The latest addition to TP-Link’s family of smart home devices, the $44.99 Kasa Spot 24/7 Recording (KC400) camera offers a nice assortment of features including motion and sound detection, person detection, and voice control, all for less than $50. It's also the most affordable indoor security camera we've reviewed that offers 2K footage. It delivered excellent day and night video quality in our tests and is easy to install, making it a good choice if you already own other Kasa devices. If you don't, you can get more interoperability options as well as pan and tilt functionality with our Editors' Choice winner, the $51.99 Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt.
The KC400's enclosure sports a white finish and has a black camera face. It measures 2.2 by 2.2 by 1.0 inches (HWD) and sits atop a base and mounting arm that provides tilt and swivel adjustments and brings the total height to 3.5 inches. The base can be used as a desktop stand, or it can be attached to a wall using the included mounting hardware. There’s a mini USB power port on the back, along with a speaker, a reset button, and a microSD card slot on the right side. You can store recorded video locally using the card slot, but you'll have to supply your own media. TP-Link includes a 10-foot USB charging cable, an AC adapter, a quick start guide, and the above-mentioned mounting hardware.Our Experts Have Tested 36 Products in the Home Security Cameras Category in the Past YearSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
The camera captures 2K (2,560-by-1,440-pixel) video at 15fps, has a 106-degree field of view, and uses five infrared LEDs for black-and-white night vision with a range of up to 30 feet. It has an embedded microphone for two-way audio and a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio for connecting to your home network and to the Kasa mobile app. A tiny LED indicator flashes red when the camera is trying to connect to Wi-Fi, flashes green when it's connected to Wi-Fi, glows solid green when the camera is connected to the cloud, and flashes green and amber during setup.
The KC400 will send push alerts when motion or sound is detected, record the event, and tell you if the motion is caused by a person. As mentioned, you can store the recordings locally on a microSD card, or you can subscribe to a Kasa Care plan and store them in the cloud. For $3 per month or $30 per year, you get 30 days of video history per camera as well as the ability to share and manually record video. For $10 per month or $100 per year, you get the same deal for up to 10 cameras.
The camera works with other Kasa devices using Smart Actions in the app and it supports Amazon Alexa and Google Asssitant voice commands. However, it lacks compatibility with Apple’s HomeKit platform and IFTTT support is limited: You can have the camera turn on and off based on a third-party device trigger, but you can’t have the camera trigger a third-party device.
The Kasa mobile app (for Android and iOS) is the same app used by other Kasa devices including the Kasa Cam Outdoor KC200, the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug KP400, and the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Lite HS-103. The KC400 appears on the Devices screen under Cameras. Tap the camera name to open a screen with a live stream and a microphone for initiating two-way audio. To view the stream in full-screen mode, turn your phone sideways.
Below the live stream are thumbnails for video clips that have been captured and stored in the cloud. If you don’t have a subscription this field will remain empty. If you’re using a microSD card, tap the 24/7 Recording icon to view a timeline of recorded events. Tap any thumbnail to view the clip, but keep in mind that you need a subscription to download and share any captured video from within the app. Next to the 24/7 Recording icon is a Schedule icon that takes you to a screen where you can create on and off schedules.
The gear icon in the upper right corner takes you to a Settings screen. Here you can turn the camera on and off, edit the name, configure motion and sound settings, create motion activity zones, enable notifications, and adjust video quality settings. To have the camera trigger or respond to other Kasa devices such as smart plugs, light bulbs, and other cameras, tap the Smart Actions icon at the bottom of the Devices screen. Also at the bottom of the screen is a Scenes icon. Tap it to create scenes that allow you to control multiple Kasa devices at the same time.
Installing the KC400 is easy. To start, download the Kasa mobile app, create an account, and launch the app. Tap the plus icon in the upper right corner of the Devices screen, select Cameras from the list, then select Kasa Spot and follow the instructions to plug in the camera. Once you verify that the LED is blinking amber and green, go to your phone’s Wi-Fi settings and connect your phone to the camera. Return to the app, select your home Wi-Fi SSID, and enter your Wi-Fi password. After a few seconds, the camera will be added to your Kasa device list and to your Alexa device list. Give the camera name and enable notifications to complete the installation.
The KC400 performed well in testing. Its daytime 2K video provided excellent image detail and vibrant colors, and black-and-white night video was sharp, well lit, and showed good contrast. I saw no obvious signs of pincushion or barrel distortion.
Person detection worked as intended, identifying motion caused by actual people rather than a pet or a passing car, and motion and sound push alerts arrived instantly. I created a Smart Action to have a specific outlet on a Kasa HS300 Power Strip turn on when the camera detected motion and it worked every time without issue. Additionally, I had no trouble using Alexa voice commands to view live video on an Amazon Echo Show.
The Kasa Spot 24/7 Recording (KC400) is proof that you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a 2K Wi-Fi security camera. It delivered sharp video in our tests, sound and motion detection worked well, and push alerts arrived without issue. It also worked admirably with other Kasa devices as well as with voice commands, making it a good buy if you own other Kasa products. If greater third-party support including Apple HomeKit is a must, check out our Editors’ Choice for affordable indoor security cameras, the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt, which also gets you mechanical pan and tilt with motion tracking for about $5 more. For the most affordable indoor/outdoor model, meanwhile, the Wyze Cam V3, another Editors’ Choice winner, offers more features and functionality than you'll find in any other sub-$40 security camera.
The Kasa Spot 24/7 Recording (KC400) is an affordable indoor security camera that delivers sharp 2K video and offers local and cloud storage options, support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and person detection.
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