My Blink cameras are almost always connected to my home network, but lately, I have been curious as to whether they actually need a working WiFi connection to work.
If Blink cameras natively support offline recording, they can technically expand their utility to a much more significant margin.
With this article, I intend to curate all my research and findings to finally quench your curiosity as to whether Blink cameras can record events without a WiFi connection.
Blink cameras can record and store videos to an SD card installed on Sync Module 2 by enabling Local Storage. However, without a stable WiFi connection, you cannot store clips on the cloud storage and you lose out on numerous features like personalized notifications, and two-way audio, among others.
Let's now discuss in detail how to make your Blink Cams record without a WiFi connection and what this implementation entails:
Can Blink Cameras Work Without WiFi?
Blink cameras, unfortunately, cannot operate without a proper WiFi connection backing them, at least till you set up a local storage device.
This is a drawback by design, as Blink cameras are intended to be smart cameras for home security, and the internet is the fuel that drives the whole system.
Since Blink cameras operate via a remote cloud storage solution to connect and engage with the user via the Blink app, a solid internet connection is imperative
The security notifications also take a massive hit if there is no WiFi connection to send and receive the high-priority alerts.
Blink does recommend the following network essentials that are required for the proper functioning of Blink cameras:
- A 2.4 GHz WiFi connection.
- At least 2 Mbps upload speeds.
Excluded Blink Features Sans WiFi Connectivity
Given below are all features of Blink cameras that will not work if there is no WiFi connection:
You will not be able to access and control any setting on your Blink cameras that you have set after disconnecting from a WiFi connection.
The settings that you had enabled prior to the disconnection of WiFi will still persist, of course depending on whether it requires an internet connection in the first place.
This is primarily due to the fact that the Blink app on your phone relies on the Blink Sync Module (in most cases) to relay control information to the Blink cameras.
The Blink Sync Module requires a solid internet connection via WiFi in order to operate properly in the first place.
Similar to how you won't be able to relay commands to your Blink camera, you will also lose access to your video feeds.
Your Blink camera won't be able to connect to the Blink cloud servers to relay the footage that it records to your Blink app, thus cutting off all over-the-air video capabilities.
The footage that your Blink cameras record won't be saved to the Blink cloud storage that you use to access files on your Blink camera.
This consequence stays true even if you are on a premium subscription plan of Blink, such as Blink Basic and Blink Plus.
But you will still be able to access the files that were previously saved on the Blink cloud storage if the smartphone or tablet that has the Blink app installed has internet access.
All security notifications will cease, resulting in plenty of mayhem.
Your Blink cameras still will be able to detect any movement that it deems worthy to notify you via the Blink app, but it no longer has the means to relay the information.
Select Blink cameras have an excellent two-way audio feature that lets you converse with entities in the near vicinity of a Blink Cam.
This is an excellent means of communication that lets you access the security situation that your Blink camera has detected by personally communicating with the person on the camera viewfinder.
This will unfortunately be unavailable if your Blink cameras don't have access to a solid WiFi connection.
Blink cameras are required to be in sync with the Blink app, which automatically checks for any firmware updates that Blink has pushed out for your cameras.
These firmware updates can be for squashing any bugs in the system, implementing new features, or just security patches that can protect you from most external threats.
Your Blink cameras could prove to be vulnerable in such cases if it isn't connected to WiFi.
Included Blink Features Sans WiFi Connectivity
Despite most of the features Blink provides being dependent on a proper WiFi connection, there are some offline features that might work:
The motion detection aspect of Blink cameras is not associated with any information transfer from the Blink app, so this can work without issues in the absence of WiFi thanks to IR.
But it is best to not get your hopes up, as this does nothing but trigger the recording of an event when the camera detects motion.
Since the footage cannot be transferred to the Blink cloud servers, there is not a lot you can do with the recording, unless you have local storage enabled.
Local Video Storage
The Blink Sync Module 2 comes with the support of expandable storage via USB.
This can be utilized to craft a workaround for recording video footage without a WiFi connection.
Pairing a compatible Blink camera with the Blink Sync Module 2 that has a USB stick attached can result in the recorded footage being stored locally on the card.
Of course, you will have to set up the local storage feature via the Blink app first, which requires a WiFi connection.
But once that is set up, you can technically record footage from your Blink cameras and store it on the microSD card attached to the Blink Sync Module 2 without a WiFi connection.
But of course, there are a few drawbacks associated with this approach.
The footage cannot be accessed via your Blink app and you will have to manually transfer the contents using a PC or a device that supports microSD cards.
You will also have to watch out for the storage piling up, which can lead to a cease in transfer or corruption of storage when left unattended.
How to Enable Local Storage on Blink
Now that you have a firm grasp of everything that entails an absence of a network on a Blink device, let's look at how to actually use and record motion clips on a Blink Cam without a working WiFi.
First, you will need a Sync Module 2. This updated model comes with a USB port that supports USB drives with up to 256 GB of space.
Do note that the USB stick has to be ExFAT or FAT 32 formatted. You can format the USB stick via a PC.
Next, ensure your Blink Cam supports local storage.
Older legacy models like the Blink XT, XT2, and the Indoor gen1 do not support local storage.
With these requirements taken care of, plug the USB drive into the Sync Module 2 and follow these steps on the Blink app (does need a working WiFi connection to set up):
1. Click on the Sync Module tile from the Blink Home page.
2. Select the Local Storage option.
3. If your Sync Module has successfully detected and accepted the USB stick, you shall see the remaining space available on your SD card. You also get an option to Safely eject or Format the drive right from this tab.
4. Exit this tab and Arm your Cam for Motion detection.
Once the Cam detects a motion, the clip shall now be saved to the SD card. Now your Blink Cams are armed and ready to detect activity even in the absence of a WiFi connection.
You can check the clips by unmounting the USB drive and plugging it into a PC.
The Sync Module will store clips onto the USB drive until the space runs below the 350 Mb mark.
I hope my article on whether Blink cameras can record footage without a WiFi connection has been a worthwhile read and has aided you with the same.
Have a good day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Blink cameras support cellular connectivity?
Blink cameras, as of now, do not have the necessary hardware for built-in cellular connectivity, and rely solely on a solid WiFi connection.
Do Blink cameras support 5 GHz WiFi?
Blink cameras only support a 2.4GHz WiFi band and do not support 5 GHz and 6 GHz WiFi bands.
Can Blink cameras record 24x7?
Blink cameras can only record snippets or events, and do not currently support continuous recording.