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Thursday, August 11, 2016

TP-LINK TL-NC230 HD Wireless Surveillance Home Security Camera Motion Detection & Alerts (Black/White)

This review started very positively.  The camera connected quickly to my network and I was able to easily install the software from GooglePlay.   The picture resolution is excellent as is the sound quality.   I wanted to install some of the features like motion detection.  I downloaded the manual and that is when the fun began.

The manual tells you to put in the camera ip address and proceed from there.  If you put in the ip address it brings up a screen and it informed me that TP-Link doesn't work with the Chrome browser and it suggested IE, Firefox or Opera if I wanted to get to the advanced features.   I tried them all.   IE doesn't exisit in Windows 10.  Edge says it doesn't support plugins.   Firefox would not see the plugin.  Opera said it didn't support it.  

There was a card in the packaging suggesting if support was needed to go to support.amazon@tp-link.com which led nowhere.  Their toll free support number is active Monday-Friday and this is a Saturday.  So bottom line, the advanced features are impossible to get to work as you can't get to them.   If you want a nice camera to log in and see if anyone is breaking in, this works as long as yo don't need motion detection and don't want notification.  In other words, it is totally hit or miss as you would have to long on at precisely the time the burglar is breaking into the home.  

This looked potentially good but without access to advanced features it is basically adequate.  Oh, I'm not sure what the black and white in parenthesis indicates unless it is the physical color of the camera as the video image is in color.

I gave up in frustration to get to the camera set up because it would not work with my browsers, Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Edge.   A kind soul here told me how to get to IE and, viola, I was able to get into the camera setup on the TP-Link site.   I was able to set up sound and motion detection and set up email notification.  I tested it and it worked fine.   The shortcomings I see are that there is no easy way to turn it off or on.   I can leave IE open and turn it off and on but otherwise I don't see any way to easily disable it.  If you can't disable it when you are in front of the camera, you will get camera alert emails every few minutes.   An icon for the phone and or computer to easily turn the camera off and on would be helpful.  It also would be helpful to be able to text alerts rather than email.  Finally the system does not allow the deletion of the admin admin standard login to the setup software.  That seems to me a major flaw.   Anyone who can get the ip address of the camera and figure out they need to use an old browser can then log in and make changes or view the camera.

So in spite of the fact that I was finally able to get into the software, I am still not thrilled with the camera.   I think there are some bugs to work out to make it both easier to use and more secure.

from the vendor: 
·                           720p HD Imaging - HD resolution provides sharper, clearer images
·                           Night Vision - Automatic night vision functionality supports 24-hour surveillance
·                           H.264 Compression - Ensure smooth HD video streaming while consuming less bandwidth
·                           tpCamera App - Use the tpCamera app to access feeds from anywhere, at any time
·                           Motion & Sound Detection - Immediate email notifications whenever motion or sound is detected

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

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