Can You Use Blink Without a Subscription? Yes, but…

Blink cameras are an excellent choice for monitoring your home and keeping your family safe. However, one question that potential buyers repeatedly ask is — does Blink require a subscription?

Well, we’re here to answer that question. The short answer is no. Blink doesn’t need a subscription for live monitoring and motion alerts. However, many advanced features, such as cloud storage of videos, are not available to unsubscribed users. 

So, what’s the real deal? Can you use Blink without a subscription? Here’s our rundown of Blink subscriptions and what you can and cannot get from the free plan. 

Does Blink require a subscription? Technically, no. Your Blink products provide standard features (such as motion alerts, live view, and two-way audio) without a subscription. You always have the option for a Basic or Plus plan, starting at $3 per month. However, you can use a Blink camera without a subscription plan or via free trial.

Amazon Blink Security Camera System
Amazon Blink Security Camera System

Blink allows you to use your outdoor camera without a subscription. That makes Blink outdoor cameras a better option for people who want a budget-friendly camera option. All you need to do is set up the camera and install it wherever you want outside your house. 

However, you will find that some features of the Blink camera are only available for subscribers. These features include storing and recording footage and sharing videos directly to your phone. 

Without a subscription, you can still use your Blink Outdoor Camera to view live footage from the camera. Additionally, you can monitor motion outside your front door and get regular alerts. Blink also allows you to communicate with anyone outside the door via its two-way audio feature for free. 

Currently, Blink offers two subscription options for their Blink Outdoor cameras. The features of these are listed below:

The Blink Basic Plan is a budget-friendly option for people who only need to operate one Blink Outdoor camera. The plan covers basic features not available on the free plan, including video recording and cloud storage. With this plan, you can stream live videos continuously for up to 90 minutes on the Blink Mini. 

Blink Mini
Blink Mini

Additionally, you get 60 days of unlimited storage and video history. You can share the videos directly with your mobile devices or others. Blink Video Doorbell and indoor and outdoor cameras also allow you to capture images periodically. These images are stored in the cloud for up to 60 days. 

The Blink Basic Plan does not have extended warranty coverage or any special offers on Amazon. But you can opt for a monthly or a yearly plan. The monthly plan charges $3 for each device, and the yearly plan gives you a small discount at $30

The Blink Plus Plan is Blink’s premium subscription plan. It has all the features of a Blink Basic Plan plus a few additional options not available on any other plan. 

For starters, you can connect an unlimited number of devices to the Blink Plus Plan. This means you enjoy the benefits of your premium subscription on all of the cameras in your house. 

Additionally, the Blink Plus Plan features extended warranty coverage. So, you get free repairs and replacements according to the conditions of the plan. And that’s not all. If you subscribe to this plan, you get 10% off all Blink devices bought through Amazon

If you choose this plan, you can either pay $10 monthly for an infinite number of devices or $100 yearly.

Outdoor cameras
Outdoor cameras

If you want to take advantage of some of the more advanced features, you’ll need to subscribe to Blink’s subscription plans. To be more specific, here are the features that a subscription will get you:

Longer Live View Streaming

The first benefit that you get from a Blink subscription is that you can view live streams for longer periods. With a free plan, you can watch live streams from your camera for only 5 minutes. However, with a Blink subscription plan, you can watch them continuously for up to 90 minutes. This feature is currently available on the Blink Mini only.

Video Recording

Another useful feature that a Blink subscription provides you with is video recording. Unfortunately, you cannot perform any video recording through the free plan. On the other hand, the subscription plan allows you to record videos. 

Blink Doorbell
Blink Doorbell

To be more specific, you can record video whenever motion is detected. Additionally, you can record your live view streams. This feature records valuable evidence automatically, which can be a lifesaver in some instances.

Video Storage and History

Perhaps the most crucial benefit of a subscription is being able to store video footage and access recording history. With a subscription, you get 60 days of video history. 

This means all your video recordings are uploaded to the Blink cloud and can be accessed by you anytime. The recordings are only kept for 60 days, even with the Basic and the Plus plans. Remember to download the video footage to your mobile device or computer if you want to retain it for longer than 60 days. 

Rapid Video Access and Video Sharing

Another feature you can enjoy with a Blink subscription plan is rapid video access. This means you can watch your videos immediately after recording them. So, you don’t have to wait to watch recorded footage or have it processed further. 

Blink Outdoor
Blink Outdoor

All videos recorded through the Blink Outdoor camera are high-definition. And being able to view them immediately means there’s no significant delay between what you’re seeing and what’s happening. In the context of security, this can make all the difference. 

But the features don’t end there. You also get the benefit of Blink Video Sharing. Through this option, you can immediately share video recordings from the cloud with other individuals. This allows you to save the videos to your Android or iOS devices. 

Photo Capture (Available On Some Devices)

Photo capture is capturing images through the Blink Outdoor camera at periodic intervals. It lets you record important video evidence of certain events, such as intruders or incorrect deliveries. This feature is not available on the free plan. However, only the Blink indoor and outdoor cameras are eligible, along with the Blink Video Doorbell. 

The photos are stored in your cloud for up to 60 days and should be downloaded if you want to keep them longer.

Extended Warranty Coverage and Other Offers

With a Blink Plus subscription, you also get extended warranty coverage. The warranty covers non-user-inflicted damages and faults within the Blink camera. You only get a warranty extension if the original warranty period for the device hasn’t ended. Once applied, you will get a warranty extension until you decide to unsubscribe from the Blink Plus Plan. 

The Blink plus Plan also offers you 10% off on Blink devices purchased through Amazon. This will encourage you to install more devices in your home for added security. 

Outdoor camera setup
Outdoor camera setup

Here are the many features that you can access without a Blink subscription:

Motion Alerts

Blink cameras feature a built-in motion sensor. They will send alerts to your connected device when motion is detected. This is a great way to spot porch pirates and potential intruders. 

The good news is that Blink does not require a subscription for this feature. So, you can receive alerts for motion on your porch without paying for it. It’s one of the many ways Blink cameras ensure your safety.

Two-Way Audio

Most Blink cameras feature two-way audio. This free feature allows you to communicate with people at the door. It lets you get all the necessary information when interacting with strangers before letting them into your house. Making this a free feature means you get more out of your Blink camera. 

Live Feeds

If you have a Blink camera, you can use the live feed feature without a subscription. This feature lets you watch live videos of your front door or porch on your connected device. It lets you monitor people, animals, and children walking in front of your porch. 

Yes, Blink offers local storage for people who don’t have a subscription. This allows you to benefit from video storage without purchasing any subscriptions. Blink allows you to store your video recordings on external storage devices such as SD cards or USB flash drives. However, this storage form is much harder to set up and manage than simple cloud storage. 

There is one option for people who don’t want to go through local storage hassles with the Blink Outdoor Camera. It’s called the Sync Module 2 hub. The Blink Sync Module 2 is a control unit that can be purchased separately. It lets you manage communications between the cloud and Blink devices.

Blink Sync Module 2
Blink Sync Module 2

But if you don’t have a subscription that lets you store videos to a cloud, the module can still store footage locally. That’s why it’s a great option for paying customers and those using the free plan. 

So, how do you configure your Blink Sync Module 2 and store your data locally? Here’s a step-by-step guide on keeping footage locally with the Blink Sync Module 2.

  1. First, buy a Blink Sync Module 2. These don’t require a subscription, only a one-time fee. 
  2. Follow the user guide instructions to connect the hub to your Blink app and your Blink Outdoor cameras.
  3. Figure out how much disk space you’ll need to store footage locally and buy a USB drive with sufficient storage. Preferably, buy a USB drive with “buffer” space available, just to be safe. 
  4. Insert the drive into Sync Module 2. If the module doesn’t recognize your USB drive, the Blink app will prompt you to insert it correctly
  5. The module will automatically store any future footage on the USB drive. And you can view the recorded footage right in the Blink app. And the best part is that, unlike the cloud storage option, the footage is yours to keep forever. There is only one downside to this — you cannot record live video feeds without a subscription plan.

Stuck on a step? Here’s a helpful video guide to watching how to store blink footage locally with the Blink Sync Module 2. 

Yes! Like the Blink Outdoor camera, the Blink Mini can be used without a subscription. To be more specific, it does the following without a subscription:

  • Lets you watch live footage from your camera on your Blink app
  • Sends you alerts about motion sensed in front of the camera.

However, you still need a subscription for recording and storing footage. Hence, you should consider subscribing to the Blink Basic or Plus plans if you want to record and store footage. Or you can use a Blink Sync Module 2 and automatically back up your footage on a USB pen drive.

Blink provides a free trial for the Blink plus Subscription Plan that lasts 30 days. You can test different camera features and store your videos on the cloud during this time. The trial will automatically end after 30 days, and you will have to buy the subscription to continue to use these features.

After the free trial ends, no new footage will be stored in the cloud. And existing footage may even be deleted, depending on the settings on your Blink app.

Certain models of Blink cameras, like the Blink XT, XT2, and some Indoor cameras, do not need a subscription to save videos. Instead, 2 hours (7,200 seconds) of videos will be held for every Sync Module connected to the camera. So, if the free trial ends, you still get 2 hours of video recording.

Also Read: Our Blink vs Ring and Eufy vs Blink comparisons

Conclusion

Blink’s outdoor cameras provide a convenient and safe way to monitor what’s happening outside your house. Fortunately, you don’t need a subscription to watch live footage from the camera or get motion alerts. 

However, you won’t get access to many features if you choose not to subscribe, including video storage. You can store videos locally using the Blink Sync Module 2, though.

So, in a nutshell, Blink does not require a subscription to use its cameras, but you’ll be missing out on some features.

What do you think about these features? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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