Bought a new Blink Camera? Wondering whether you need to get a subscription to go with your purchase? Well, we have got you covered!
The question of whether to get a subscription arises only when you look into the many benefits of getting a subscription.
And what if you don't get a subscription? Will you be able to enjoy all the many features on offer? Let's find out.
Yes, you can use your Blink device without a subscription, but the features that you have access to are limited. You do get to use standard features like motion detection, live view, and two-way audio. Although, you will need a subscription to avail of extra cloud storage, extended warranty, and many more.
How to Use Blink Cams without a Blink Subscription
As mentioned before, you do not need a Blink subscription to use the device.
The list of features that come standard with a Blink device is mentioned below:
- Live-View stream: Live stream of your Blink device can be viewed for a maximum of 5 minutes. However, you cannot save the video unless you use Blink's local storage option or a subscription. Blink Mini offers Live view for up to 90 minutes while the other Blink devices retain a five-minute limit to optimize battery life.
- Two-way audio: This feature allows for real-time communication with a visitor at the location of your Blink device like a Walkie-Talkie.
- Motion notifications: A notification is sent to your smartphone every time a motion is detected. However, the event is not recorded by the Blink system.
- Alexa compatibility: Your Blink devices are compatible with the virtual assistant Alexa without a subscription.
A serious limitation of using a Blink device without a subscription is the storage limitation.
To store clips without a subscription, you need to be either enrolled in a free subscription trial or have a Sync Module 2.
This is because, with the original Sync Module, there is no option for local storage. Storage comes only in the form of cloud storage that can be accessed through a Blink subscription.
So if you own the original Sync Module, then you have to get a Blink subscription. The basic plan comes for $3/month. More on this later.
If not, you can always get Sync Module 2, which is priced at $35, and get access to the local storage option. A compatible USB device is also needed to store clips.
How to Use the Live View Feature on Blink Cams
The live view feature on the Blink camera allows users to see the Blink camera's live feed and hear audio directly from the Blink app.
This information is sent over the air using the Wi-Fi network. For this to be possible, your network should at least be capable of transmitting 2 MB per second or faster.
Live view can fail to work if the internet connection is slow or external factors like interference is prominent. This can in turn induce numerous other issues like Blink command failing to complete and make the Sync Module go offline.
To access the live view, follow the instructions below:
1. Open the Blink app.
2. Tap the Live View icon located on the home screen for the Blink camera you would like to view.
3. You should be taken to the Live View feed.
4. You can also access the Live View by tapping on the motion alert notification that is sent to your smartphone.
You will get motion alert notifications on all devices, including a PC, with a linked Blink app account, however, you can only access the Live View feature on one device at a time.
The Extended Live View option is only available if you have a subscription (free or paid).
Extended Live View allows you to access the Live View feed for 90 minutes at a time without any intervention. The standard Live View session lasts for only 5 minutes.
With Alexa Routines, you can further enhance the period of live stream and keep Blink Cam from timing out on echo show devices.
You can close the Live View by tapping on Close located in the top left corner on iOS devices and '<' on Android devices.
On Alexa-enabled screen devices, the Continue button might not be visible on Live View. As a result, you will have to re-enter the Live View by pressing the Live View icon again.
To record Live View clips, you must have a Blink subscription plan or be under a free trial.
How to Set Up and Store Clips on Local Storage on Blink
You can set up local storage to record and store clips from your Blink device by using Sync Module 2 and a USB device that is compatible with Sync Module 2, without using a WiFi connection.
To set up local storage for your Blink device, follow the steps below:
1. Set up your Sync Module 2 and your Blink Camera.
2. Enable local storage by connecting a USB flash drive. The Sync Module 2 supports up to 256 GB.
3. Once connected, the Blink app may ask you to format the drive before it can store clips or images.
4. After formatting is complete, the USB drive is ready to store your videos.
If you have a Blink subscription, you can bypass setting up a local storage as your clips will be directly uploaded to a cloud storage.
However, if you do not want your clips saved to the Blink servers, you can store them locally using the setup described above.
Once the USB device is full, the older videos are automatically deleted to make space for new clips. These recordings can be viewed using the Blink app or by connecting the storage device to your computer.
The Legacy Blink cameras XT, XT2, and Indoor (1st Gen) cannot make use of Local Storage or Clip Backup with a Sync Module and USB flash drive.
However, these cameras receive 7200 seconds of cloud storage. As with the local storage, once the 7200-second limit is reached, older clips are removed to make space for new ones on the cloud.
What Comes with a Blink Subscription
In this section of the article, we explore what features come with the Blink subscription - Blink Basic vs Plus vs no subscription!
|Features||Blink Camera without Subscription||Blink Camera with Subscription|
|Motion detection video recording||Available with Sync Module 2 and USB||✅|
|Live view recording||❌||✅|
|60-day video history||❌||✅|
|Rapid video access (instantly watch your videos as soon as they’re recorded)||❌||✅|
|Extended warranty coverage||❌||✅|
|10% discount on Blink products||❌||✅|
The Blink basic plan is priced at $3 per month and this plan includes active video recording directly to the cloud for one device. If you own only one Blink device, this is the plan for you.
The basic plan also comes with motion-activated video recording for one camera.
The duration of this recording will be up to 30 seconds on the Blink Mini and 60 seconds on other Blink devices.
These clips are automatically stored on the cloud for a period of 60 days and deleted after this period.
In addition to these features, Live View recording enables you to record your Live-View seesions while watching the Live feed on your Blink app.
The basic plan also comes with the Photo Capture feature which takes a photo every hour (when armed) and creates a compilation clip of photos taken on that day.
The Blink Plus plan is offered at $10 per month and pretty much offers all features of the basic plan.
However, if you have multiple Blink devices, then you need to get the Blink Plus plan to make use of the Blink Ecosystem.
The Plus plan also offers a discount of 10% for all future Blink purchases and offers an extended warranty.
Both the Basic plan and the Plus plan offer 60 days of cloud storage during which you can download and share clips.
Clip backup is one of the primary benefits of the Blink subscription plans. The cloud-based clips can only be viewed through the Blink app.
Check out the Blink Subscription Free Trial
The free Blink subscription trial lasts for 30 days and is received automatically with the purchase of a Blink device.
During or after the free trial, you can choose to subscribe to any or all of your Blink devices with a Blink subscription plan through your Amazon account.
This subscription is basically a Blink Plus plan. So during this period, you get to experience the Blink Plus plan.
If you have attached the subscription to a Blink device or account, you will be charged once the 30-day trial period of the Blink subscription plan is over.
Additionally, the Blink subscription plan cannot be gifted to another Blink device owner as it needs to be linked to the Amazon account.
As mentioned above, you will have access to these standard features as a user without a Blink subscription. However, when it comes to storing clips, another layer of limitations comes into effect.
The clips recorded during this time of the free trial are stored in the cloud. When the trial is over, these recordings in the cloud are deleted based on your settings in the Blink app.
The free trial does not automatically enroll you into a subscription plan.
Once your 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.
Additionally, you will no longer have access to subscription features.
If your account was created on or before April 15th, 2020, you will continue to have access to 7200s (2 hours) of free cloud storage per Sync Module for all devices when your trial ends.
How to Get Blink Subscription
In this section of the article, we will explore how to purchase a Blink subscription for your Blink device.
Keep in mind that a basic plan will cover only one eligible device - Blink Wired Floodlight Camera, Video Doorbell, Blink Mini, Indoor or Outdoor 3rd Gen Camera.
The Plus plan provides benefits for an unlimited number of Blink devices on an account.
Follow the steps below to purchase and activate a Blink subscription that is suitable for you:
1. First, link your Amazon and Blink accounts.
2. Keep in mind that it is important that the chosen subscription plan is purchased using the same Amazon account that is linked to the Blink account.
3. Open the Blink app and navigate to Settings.
4. Tap on Account and Privacy.
5. Here, you should be able to see the option Link to Amazon Account.
6. In the window that opens, tap on Link Accounts.
7. Log in to your Amazon account by typing in the Username and Password in the provided space and tap on Sign in.
8. You might be prompted to log in once more and enter a captcha along with your credentials for security reasons.
9. You should now be getting a prompt telling you that you have successfully linked both your Amazon and Blink accounts. Tap on Done.
10. The next step is to purchase a subscription plan by navigating to amazon.com. You can either choose the Basic or Plus plan. Both monthly and yearly options are available.
11. Choose the Device you would like to attach the subscription to. This only applies to the Basic plan since the Plus plan covers all eligible devices on a Blink account.
12. Now select the Continue checkout button.
13. Complete the order for the Subscription.
14. Your device(s) are now covered with a Blink subscription plan. It should reflect in your Blink app as well.
15. Your Blink subscription is now activated.
In case you are still within the free trial period while you bought the subscription, the subscription will be activated only once the free trial ends.
Once you have purchased the subscription, you can manage the same anytime through the Amazon account under the section Memberships & Subscriptions.
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 Blink subscription plan allows for an unlimited number of events to be stored for a period of 60 days.
Keep in mind that the XT, XT2 and (1st Gen) Indoor devices can only be added to a Plus Plan subscription and not the Basic Blink plan.
The Blink subscription plans are only sold and managed via Amazon. Additionally, Amazon Store Cards and Amazon Secured cards cannot be used to purchase Blink subscriptions.
Blink devices can be used without having an active subscription, however, the features that come along with the Blink devices are limited.
The biggest issue is storage. If you do not have Sync Module 2, then you are forced to get a Blink subscription to store your clips in the cloud.
Hopefully, the information in this article has helped you set up your Blink device with a subscription or with local storage.
Have a Good Day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How can I see the remaining days that are in my free trial period?
Upon accessing the Blink app, a banner should pop up on the home screen that shows the remaining days of your free trial period. Additionally, you should receive an email with information regarding the number of remaining days of your free trial along with links to assist you with the purchase of a subscription plan.
Will I lose access to my videos if I cancel my plan or my free trial expires?
Your clips will be available for viewing, downloading, and sharing in the Blink app till they are deleted based on the auto-delete setting which is subject to the 60-day video storage limit.
I am a Blink Subscription Plus Plan subscriber, how do I redeem my 10% discount?
The discount becomes available only once your free trial ends and your Blink Subscription Plus Plan is activated. To redeem the discount, you must make the purchase using the same Amazon account that was used to purchase the Blink subscription plan. The discount will be automatically calculated and added during the checkout once you add the Blink product to your cart.
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