Everything discussed is current as of November, 2020.
Three Types of Blink Cloud Plan
Free, Basic and Plus. Those are the names of what’s offered.
The Free Plan provides nothing beyond notifications and live streaming. No video history is captured. You get this by default.
Basic comes at a cost of $3 monthly or $30 yearly per camera. Video recording and photo capture comes with the Basic Plan. Sixty days or rolling storage will retain the video and photo captures for 2 months and roll it off at the end of the retention period.
The Plus plan raises the cost to $10 monthly or $100 annually. This covers all cameras in a single location. This plan includes all the features of the Basic Plan and includes a ten percent discount on future purchases and an extended camera warranty.
So the break even is over three cameras. If you want to archive video of more than three cameras, then the Plus Plan is most cost effective.
Who Needs a Blink Cloud Plan
Now that you have a basic understanding of the plans offered by Blink, let’s determine if it’s needed.
That’s not an easy question to answer. You see, cloud storage used to be free. In mid-2020, Blink decided to start charging for their cloud service, but only for those creating their Blink account after April 15, 2020. Those with an account before this date get free cloud storage. However, certain features on the Blink Outdoor and Blink Mini will only be available for those with a paid subscription.
Complicating this picture is the introduction of the new Blink Sync Module 2. This new generation of sync module adds a USB port to support a thumb drive up to 256 GB. Now you can store your video clips locally. No cloud required. However, the external drive will only work with the Blink Outdoor, Blink Indoor and Blink Mini cameras. The other Blink cameras will connect to the Sync Module 2 but will not record video to the external drive.
What about those that purchase an older Blink XT2 or XT and setup their account after April 15, 2020? The cameras will still work on the cloud since the external storage isn’t supported.
Bottom line: no more free cloud storage if you have a Blink Outdoor, Blink Indoor or Blink Mini.
Is the Blink Cloud Plan Worth It?
There are three key questions that need to be answered.
- Did you create your Blink account after April 15, 2020?
- Do you need to view video history?
- Do you have a Blink Sync Module 2?
If you don’t need video history, then the Free Plan is fine. Nothing more to do here.
If you do need video history and your Blink account was created prior to April 15, 2020, then you will be grandfathered into free cloud storage. How long this will last is an excellent question that I don’t have an answer to.
Lastly, if you have a Blink Sync Module 2 with a thumb drive attached and want video history, you might be ok, assuming a local storage solution suites your needs.
Is it worth it? At $100 per year for unlimited cameras, the pricing is quite competitive with other camera manufacturers. Remember, if your residence is broken into and the thief can find then steal the Sync Module 2, then all video history is gone unless you have a cloud subscription. So it is worth it.
The question, as of now, is do you need it? If you have an older account then probably not. If you’re account was created after April 15, 2020 then likely yes.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).