Does the Tapo bridge phone home?

Hi all!

I just installed and configured OpenHAB and I am loving it!
I have some Tapo devices, so after the first setup through the Tapo mobile app, I installed the TapoControl Bindings, and configured the Cloud-Login bridge to connect a couple of P105 SmartPlugs.

Then, in my router settings, I blocked the plugs from accessing the internet, so that only OpenHab on my LAN can see them, and they can’t phone home.

After some experiments i noticed a few things. Even if the OpenHab server has no access to the internet (but LAN access of course) it still can:

  • Control the plugs, so internet access is not needed to control them;
  • Add a new plug, so internet access is not needed to add a new plug.

Still, I needed to login with my TP-Link account when I added the Cloud-Login bridge. Why? I added manually the plugs’s IP addresses, what information did the bridge need to retrieve in order to connect to the plugs? Why is the Cloud-Login needed at all? I’m not saying it’s useless, I’m sure there is a reason if I need to install it. I just want to understand.

Does it need to retrieve some account information that were added during first setup through the Tapo app in order to make them work? Maybe to decrypt something?

Anyway my most important question is: After the first setup and login, does the Cloud-Login bridge in openHAB communicate in any way with the Tapo cloud? In particular, does it send information to the cloud when turning on/off the plugs? My guess is no, since it seems to operate only on LAN, in fact it works perfectly even without internet access at all, but I would like an answer from someone more knowledgeble than me.

I could try to monitor the server network calls and check it out for myself in the worst case.

Thank you.

The communication with the Tapo devices is encrypted. For this the encryption key is obtained via the cloud login. After that the communication with the devices is done locally and no communication with the cloud is needed. I don’t know the binding well enough if the encryption information survives a openHAB restart. It might be after restart it initially requires cloud access. Also some devices don’t give all information when no access to not (see Tapo binding documentation)