Blink has an incredible lineup of smart home security cameras that are perfect to keep an eye out around your home. But the obvious question for the average user is if it requires a Sync Module to work.
Think of the Sync Module as the middleman between the Blink Camera and the network. It also comes with a fair few features. But is it absolutely necessary to use one? Let's find out:
Yes, you can use some Blink Cameras without a Sync Module. The Blink Video Doorbell, Mini, and Floodlight Camera can all work independently, without a Sync Module. Although, using a Sync Module does come with its own perks, recording and storing events to local storage being one of them.
With that said, let's now discuss in detail how to use a Blink Camera without a Sync module.
Blink Cameras that Can be Used Without Sync Module
Here, we will see which Blink devices require a Sync module and which devices can work independently of the Sync Module.
|Blink Device||Is Sync Module Necessary?|
|Wired Floodlight Camera||No|
The Blink Video Doorbell, Wired Floodlight Camera, Blink Mini Pan Tilt, and Blink Mini do not necessarily require a Sync module to operate.
However, you can add it to your ecosystem using the Sync Module if you wish to do so.
When connected to a Sync Module, the battery life improves significantly, and advanced features are available for the device.
For example, when the Blink Video Doorbell is connected via a Sync Module, the user can access features like live view and two-way audio on demand.
Not to mention, with a Sync module, you can pair and record multiple Blink Cameras at once.
For the Blink Mini, connecting to a Sync Module allows for shared scheduling.
With Blink Outdoor, Indoor, and XT/XT2 Camera, a Sync Module is an essential element in how they work.
Can I Use Blink Outdoor Cam Without Sync Module?
The short answer is No, you cannot use the Blink Outdoor camera without a Sync Module.
The Blink Outdoor camera does not come with an in-built internet connection module. As a result, it requires the Sync Module to connect to the internet.
Depending on the Sync Module you own, the process is different. If you own the original Sync Module, the events recorded are stored directly in the cloud storage depending on your subscription plan.
For those who do not want subscriptions, Sync Module 2 is the best option as it supports local storage options. This method of storage does not require any subscriptions from Blink.
The Sync Module 2 is priced at $35 and it can help you set up your Blink Ecosystem if you have multiple Blink devices.
Insert a configured USB drive into Sync Module 2. If the drive is not recognized, the Blink app should prompt you to add it.
Once configured, the clips from the camera should be directly added to the USB drive as they are finished recording, making this a great way to use Blink Cameras without WiFi.
These can be accessed from the Blink app which makes their management really easy.
The single major limitation is that you cannot record live video feeds as you are watching them. This requires a subscription plan - either the Basic or the Plus plan.
The Sync Module enhances the performance of the Blink Outdoor camera. In addition to the capability of connecting to the internet, the Sync Module helps conserve battery life and utilize local storage if you do not want to subscribe to cloud storage.
How to Pair Blink Camera to Blink App
Before you can proceed to set up your Blink camera, you need to have an account on the Blink Home Monitor app. This app requires you to enter your Country, Region, Email address, and password for your account.
Once the following information is provided, a verification code is sent to your email address which needs to be validated.
The steps to set up your Blink app are given below:
1. Download the Blink Home Monitor App. You can scan the QR code on the first page of the instruction manual of your Blink device to get directed to the download page of the app or simply search for it on Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
2. Now, open the app and tap on Create Account.
3. Next, provide the country of residence and region. Tap on Next and OK to navigate to the next page.
4. Enter your email address and create a password for your account. The Blink server will send a verification code to this email id which needs to be validated. So make sure you use an active email address.
5. Enter the verification code. If you cannot find it, make sure you check the spam section. Tap on Verify.
6. Now, enter your phone number, and like before a verification code is sent to your phone number as a text message. Provide the code received via text and tap on Verify.
7. On the following page, you get to decide if you would like to link your Blink account to your Amazon account or not. If you choose not to, you can tap on Skip located in the top-right corner. If you choose to link your Amazon account, the following page will ask you to enter your Amazon username and password.
If your Blink system comprises a Sync Module, now is the time to set it up. The Sync Module connects your Blink devices and brings them under the same hub.
As mentioned before, a Sync Module is a necessity if you have a Blink Outdoor Camera or a Blink Indoor Camera or if you would like to connect multiple Blink devices to create a Blink ecosystem.
Now, it is time to set up your Blink cameras to the Blink app. To do the same, follow the steps given below:
1. Insert the supplied batteries into the Cam and power it ON. (Take caution if you plan on using rechargeable batteries on your Blink Cam)
2. Open the Blink Home Monitor App and tap on the plus sign. The plus icon is located in the top right corner of the home page.
3. Choose the Blink camera model in the Blink App that you would like to set up.
4. The next page will request you to scan the QR code on your Blink device. The QR code is most likely located inside the battery compartment. If you have set up a Sync Module, you can add the device to your Blink network there.
5. Wait for the process to complete and tap on Next. You will see this appear in the top right corner of your screen once the process is complete.
6. Tap on Done to finish setting up your Blink Camera.
If you happen to have a pre-owned Blink Cam that is linked to another account, ensure it is unlinked from the previous account before adding it to your account.
Can I Use Blink Camera Without Blink Subscription
Yes, you will be able to use Blink cameras without an active Blink subscription. However, the features and storage options that are available to you will be limited.
Motion alerts, access to live footage, and talk-back come standard with Blink devices without a subscription.
You might be enrolled in a free trial upon purchase of the device once the free trial ends, no new recordings will be saved to the cloud and your existing cloud recordings will be deleted based on your settings in the Blink app.
The free trial period lasts for 30 days with the purchase of a Blink Mini, Blink Outdoor, or Blink Indoor camera. The local video storage option is the most affordable and convenient option.
Once the trial period is over, the subscription is canceled and can be renewed at any point you like.
If you cancel your subscription before the end date of your plan, the amount equal to the unused portion of the subscription is refunded.
The clips during this period stay viewable in the Blink app till they are manually deleted or when the clip reaches its auto-deletion time of 60 days (in the US) or 30 days (in the UK/EU).
The features that are available for free when compared with brands like Ring, Arlo and Google Nest lack the bang for the buck. Here are the features that are available for free without a subscription or plan:
- View live video: This feature enables you to watch up to five minutes of live video at a time. However, there is no way to save the video clips unless you use Blink's local storage option or a subscription.
- Two-way audio: This feature lets you speak to visitors through the Blink Monitor app like a Walkie-Talkie.
- Motion notifications: This feature sends a notification to you every time a motion is detected. Stay on top of what is happening in and around your home.
- Alexa compatibility: Your Blink devices are compatible with the virtual assistant Alexa.
Blink Subscription Plans Compared
Let's now take a look at the two distinct subscription plans Blink offers and how they differ:
|No. of devices supported||1||Unlimited|
|60-day video history||Yes||Yes|
|10% discount on Blink products||No||Yes|
|Warranty coverage||1 year||As long as the subscription is active|
The basic Blink plan is available for $3 per month. This plan includes active video recording to the cloud for one device and is pretty sufficient if you have only one Blink device.
You will be able to get motion-activated video recordings for one camera. These clips last up to 30 seconds on Blink Mini and 60 seconds on other models.
These clips are stored on the cloud before being automatically deleted after 60 days.
Live view recording comes with the basic plan. This allows you to record while you watch the live-view feed.
In addition to these features, Photo Capture takes a photo every hour (if armed) and creates a short compilation clip of these snaps every day.
Blink Mini offers Live view for up to 90 minutes while the other Blink devices retain a five-minute limit to optimize battery life.
However, in comparison to direct competitors to Blink, like Nest, the latest Nest Video Doorbell offers free cloud storage.
The Blink Plus plan is available for $10 per month and offers all features of the Basic plan with the only exception being that you can have unlimited devices.
You can also view and control Blink Cameras from different devices, even from a PC, as long as you're logged into the same parent account.
They also offer a discount of 10% for future purchases of Blink devices and an extended warranty. Both plans offer 60 days of cloud storage during which you can download or share clips
Blink local storage does not require any subscription as long as you have a Blink Sync Module 2 and a compatible USB device plugged in. This device comes for a price of $35 which is the same price as a Blink Mini.
How to Record Clips to Local Storage
If you wish to store clips locally and not in the cloud, then there are some prerequisites. The first is a Sync Module 2 and the second is a USB device that is compatible with the Sync Module 2.
Setting up Blink local storage
To set up local storage for your Blink device, follow the steps below:
- Set up your Sync Module 2 and your Blink Camera.
- Enable local storage by connecting a USB flash drive. The Sync Module 2 supports up to 256 GB.
- Once connected, the Blink app may ask you to format the drive before it can store clips or images.
- After formatting is complete, the USB drive is ready to store your videos.
If you already have a Blink subscription, setting up local storage is unnecessary unless you do not want your clips to be saved on the Blink servers.
Once the local storage (USB drive) fills up, older videos are automatically deleted to make space for new ones. You can view your recordings using a Blink app or by connecting the flash drive to your computer.
Why Connect Blink Cameras to a Sync Module
Here we explore the advantages of using a Sync Module in contrast to a system without one.
Adds to battery life
Blink Cameras are designed to operate standalone, on its own power source.
However, if you want your device to clock more than two years of battery life, you can purchase a Sync Module.
The Sync Module provides longevity to the device by sharing the operational load that taxes the batteries.
This optimization is a result of the Sync module scheduling the arming of your camera in a smart way enhancing battery utilization.
Sync Module Adds to the Camera’s Internet Connectivity
Blink cameras like Blink Outdoor and Indoor do not have an in-built module that connects the device to the internet. As a result, these devices in particular require a Sync module to share the camera feed.
The Sync Module acts as the bridge between the camera and the network, enabling your device to connect to the internet and transmit data.
Additionally, utilizing a Blink Module manages the network requirements for multiple Blink devices that you may own and reduces the lag time while transmitting photos or videos.
This is done by relaying commands from the Blink servers to the devices with which it is paired. This enables the cameras to send data (images, videos, or notifications) to your smartphone.
Maintains a Stable Wi-Fi Connection
All Blink security cameras require a 2.4 GHz Wifi connection to operate and communicate with the internet. Failing to do so can lead to issues like Blink network request failed or Blink command failed to complete.
If your device is blocked by walls or interference by other appliances, the network connection could become choppy compromising user experience.
Instead of all blink cameras communicating with the Wi-Fi router, the devices can now communicate with the Sync module placed in an effective way enhancing communication between devices.
In addition, Blink cameras require a Wi-Fi upload speed of at least 2 Mbps. If you want to store your clips on the cloud, you will have to subscribe to a Blink plan.
The Sync Module is capable of communication of up to 100 feet away in every direction granted that there are no factors affecting the device's range.
This range is affected by the module's placement. Ideally, it should be kept at equal distances from each camera with the least interference or obstructions.
Record and Store Clips Locally
With the newer Sync Module 2, you even get to record and store clips locally to a USB drive.
And the Sync Module 2 supports USB drives with up to 256 GB in space, that's a lot!
All you need to do is to ensure that the Drive is formatted in FAT32 or exFAT.
And yes, both video and audio from Blink Cam feed get recorded to the local storage.
In essence, the Sync Module is an absolute necessity for a majority of Blink Cams. The Blink Video Doorbell, the Mini, and the Floodlight Cams can work independently, without a Sync Module.
However, if you have multiple Blink devices, then you require a Sync Module to operate them in harmony in the best possible way in terms of effectiveness and battery life.
The obvious added benefit to having Sync Module 2 is the local storage option. The ability to access the feeds of the camera without having to subscribe to a plan is game-changing.
Hopefully, the information in this article has helped you understand the operation of the Sync module.
Have a great day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What does sync module offline mean?
Sync Module offline signifies that your Sync Module or Mini camera is not connected to the Blink servers. This could be a result of your device dropping from your Wi-Fi network or your system running out of power. Ensure your Wi-Fi network is operational and your Sync Module is powered on. Both the green and blue LEDs should be illuminated if your Sync Module is turned on.
Where is the reset button on the Blink Sync module?
The reset button on the Blink Sync Module is located near the USB port. Once pressed in and held for 3 seconds, the blinking light should stop and the device will start the factory reset process.
Will Blink cameras work internationally?
Blink devices will work worldwide except for users in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria due to Embargo laws enforced by the United States.
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