t support turning on/off the camera on the Tapo App at present. If you want to turn on/off the camera, you need to switch it off manually or you may just plug the camera into a smart plug like Tapo P100 and set a schedule to turn it on/off automatically.

Or you can disable streaming and recording of video and audio with Tapo Cam's Privacy Mode, but please note that when you select this option your camera will not record audio or video, and you will not receive any event notifications.


Q10: How can I delete my Tapo Camera’s cloud account?

A: Refer here to submit a request to delete your Tapo Camera account.


Q11: Can I add or manage the Tapo camera on the Kasa app?

A: Nope. Tapo cameras, which can only be managed or monitored by the Tapo App, are designed to be different from Kasa Cams in functionality and marketing. Users can watch a Live View of the Tapo camera on the Tapo App or sync the camera screen to devices like the Echo Show, fire TV, etc.

Or users may click here to play the RTSP stream from the Tapo camera on a PC with third-party software or applications.


Q12: Must the Tapo App be opened to receive notifications?

A: It depends on the phone model and its OS. For iOS, you can still receive notifications when the Tapo App is closed, while you may not be able to receive notifications on some Android phones if the Tapo App is closed, depending on your device settings.


Q13: Does Tapo Camera support cloud storage?

A: Yes, Tapo camera does support the cloud storage feature with the Tapo Care services:


Q14: Is it secure to save the wireless credentials on the Tapo App when I try to set up the Tapo Cam on the Android phone?

A: Sure, data security comes first. We save the wireless SSID and password in the private libraries of the Tapo App, which won't be exposed to anyone else, in case of users forget their wireless password and may fail to link up their cameras. However, if you do worry about the security, you may just uncheck the "save password" option when you add the camera on the Tapo App.


Q15: What should I do if the camera stops working after I change the Wi-Fi name or password, or just change a new router?

A: After you change the Wi-Fi name or password, the camera will be disconnected from the router as it cannot automatically recognize the new SSID or password. You need to reset and reconfigure the camera. As for a new router, as long as it shares the same 2.4G wireless network name, password, and security model as the old router, the camera should be connected to the new router automatically. If not, please reset and reconfigure it.


Q16: Can I turn off the IR LED of my Tapo camera in Night Mode?

A: No. The IR LED cannot be turned off when the camera is in Night Mode. We do not recommend pointing the camera directly at a glass window at night since the IR light that comes up may reflect light and will result in a fuzzy or poor image.

If you want to turn off the IR LED at night, please switch the camera view to Day Mode.

Newer Cameras feature a second IR mode that will be far less visible to the naked eye. Please see the specifications for your camera to see if your camera supports both 580nm and 940nm IR wavelengths.


Q17: Does the Tapo camera have POE capabilities?

A: No. You have to use the supplied power adapter.



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