To sum up this TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) review: if you want one of the best cheap security cameras for inside your home, then this is a great choice because it can spin and tilt so you’ll be able to see everything you need to in the room using just one camera.
While the TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) is not the very best security camera you can buy, it is very convincing given how affordable it is. You won’t just get basic functionality either. It can record HD clips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even in the dark thanks to the Night Vision, it'll then store the footage locally for free.
The camera is managed through the easy-to-use Kasa app which is a one-stop-shop for all of your Kasa smart home tech. You won't need separate apps to control the lights, the camera and your Kasa smart plugs. It can also be used alongside your Amazon Alexa smart speakers and displays.
TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) review: price and features
You can buy the TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) for $60 in the US, £44 in the UK and around AU$100 in Australia. Take a look at the widgets on this page to see more recent pricing from retailers across the web.
TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) review: design and setup
The TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) is a small white camera with a flat base and a ball-shaped head that allows it to move around. The camera module itself is black with a small LED light to show when it is connected to Wi-Fi and when it isn’t. Best suited to wider living spaces, the camera can pan 360° horizontally and 113° vertically.
In the box, you get a 3m USB cable to power it, as well as an adaptor to plug it into the wall. You’ll also find everything you need to mount it including a plate and screws. Measuring 82 x 82 x 112.6 mm, the TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) isn’t as small as other indoor security cameras, but it is still relatively discreet.
Setting up the TP-Link Kasa is really easy, you just need to plug it in and download the TP-Link Kasa app. You’ll need to create an account or log in to an existing one. Then it’s just a case of tapping the + symbol in the app and selecting the camera option.
If you plan to mount it on the ceiling, the app will take you through how to step by step but remember you'll need to run a wire up to it. If you’re just going to place it on a shelf then you can skip straight through that step.
Should you wish to record footage 24/7 you’ll have to insert a MicroSD card to store it locally. To put it in, there’s a slot hidden on the bottom of the camera, you push the lens upwards to reveal it.
Once set up is complete, the app will show you the ropes explaining how to use the TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115). Without including the time it takes to mount the camera, the setup process took less than 5 minutes.
TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) review: app and performance
The great thing about the app is that if you already own Kasa smart home tech then they are all grouped together here, you won’t need an app for this and another one for your lights for instance. You can see each of your devices sorted into rooms.
To see the live view from the camera, you just tap the corresponding icon from the top menu bar in the app. You don’t need to be connected to your home Wi-Fi to see this, you’ll be able to access it from anywhere. You can stream the live view from the camera to your Alexa or Google Assistant smart display as well as to your phone.
To manage the camera you just tap the box with the live view. On the next page, you can adjust the camera position by moving the ball on the screen up, down, left and right. It’s quite responsive, although there is a slight delay between you moving it on your phone and the camera moving.
You can set four viewpoints to save time on moving the camera yourself. Viewpoints are specific areas of the room that you want the camera to point towards. For instance, you could set the back door as one viewpoint and your kitchen area as another. Those will then be displayed along the top of the live view, so you can quickly switch between them. You’ll even be able to set the camera to ‘patrol’ them at set intervals where the camera will move between each viewpoint every few minutes. You can also schedule the Patrol Mode, like if you wanted it to be active while you’re at work in the day but not when you’re back home in the evening.
Every time the TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) detects movement, you’ll get a notification on your phone, tapping it will take you straight to the action.
The camera is able to track the source of movement, following it and keeping it in the frame. So if you were to have a security breach, you’ll be more likely to catch a face or to see where they go and what they do.
Some areas of the room are bound to see quite a lot of movement throughout the day, in which case, you can set activity zones where the camera will only notify you if movement happens within the set area and not elsewhere in the shot. For example, in a living room, you could choose to receive a notification if movement happens by the window but not around the sofa. It's a useful feature to have and it's one you'd expect from a much pricier piece of kit.
One thing you won't get here is people detection so the camera can be triggered by any type of movement, not just by a person, which means you will have to deal with the occasional false positive.
You can set the TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) to record video continuously. That means you’ll be able to go back and see footage from each time it detected any movement.
It won’t cost you a penny in subscription fees because the videos are stored locally on a MicroSD card, the files will be overwritten as the memory card gets filled up. You will have to bear in mind that if your home did get broken into and the camera was stolen then it won't be much help to have it stored on an SD card inside the device. So if you would rather pay to have the footage stored on a cloud, you can access up to 30 days of clips through Kasa Care which will set you back $3 / £2.99 / AU$5.99 a month per camera.
Each recorded clip is available on a timeline for each day which makes it really quick to find what you’re looking for. The camera will even start each recording slightly before the activity happened so you won’t miss a thing.
Admittedly, the app sometimes takes a while to load the camera's live view and the old recordings, something that could get frustrating if you need to look through a lot of clips at once.
Having two-way audio means you can speak through the camera, it has both a built-in microphone and a speaker. It’s very loud and clear on both ends. You’ll easily be able to hear what’s happening close to the camera, and when you press the microphone button in the app, those stood near it will be able to hear you as well. Perfect if you spot someone in your household doing something they shouldn’t be!
The camera shoots footage in 1080p HD resolution - it’s good enough quality to pick up details in faces, providing a bright clear image in the light. When the evening comes, the Night Vision can see up to 30ft ahead although it will be much harder to capture more intricate details because it'll be in black and white.
TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) review: verdict
The TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) is an affordable indoor security camera with plenty going for it. You’ll get decent quality footage, night vision and reliable motion detection, all of which is accessible through the simple Kasa app.
Granted the app doesn’t work perfectly, sometimes suffering from lag and long loading times, but considering how cheap the unit is, that’s something I would be able to get over.
Because this camera can move around, you’ll be able to capture every inch of the room it gets placed in. That’s why this will be best used in a more open room, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t work well in smaller spaces like your hallway.
What’s really great about the TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) is that it stores your clips for free locally, that’s not something all cameras offer and it means you’ll save money on the pricey subscription fees you would have to pay elsewhere.
TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC115) review: also consider
If you want to keep the cost as low as possible or you plan to buy a few cameras to have dotted around your house, then the Neos SmartCam could be the better option. It’s a bargain 1080p smart camera that is tiny and gives you all the essential features you need, including clear footage, night vision as well as secure cloud-based video storage.
If you’re looking for security cameras to put outside of your home, the Ring Stick Up Cam gives you an affordable wireless view of just about anywhere because it’s so easy to install. It produces good quality video during the day and at night although you will have to pay extra every month to store the footage in a secure cloud-based area online.
- Control your smart home using one of the best smart speakers