Is There A Subscription Fee For Using TP-Link Tapo C100?

In this blog post, we will explore the details of whether the TP-Link Tapo C100 security camera requires a subscription fee for use. We’ll look at the subscription options available, what features are included without a subscription, and summarize the key points to help you understand if an ongoing fee is needed.

Key Takeaways: Is There A Subscription Fee For Using TP-Link Tapo C100?

  • The TP-Link Tapo C100 can be used without any subscription fee. It has basic functionality like live viewing, motion alerts, etc., and is included.
  • There is an optional “Tapo Care” subscription service that provides 30 days of video history in the cloud and extra features. This starts at $3.49 per month per camera.
  • You can record clips locally to a microSD card in the C100 camera without needing a subscription. So, core functions work without paying a monthly or annual fee.
  • The subscription is purely optional. While it adds nice-to-have capabilities, it is not required just to use the Tapo C100 security camera and app.

Related Post: TP-Link Tapo C100 Camera Review.

Do you need a subscription for the basic features of the TP-Link Tapo C100

Do you need a subscription for the basic features of the TP-Link Tapo C100?

The short answer is no – the Tapo C100 can be used without any subscription fee or ongoing cost. Once you purchase the camera, you can access the basic features like these without needing to pay a monthly or annual subscription:

  • Live view video streaming from the camera to your phone.
  • Motion detection alerts that notify you of activity.
  • Manual video recording to capture clips.
  • AI person detection to reduce false alerts.
  • Two-way audio communication through the camera’s mic and speaker.

So, all of the core functionality for viewing live footage, getting notifications, manually controlling the camera, and speaking through it works without needing a subscription.

The camera can operate as a standalone device – the features above work directly through the camera using your WiFi network without relying on a cloud service. So, no subscription or storage fees are necessary just to get up and running.

Local storage with microSD card

Another good point is that the Tapo C100 has a microSD card slot. This means you can save video clips and motion detection recordings locally to a memory card inserted in the camera instead of relying on the cloud.

Again, this works entirely for free without the need for an ongoing subscription. Just insert a supported microSD card (up to 256GB), and the camera can store recordings automatically when it detects motion or people.

You can then access those recordings in the Tapo app’s playback interface. So local, subscription-free storage options are available.

What extras do you get with a Tapo Care subscription

What extras do you get with a Tapo Care subscription?

Now that we’ve covered the basics – what exactly does the optional Tapo Care subscription service add? As mentioned initially, it’s not mandatory by any means, but you may find some of the upgrades useful.

Here’s an overview of what you get by paying for Tapo Care:

Cloud Video Storage

  • 30 days of video footage stored in the cloud
  • Access recordings remotely in the app
  • Backup in case the camera is damaged/stolen.

Enhanced Notifications

  • Rich alerts with snapshot attachments
  • Smarter motion detection.

Premium Features

  • Face recognition
  • 5MP enhanced resolution.

The main advantage of Tapo Care is that it enables cloud storage of the camera’s recordings. It keeps 30 days of video history for each subscribed camera in the cloud, allowing you to review and download footage from anywhere.

This can serve as a backup if your camera gets damaged or stolen, avoiding permanent loss of recordings. And it allows accessing the footage remotely through the app without physical access to the camera.

Some of the premium features like facial recognition and 5MP enhanced resolution streaming may appeal to some users as well.

But again – none of these extras are strictly required just to operate the camera and access its live feeds.

Tapo Care subscription plans and pricing

Tapo Care subscription plans and pricing

If you do decide the cloud storage and upgraded features are worthwhile, what does a subscription to Tapo Care actually cost?

There are a few options to suit different budgets and needs:

Monthly Subscription

  • $3.49 per month per camera
  • Bill each month
  • Cancel anytime.

Annual Subscription

  • $39.99 per year for 1 camera
  • $144.99 per year for up to 5 cameras
  • Single annual payment.

As shown above, you can either go month-to-month for $3.49 per camera or save a little by paying annually in advance. Volume discounts are in place for multiple cameras as well.

But the minimum entry price is $3.49 monthly. It’s a reasonable charge, considering you get 30 days of cloud video storage, but certainly not mandatory just for basic operation.

Final thoughts

To recap, the TP-Link Tapo C100 security camera does not require any subscription fee or ongoing payment just to operate its core functions like live streaming, motion alerts, two-way audio and local storage.

While the optional Tapo Care service enables nice upgrades like facial recognition and cloud storage, it is not necessary to pay a monthly or annual fee simply to use this camera’s basic features. Just a one-time purchase price.

So, in summary – no, you do not need a subscription! The Tapo C100 works as a standalone device out of the box. But premium capabilities are available for $3.49 and up per month per camera if you choose to subscribe.

I hope this detailed overview clarifies what to expect in terms of subscription requirements from the Tapo C100. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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Oladipo Lawson

Oladipo is an economics graduate with multifaceted interests. He's a seasoned tech writer and gamer and a passionate Arsenal F.C. fan. Beyond these, Dipo is a culinary adventurer, trend-setting stylist, data science hobbyist, and an energised traveller, embodying intellectual versatility and mastery of many fields.

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