- Free cloud storage for motion clips.
- Battery powered and wireless.
- XT version has night vision and is weather proof.
- Motion detection zones.
- Amazon Alexa compatible.
- Can be connected to IFTTT.
This is a different type of review than we usually do here on CloudeeReviews because Blink Cameras have both a physical product and a cloud aspect. I was first drawn to Blink cameras last fall when it became obvious to me that I had to replace my existing outdoor security cameras on my house. Living in a cold climate it can be difficult to find products that work reliably when it drops below freezing and still be reasonably priced. I originally purchased one Blink XT camera to cover our front door to test over the winter. Since then I have purchased an additional two Blink XT cameras and a regular Blink indoor camera.
Blink XT cameras retail on Amazon.com for $129.99USD as of the writing of this review, however they tend to go on sale regularly. Currently they are selling for 38% off at $79.99USD for a one camera and a sync module. Once you have a sync module you might not need another one and you can just add more cameras to the existing sync module you have. Additional Blink XT cameras retail for $119.99USD and additional Blink Indoor cameras retail for $69.99USD, but again this often go onsale, so being patient can save you some money. Price wise the Blink cameras are roughly the same price as many other security cameras you can buy, but there are few security cameras like the Blink that are a completely wireless system.
The one thing I really like about the Blink cameras is that fact that they are a completely wireless system. The only wire that is needed is the power for the sync module, which you need to locate indoors, I have mine in my home office for example. The cameras themselves use 2 AA Lithium batteries and connect wirelessly to the sync module. Last I checked Blink actually recommends the Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Batteries and they do last an amazingly long time. Blink says the batteries can last up to two years based on 4,000 five-second events per year. I have not had any of my cameras for two years yet, but that camera I bought in the fall that watches my front door. It has been outside since October 2018, gone through weeks of -30 Celsius ( -22 Fahrenheit, yes it does get that cold here ) and the Blink app says the battery level is still OK. There were a couple times during the really cold snaps that the Blink app said the batteries needed replacing but once it warmed up a bit the app says the batteries are fine. The front door gets more traffic than the other locations so I expect to replace the batteries once a year.
With the purchase of a Blink Camera and Sync Module you get free cloud storage to hold the video clips the camera will take. The app allows you to delete clips if your storage gets low. It will also automatically delete older clips. Many other companies charge extra for the cloud storage, and often at a high markup so the addition of free cloud storage for clips is a great feature that I have appreciated.
One of the features that sold me on the Blink cameras is the ability to set activity zones for each camera. This limits the area the camera is motion detection is triggered. It certainly has cut down on the number of motion detections on my front door by people just walking past. It might seem like a little thing but it has made a large impact on the amount of motion detection events that would be false.
The Blink app does a decent job and lets me know when there are motion detection alarms and view the latest motion clips. You can adjust settings easily and arm and disarm the cameras easily no matter where you are as long as you have Internet access.
I have also looked into integrating the Blink cameras with IFTTT, but I have not yet taken that step since I have not yet found a need for it. It is also possible to use them with Amazon Alexa but since I do not have one I cannot test that integration.
The Not So Great
As much as I like my Blink cameras there are some things that bother me about them. First up is how much free cloud storage do you actually get. The app shows a percentage of how much storage you are using but I have not been able to find a number saying how many MB/GB you actually have. Along with that I have not been able to confirm where that storage is? Is it with Amazon AWS? Is it in North America? Is it encrypted? There are some questions. I only use the cameras either outside or the inside one when I am away so I am willing to accept some risk of where this data is going.
Like most other people I have my phone with me constantly, but it would be nice if there was a web based dashboard to monitor the cameras and adjust settings. Then I would not have to be reaching for my phone constantly to see what the trigger was on the front door.
I have a moderately sized house so I am able to get by with only one sync module and have all the cameras connect. The sync module does have a limited range and if you have a larger house, or depending on your where you place your module you might end up needing more than one sync module.
I am very pleased with my Blink cameras. The Blink XT cameras work well even in the winter and the ability to mount them anywhere is a real plus. They are a real advantage to help secure your house or apartment so you know what is happening while you are away.