16 January 2017

REVIEW: Blink Home Security

Blink and you'll miss 'em.

Keeping an eye on your house while you're away no longer requires a chat with the neighbours and a barrel of biscuits as thanks on your return; now you can do it all yourself with your smartphone from anywhere in the world. WiFi security cameras are very popular these days, and certainly we've reviewed our fair share. However, one thing that has always bothered us about them is how you have run a separate power line to each camera, kind of negating the whole 'wireless' claim. That isn't the case with Blink.

Blink is a home security system quite like others you may have seen on the market (and bought yourself). You have one or more WiFi cameras dotted about your house, connected to your home wireless network. Using an app you then access the feed and look through the cameras, or indeed review footage recorded by them previously.

There's nothing new there in that respect, with one notable difference. The Blink cameras are fully wireless, meaning they don't need a power line to keep them going, instead running from just two AA batteries – which apparently will keep a camera powered for up to two years. This means you can place one just about anywhere you need it, without having to be near to a electrical outlet. Which, as we found when setting up ours, is very liberating.

The Blink cameras are very boxy and about the size of other similar cameras we've reviewed before. It'll sit in the palm of your hand, so placement could be anywhere with a flat surface. We had ours sitting on a shelf in the living room, covering both the door and the window, but it could go anywhere – even the garage or your shed, if you can still access the WiFi from there.

The Blink app (iOS and Android) is nice and straightforward, and even those who have never used a bit of kit like this will be able to master it. You can use it to see the live steam of the camera(s), which, we found, was never more than a couple of seconds behind real time. Speaking of which, the quality of the image is... okay. It weighs in at 720p, and while that is still technically 'HD', we've gotten used to WiFi cameras of this size pumping out at least 1080p. Still, the lens seems to make the pictures as clear as it can be, and thanks to the very decent low-light sensor, you can still make things out even in the dark.

There is a microphone and speaker on the Blink, letting you hear and speak through the cam over the app. You can also set a timer to arm the system, so you'll never forget to when you leave the house, and so get notifications on your phone when the cam detects motion. It will start to record immediately, if armed, so you can review the footage later.

So as well as being a truly wireless system, the Blink also has a very attractive price. The one camera system is just £109.99, which is quite good, especially considering it has one of the easiest and flexible set-ups of any home security system we've ever looked at. The image quality might not be something to shout from the rooftops about, but the lack of wires, and the user-friendly app, make the Blink a definite contender to keep an eye on your stuff.

£109.99 (or £189.99 for two cameras)

© The Test Pit

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