TP-Link Tapo C320WS 2K security camera – big features, low price (review)

The TP-Link Tapo C320WS 2K packs a full feature set into a low, low $129 price and has a few surprises that may make it ideal for your needs.

Those surprises include a Starlight Colour Night Vision sensor, IP66 waterproof rating, connecting over cabled Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and up to 256GB of local micro-SD storage. There is also a premium 30-day subscription plan as well.

The only issue to be aware of is that it has no battery – it requires power, so while you can mount it indoors or outdoors, you must protect the plug pack from the weather.

The TP-Link Tapo range

The range includes Outdoor, Pan/tilt, and indoor security cameras. Most have microSD for local backup, two-way audio, siren privacy mode, and motion detection and notifications. They are all very well-priced with a 2-year warranty.

C320WS Outdoor
$129 but seen for $99
2560×1440@15fps, Starlight colour night vision, motion/sound/light detection, up to 256GB MicroSD, IP66, Ethernet or Wi-Fi
C310 Outdoor $99 but seen for $792430×1296@15fps, Advanced mono night vision, up to 128GB, otherwise above
C210 Pan/tilt $692430×1296@15fps, Advanced mono night vision, up to 128GB, otherwise above
C200 Pan/tilt $591920×1080@15fps otherwise as above
C110 Indoor $65 but seen for $552430×1296@15fps, Advanced mono night vision, up to 256GB, otherwise above
C100 Indoor $55 but seen for $491920×1080@15fps otherwise as above

Australian Review: TP-Link Tapo C320WS 2K security camera

WebsiteProduct Page and support page, and manual
FromCE retailers like Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, Officeworks and computer stores.
CompanyTP-Link (Est 1996) is a privately owned Chinese company. Products include high-speed cable modems, wireless and mobile routers, range extenders, switches, IP cameras, powerline adapters, switches, print servers, media converters, wireless adapters, power banks, USB Hubs and SMART home technology devices.
MoreCyberShack TP-Link news and reviews

‘We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.’We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.

You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First Impression – bat wings – Pass+

You can’t help but notice the two bat wings – these are the Wi-Fi antenna and are why this has great external signal strength. According to our signal tester, these work up to 30 metres from a router through exterior walls or 60 metres line-of-site. In fact, it worked where other Wi-Fi cameras could not connect.

It has a hatch under that is for the micro-SD card (screwed down) and a gimbal mount with female sockets for RJ-45 Ethernet and 9V//6A/5.4W power (3m cable). It is a shame these don’t support POE (Power over Ethernet).

Setup – Pass+

The Tapo App for Android or iOS is for all Tapo products, and it is reliable, easy to use and has an acceptable privacy policy.

The only minor issue is that it tries to get you to sign up for the premium Tapo Care storage package (it comes with a 30-day trial). Prices are

  • 1 camera $4.99 per month/$48.99 per year
  • 2 cameras $8.99/$87.99
  • 3 cameras $12.99/$129.99
  • 10 cameras $16.49/$164.99

It is your choice to pay a subscription – like almost every other security camera brand.

Mounting – Pass

It has a gimbal mount and screws to the wall. A relatively short cable comes from the camera supporting Ethernet and power. The Catch-22 is that the power brick is not waterproof, needs to be well protected, and within 3m of the camera – you cannot simply plug it into an exposed weatherproof power point.

If you don’t have power nearby, you will need to look at 100% wireless options with a battery. These can be a pain to access the battery to recharge if they are mounted over 1.8m from the ground. Solar panel devices are best for out-of-the-way mounting.

Image quality – Pass+

It is a 4MP f/1.61 Starlight colour vision day or night sensor and records in 2K (2560 x 1440), 1080p, and 720p at 15fps. It will also auto-select the best rate depending on Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections.

File sizes range from 256MB (720p) to 1GB (2K) per minute.

Images are sharp, and you can read lettering (such as number plates) to about 5m.

It also has mono IR vision via n 850nm IR LED to a claimed 30m (not tested). Day and Night image quality is very good.

In our tests, Ethernet easily sustained 2K. On Wi-Fi, 2K was possible to about 10m, 1080p to about 15m (from the router), then it dropped to 720p.


Motion detection settings include

  • A sensitivity slider
  • Activity zones
  • Person detection*
  • Line Crossing* – you set a boundary line in the camera’s field of view; if a person crosses that line in either direction, you get a notification.
  • Area Intrusion* – create activity zones in which the camera only looks for and detects people (rather than animals).
  • Custom privacy zones* (areas that the camera won’t record)

Requires Tapo Care subscription to access AI detection features.

We did not test Tapo Care features due to the subscription requirement.

Notifications – Pass (subscription adds more)

  • Live view via the App or from microSD – no subscription required.
  • Rich notifications with snapshots *  

Audio – Pass(able)

It has full-duplex audio (not half-duplex push to talk). The quality of this depends on Wi-Fi signal strength. If you access it remotely via a smartphone, the mobile data signal strength/speed/quality.

Every manufacturer claims great sound – do not believe it.

Best use

Because of the power issues, I would use this under well-protected eves, port cochere, in garages etc. It has antenna strength for a long haul to the router.

CyberShack’s view – TP-Link Tapo C320WS 2K security camera is too cheap

We probably would not have reviewed this if it were not for the $129 price (seen for $99). I mean (and with the greatest respect for Arlo), you would have to spend $369 to get the Arlo Pro 4, 2K wireless security camera; for most, this el-cheapo will do the job.

It offers terrific value, good reliability, great images, and it does everything you need apart from the power challenge. As it integrates with Google Home, you can mix and match cameras and brands.

Rating Explanation – TP-Link Tapo C320WS

Features: 80 – has everything you need and more but needs a subscription to get everything

Value: 95 – need we say more

Performance: 90 – and that is good compared to most other lower-cost Wi-Fi cameras

Ease of Use: 95 – Tapo App is easy to use and has a fool-proof setup

Design: 90 – Quirky bat wings but otherwise fine

The video is for the C210 – the same without the StarLight sensor

TP-Link Tapo C320WS 2K security camera

$129 but shop around

Features (no subscription)






Ease of Use





  • Low cost and high features
  • Excellent sharp 2K videos (subject to Wi-Fi strength)
  • Colour night vision with LED spotlights is pretty good
  • Voice Assistants (HomeKit and Matter to come)
  • MicroSD and paid Cloud storage


  • A few nice-to-have features require a subscription
  • The power brick is not waterproof (and it should be)
  • No POE (would have made it almsot perfect)