TP-Link Tapo C120: Ultimate Wi-Fi Camera for Indoor and Outdoor Home Security

Don’t let its $39.99 price and diminutive size fool you, the TP-Link Tapo Indoor/Outdoor Home Security Wi-Fi Camera C120 is a full-featured security camera that offers 2K video, color night vision, intelligent alerts, and built-in spotlights. It will store recorded video locally or in the cloud and it supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control. The puck-shaped C120 measures 2.6 inches wide by 1.3 inches deep and sports a white finish with a glossy black camera face. It sits atop a round magnetic base with a 1-inch mounting arm that gives the camera 360 degrees of tilt and swivel maneuverability. The C120’s IP66 weatherproof rating means you can use it indoors or outdoors. The 4MP camera captures 2K video (2,560 by 1,440 pixels) at 20fps with a 120-degree vertical field of view. It uses a Starlight sensor and the same ColorPro Night Vision technology as the excellent Tapo C325WB ColorPro Outdoor to capture color video at night if there’s enough ambient light. An embedded 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio connects the C120 to your home network, allowing you to control the camera from your phone and pair it with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant so you can use voice commands to view its video stream on an Amazon Echo Show or a Google Nest Hub smart display. You can also use Alexa or Google Assistant routines to have the camera interact with other third-party smart home devices. The camera records video when it detects motion and offers free intelligent alerts that differentiate between people, pets, vehicles, and other motion events. It can store video locally on a microSD card (up to 512GB) but you have to supply your own media. If you’d rather have the camera store video in the cloud, you need to subscribe to a Tapo Care plan (starting at $3.49 per month or $34.99 per year, after a free 30-day trial). The C120 uses the same mobile app as other Tapo devices, but it has received a facelift from the last time we tested it, offering newly designed Home, Activity, and Status screens while also gaining support for TP-Link Kasa smart devices. Tap the camera’s panel to open a live stream that you can view in full-screen landscape mode by turning your phone sideways. A gear icon in the upper right corner of the video panel screen takes you to the Settings menu where you can configure motion and sound detection options. Installing the C120 couldn’t be easier. I tapped the plus icon in the upper right corner of the Home screen, tapped Add Device, and selected Outdoor cameras from the list. I then selected the Tapo C120, powered up the camera, and verified that the LED was blinking red and green. The camera connected within seconds, then I gave it a name and selected its location. To finish the setup I unplugged the camera and attached it to a deck post in my backyard using the included hardware. The C120 performed admirably in testing. Daytime video provided rich colors and sharp detail with no noticeable distortion. Black-and-white night video was also sharp and showed good illumination and strong contrast. Like the Tapo C325WB ColorPro Outdoor, the C120 provided good color night video. Motion alerts arrived instantly and were correctly identified, and two-way audio was clean and adequately loud. I created an Alexa routine to have a Wyze Bulb turn on when the camera detected a person and it worked flawlessly. Additionally, the camera instantly responded to Alexa voice commands to stream video to an Echo Show. If you’re in the market for a feature-rich security camera for indoor or outdoor use but don’t want to spend a bundle, the TP-Link Tapo Indoor/Outdoor Home Security Wi-Fi Camera C120 deserves a spot on your shortlist. The C120 delivers sharp 2K video with strong color night vision, smart motion and sound alerts, local and cloud video storage, built-in spotlights, and voice control support.