Wi-Fi Home Monitoring Systems – New Blink System. How do the features & price compare to nest cam and simplicam?

April 13, 2016
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Blink features, price comparison & Wi-Fi Shopping Checklist.  Blink App Icon Home monitoring system

There are many home monitoring options on the market. Some of the popular choices include Nest Cam and simplicam. “Blink” is a cool new entrant into the market that touts some unique features and a great price. Blink made its debut as a 2016 CES Innovations award Honoree.

With so many options on the market, how do you decide which DIY home monitoring system to use and how does Blink compare in features and price to the competition?

Blink takes a slightly different approach than some of the competitors. Here are a few key distinctions.

Power Options

Unique places to put Blink Home Monitoring System 2Blink takes pride in providing a choice of power options. You can power the cameras by battery or power adapter.   The battery option provides the ultimate flexibility allowing you to put the camera in unexpected places – attics, front porch, over a doorframe and even in the refrigerator! Blink will work where you don’t have access to a power outlet. And you can avoid the messy look of cables.

Blink touts that the battery will last over 1 year and you can tell when it is running low via the app or the by indicator light on the device. The batteries are standard AA so they are easy to find and replace (some other monitoring systems use specialized batteries that are not commonly available).

Unique places to put Blink Home Monitoring System 4Because Blink markets the battery as its primary power source it ships with the AA batteries required to run the system but not a power cord. If you want to attach the camera to a power outlet you will need to supply your own micro USB to AC power cable.

 

Portability

Because the Blink camera runs on a battery it is ultra portable and can be placed almost anywhere.

Unique places to put Blink Home monitoring systemIf your daughter is having a date over, the kids are camping outside or if you hear a critter in the attic, simply move the camera to the desired location to keep an eye on the situation.   Move the camera back to its primary location when you are sure there are no critters around the house. There is no need to reconfigure the settings or do anything. Just pick up the camera and move it.

Expandability

According to Blink, 80% of families purchase 2 or more cameras. The Blink starter kit comes with a “Sync Module” and 1 camera. You can easily add additional cameras and it only takes about 1 minute to attach it to the system (it took longer to take the plastic off the batteries than it did to connect the camera).  The cost of an additional camera is $60.00.

Affordability

Blink cameras are reasonably priced and there is no monthly recording or storage fees. In my opinion this is a significant advantage over other systems.

If you decide to cover extra rooms in your home, additional cameras are $60 each.  The setup is effortless.

Here is a price comparison of a few popular brands.  These prices are as of 4/12/2016.

Blink pricing table in comparison to nest cam and simplicam 850

Image / Video Storage

Video and image clips are stored on the cloud with Blink at no additional fee.

Other Features

  • Turn on anytime to see what is going on
  • Motion Detectors – When motion is detected it automatically records a 5 – 10 second clip (configurable in settings).
  • Motion Detectors – Triggers a notification alert on the phone (sensitivity levels configurable in settings).
  • Ability to email clips
  • Night vision – Camera spotlight turns on when it detects motion (configurable in settings)
  • Tells the location temperature
  • Can be used in temperatures down to freezing.

Other things to consider when purchasing

Blink is a great monitoring system and probably the easiest one I have tested. There are other systems that come with some cool features but they also come with a higher price.

Blink can be used on a covered porch or other protected area although it is not waterproof. To take pictures or video a white LED light turns on.

Free Download – Checklist

There are a lot of choices on the market. Deciding what works for your situation might take some consideration of features. The shopping checklist is designed to help you think about the various features to consider when purchasing a wi-fi based home monitoring system.  To receive the checklist

More Info

4 Comments

  1. am i be able to watch live camera from pc or laptop?
    if so how do i set up with pc or laptop. ?
    do i need to download anything.?

  2. Where is NetGear Arlo on this list? Arlo is Battery powered, indoor & outdoor, recording service is free (week long), 720p video, and is a closed secure network.

    • Thanks for the comment- Arlo suite of products is NetGear’s replacement for VueZone. The VueZone service is being disconnected in 2017. I’ve have had and tested VueZone for approx 2 years on a review unit they sent me. There are a couple of big differences between Arlo & Blink – With Arlo (and VueZone) you have a base station that connects directly to your wi-fi router. The connection to the router is only an issue if you have multiple devices