TP-Link’s Tapo brand has some affordable and reliable smart home products. Once you have set up your Tapo camera, you will enjoy many features. However, occasionally, you can experience an offline camera problem. So, why is your Tapo camera offline?
The Tapo app displays the offline status when it can’t get through to your cameras. This happens when the camera loses network connection, or the power supply is interrupted.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the troubleshooting steps to get your Tap camera back online.
Why Is My Tapo Camera Offline
Tapo cameras fall offline when they can’t sync to the server successfully. This occurs due to a network connection loss or power disruption. Also, running VPN on your mobile device can render the cameras inaccessible, thus, causing the offline error. Power cycle the camera and your network router to refresh the connection and get the camera back online.
If the Tapo app is displaying your camera as offline, it could be attributed to factors like;
- Loss of power connection (power outage)
- Poor Wi-Fi network signal or network disconnection
- Changes in your Wi-Fi network settings – you should update the same on your device
- An overcrowded network, thus, lowering your router bandwidth
- Outdated app or device firmware
- Server outages
In the case of a power outage disconnection, a restart should get you going once the camera connects to your Wi-Fi network.
Therefore, before trying a detailed troubleshooting guide, power cycle your camera and check if it connects.
How To Get Your Tapo Camera Back Online
Restart the camera and ensure it is connected to a working power outlet to get your camera back online. Once the device reboots, give it a moment to initialize and connect to your home network. Refresh the Tapo app and check whether the device is back online.
Observe the camera indicator light to ascertain the connection stage. Tapo cameras use flashing and solid lights to indicate the initialization stage.
If the issue keeps happening, turn on the diagnostic option and check the camera log file to identify the cause.
Follow these troubleshooting tips to get your camera back online;
Check If the Devices Is Powered
Ensure the device is connected to a working outlet and the LED indicator light shows it’s connected. Observe the camera power LED light to ascertain it’s powered.
Some or all of your devices can run offline after a power outage. A quick reboot should get your device back online.
However, to avoid bombarding your router with IP address requests (if you have many devices on your setup), restart the router first, followed by a device or a couple at a time.
To reboot, unplug the device from the outlet, wait a minute for it to discharge, and reconnect it to a working outlet.
This is handy when dealing with the “Tapo camera offline after a power outage” problem.
After restarting your devices, give them about two minutes to initialize and connect to your home network. Refresh the Tapo app and check whether your camera is back online.
Test Your Wi-Fi Network
A drop or lost network connection is another prevalent cause of the device offline problem. Some devices require a reboot to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network after a prolonged disconnection.
So, does your router broadcast an active Wi-Fi network, or are you disconnected?
Test your network by connecting a phone or tablet and trying to surf the internet. If you are disconnected or the network signal is poor, contact your ISP to fix it first.
Smart cameras require a strong and stable internet connection to sync to the servers effectively. A robust home internet is the first requirement for running a successful smart home.
Use the Tapo app to check the signal strength the camera is receiving. Tapo indicates a Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) value on connected devices to identify weak signals quickly.
Here is how to find the RSSI value for your Tapo camera;
- Open the Tapo app
- Tap the settings gear on the top left
- Camera settings
- Choose the device (Tap the device name)
- Tap the Wi-Fi icon to see your RSSI value
If the RSSI value is -50 dBm, the signal is Strong; for -50 dBm to -70 dBm, the signal is average and acceptable; less than -70 dBm denotes a poor signal.
Again, if you make changes to your network settings, such as Wi-Fi password, security type, etc., you must update the same on your connected devices. Remove the camera from the Tapo app, reset it, and reconnect.
Tapo also recommends turning off advanced router settings like channel optimization, Band steering (Smart Connect or Whole-Home Wi-Fi), or Wi-Fi optimizing.
Remember that Tapo cameras are only compatible with a 2.4 GHz network.
If your router broadcasts 2.4 and 5 GHz bands on a single SSID, you must separate them into two different networks. This helps you avoid conflicts and only connect the devices to the compatible frequency.
Generally, power cycling the router and the device works magic when dealing with drop-in network offline issues.
To power cycle, unplug the router from the outlets, give it 20 – 30 seconds, and reconnect it. Once it’s up and running, apply the same procedure to restart the smart device.
If you made changes to your network, here is how to connect your Tapo camera to a new Wi-Fi network.
Move The Device Closer to the Router
The 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal weakens the further you move from the router and as the number of obstacles increases. With that in mind, the chances of a poor signal are high if the camera is located at the furthest end.
If you get an RSSI value of less than -70 dBm, move the camera closer to your router for a stronger signal.
Alternatively, upgrade your network to a mesh network topology setup or replace your old router with a newer model.
Check for App and Firmware updates
Running on an outdated app or device firmware, there is the likelihood of your device experiencing functional problems. App updates address software bugs and fix production-level operational issues.
Therefore, you should endeavor to update your smart device’s app and firmware update from time to time.
Check for the Tapo app update on your respective app store and install it if one is due.
To upgrade your Tapo camera firmware, load up the Live View page > Tap the settings gear > Hit the Camera model > Select the Firmware Version > Check for updates or update the firmware.
Alternatively, check the Tapo device’s firmware updates from the “Me” page. Tap the Firmware Update option to check for available updates for your connected devices.
Reset The Camera and Reconnect
Resetting restores the device’s factory settings and wipes the device clean. It helps clear out bugs or conflicting config files affecting its connectivity. You start the connection on a clean slate.
First, remove the camera from the app. Open the Tapo app > select the device > tap the top right settings button to enter the device editing page > Remove the device and confirm your option.
To reset a Tapo smart camera, press and hold the reset button for 5 seconds on a powered camera. The camera’s LED blinks red when resetting.
Once the LED indicator blinks red and green, it’s ready to set up as it’s in pairing mode.
Reconnect the camera on the Tapo app as if you were setting it app.
Open the Tapo app > Tap on the “+” icon to add a device > Select the device category > connect to the camera hotspot > add your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection > Finish up by following the in-app prompts.
TP- Link’s servers are cloud based and may experience downtime from time to time. Cloud servers are decentralized and the availability is location based. When servers are down on your select region, your Tapo devices are bound to run offline.
Try switching to a different location or give it some time for the engineers to resolve the matter.
Check the server availability or recorded incidents on this the TP-Link’s status webpage
Contact Tapo Support
If the offline issue persists for your Tapo devices, contacting Tapo customer support is a valid option for a technical guide on how to solve the matter.
Sharing your camera log file with the support teams helps them interpret the cause and give the appropriate guidelines to help you fix the problem.
Here is how to enable diagnostic mode and get your Tapo camera log file.