Blink vs Ring
We put these Amazon-owned smart home companies head to head.
- Two-way talk feature
- Crisp HD image quality
- Smart home Integrations
- No long-term contracts
- Impressive two-year battery life
- Affordable home security
- Both Amazon companies, Ring and Blink offer cameras that integrate well with Alexa.
- Affordability is Blink’s strong suit; Ring’s is tech and features, as shown in our review of the high-tech Spotlight Cam.
- Video storage is not a problem with either Blink or Ring, as their cloud subscriptions both start at $3 per month.
Blink and Ring were intertwined by fate. Both started taking off as security camera brands around the same time, and a few years later and just weeks apart, both were acquired by Amazon. Of course, you might remember Ring as one of Amazon’s biggest acquisitions, while news about the Blink buyout kind of took the backseat.
That has always been the theme of Blink and Ring’s friendly rivalry. Ring is the more popular one, while Blink is often the underappreciated one. Of course, that has little to no bearing when it comes to comparing how well they can protect your home. We’ve tested unpopular brands that turned out to be great, and well-known security camera brands that turned out to be the worst.
If you want to see which security camera brand is actually better for your home security, you should look at their equipment, features, setup, and even pricing. That’s exactly what we did in this Blink vs. Ring comparison, so keep reading.
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How about a little introduction to our contenders before we start?
Blink and Ring were once both startups before they became the powerhouses they are today. Ring entered the market through its uber-popular video doorbells, and then it eventually ventured into the world of security cameras and systems. Blink, on the other hand, gained popularity through its battery-powered indoor and outdoor cameras with a promised battery life of two years, which was a great feat at the time.
Since being acquired by Amazon in 2018, however, both brands matured far beyond their startup days.
Ring now offers an affordable but simplistic indoor model called the Ring Indoor Cam, an indoor/outdoor unit called the Ring Stick Up Cam, and the smart light-equipped Ring Spotlight Cam and Floodlight Cam. Except for the indoor camera, all Ring cameras come in a battery, wired, or solar-powered configuration. Those are, of course, in addition to Ring’s wide selection of doorbell cameras.
Over on the Blink side, there’s an even more affordable security camera called the Blink Mini, a duo of battery-powered security cameras called the Blink Indoor and Blink Outdoor, a lightweight and affordable video doorbell, a wired floodlight camera, and a bunch of mounting accessories that offer advanced features. For instance, there’s the Pan-Tilt accessory for the Blink Mini, which turns the simple indoor camera into a pan-and-tilt camera.
- No Contracts: Monthly subscriptions are not obligatory for either Blink or Ring, but if you do choose to sign up for a cloud recording plan like we did, you won’t need to sign a contract and you can cancel anytime.
- Easy DIY Installation: We installed both our Blink and Ring cameras within an hour. The how-to videos each brand provided helped make the processes quick and smooth.
- Indoor/Outdoor Cameras: Blink currently sells two indoor cameras (the Blink Indoor and the Blink Mini) and one outdoor camera (the Blink Outdoor). Ring offers one indoor camera (the Ring Indoor Cam), two outdoor cameras (the Ring Spotlight Cam and the Ring Floodlight Cam), and the Ring Stick Up Cam, which is made to work both indoors and outdoors.
- Remote Connectivity: Each system offers remote connectivity through their respective mobile apps, allowing you to check on your home whenever needed whether you’re at home or roaming around.
- Professional Monitoring: Although Blink and Ring both allow for self-monitoring, only Ring offers 24/7 professional monitoring. This monitoring, however, only covers the Ring Alarm security system and not the cameras and doorbells.
- Cloud-Based vs. Local Storage: While both companies include cloud storage subscriptions, only Blink offers local storage, up to 265 GB through the Sync Module 2.
- Power Supply: All Blink cameras are wireless, except the Blink Mini, which requires an outlet. Ring has cameras powered by batteries (with up to one year of use), cords, and even solar power. Some Ring cameras even have the option to switch power modes.
Now that we have a high-level overview of how Blink and Ring compare to each other, let’s talk about our experience using both. Of course, you can head over to our Ring camera review and Blink review for a more close-up look at each brand, but this section focuses specifically on how our experience with both compares.
We chose our assortment of Blink equipment based on our home’s specific needs. First, we purchased a Blink Sync Module 2 for $34.99, which acts as a base station and local storage for up to 10 Blink cameras. We then selected our combination of Blink cameras, which included:
- One Blink Indoor (gen2) for $79.99
- One Blink Outdoor (gen2) for $99.99
- Two Blink Minis at $34.99 each
For Ring, we decided on:
- One indoor camera for $59
- One Stick Up Cam (both indoor and outdoor) for $99
- One Spotlight Cam for $199.
You may notice one key difference right away: With Blink, we had to set up a Sync Module for the Blink Indoor and Outdoor, but with Ring, there’s no such requirements. The Ring cameras connect to Wi-Fi directly, making it much easier to expand a Ring security camera system than a Blink system.
That being said, a Sync Module or base station isn’t entirely a bad thing. It acts as a bridge between your security cameras and Wi-Fi router, so if your network is already crowded, it might make sense to choose a camera system with a base station like Blink.
Ring, however, has another trump card. We were able to incorporate our Ring cameras into a full security system called Ring Alarm, which has motion sensors, contact sensors, and so on. Doing so gave us more than just video coverage, but also monitoring through security sensors. Better still, there’s a Ring Alarm system called the Ring Alarm Pro that doubles as a Wi-Fi router, so you can pair your Ring cameras to it to reduce network clutter.
Considering that security cameras deter home burglaries and that the average home burglary costs homeowners an average of $2,800,1 we liked the affordability of both Blink’s and Rings cameras.
In the end, it all boils down to your security needs. Blink is definitely more affordable, but it has a much more limited product catalog. Does it have all the types of cameras you need? If yes, then the more affordable products from Blink may be more appealing to you. Otherwise, go with Ring for slightly more expensive equipment but a wider selection of products.
Blink and Ring are both designed for simplicity. Each system comes with detailed installation instructions, and setup took us less than an hour for each system. With Ring, professional installation is available, as well.
Setting up our Blink cameras requires no special tools or expertise, but one caveat is that we needed to set up a Sync Module 2 for our Blink Indoor and Blink Outdoor.
The Sync Module 2 is like a router specifically for Blink’s battery-powered cameras. They don’t connect to Wi-Fi directly because that would drain their batteries faster, so they need a bridge.
Fortunately, the Sync Module 2 was easy to set up. We did everything through the Blink app, and in mere minutes, we were able to connect the Sync Module 2 to Wi-Fi.
Next, we set up the cameras. We added the provided batteries to our Indoor and Outdoor cameras by opening their backs with the included tool. From there, we scanned each camera’s QR code to connect it to our Sync Module. Once the app notified us that the process was complete, we returned to the home screen and renamed our cameras, which were originally listed as serial numbers, based on where we planned to place them.
While all Blink cameras are built capable of resting on a table or shelf, the Blink Indoor and Outdoor cameras can also be mounted on the wall. We placed our Minis on an end table and a bookshelf. Since the majority of burglars enter through a first-floor door or window,2 we used the mounting instructions and kit provided to secure our Blink Indoor on the wall near our back door and our Blink Outdoor at the front of our porch.
Our installation for the Ring cameras was somewhat similar to that of Blink. Once we downloaded the Ring app, we selected “set up a device” and “security cameras.” Then, all we had to do to connect our cameras to the app was to scan the QR code on the back or in the battery compartment of our cameras.
The process was somewhat quicker since we didn’t need a base station like the Sync Module, but keep in mind that connecting multiple security cameras to Wi-Fi could affect your network traffic and cause congestion. Also take into account the range of your Wi-Fi signal, especially if you’re using a 5 GHz or dual-bad (2.4 and 5 GHz) router.
Next, we decided where we wanted to place each camera. We used the mounting tools included to mount our Spotlight Cam and Stick Up Cam. Mounting only took us an extra 10 minutes for each camera, and the only additional tool we needed was a Philips Head screwdriver. In total, we spent just slightly over half an hour installing our cameras.
We found both DIY installation processes to be a breeze but appreciated knowing that we always had a backup plan with Ring. If something went wrong or we just didn’t have time to worry about installation, Ring would send out one of their experts to install our new cameras for $99.
Savings Tip: Keep the savings coming! Ring offers a 20 percent discount on all Ring.com purchases for military, teachers, students and first responders.
At Security.org, we evaluate cameras by comparing them against the industry standards for video, audio, night vision, storage, and more. Below, we’ve detailed our comparison of Blink and Ring for these key features.
All Ring security cameras we tested recorded at 1080p HD, the current industry standard. Blink’s Indoor, Outdoor, and Mini cameras also include 1080p HD resolution.
Cameras in Ring and Blink systems offer two-way talk, which allowed us to speak with whoever was in view of our cameras.
All Blink and Ring cameras provide infrared night vision. Some Ring cameras, such as the Floodlight Cam, the Spotlight Cam Wired, and the Stick Up Cam Wired, also include color night vision.
Smart Platform Integration and Home Automation
As products of Amazon companies, we didn’t find it too surprising that Blink and Ring cameras are all Alexa-enabled. When our arms were full while heading out the door, we could set our alarm by simply saying,“Alexa, ask Blink to arm ‘My Home’.” To view our livestream video feed, we commanded Alexa to “Show me my outdoor camera on our Fire TV.” Ring cameras offered the same options, In addition to Alexa and IFTTT, Ring is compatible with Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and more.
Ring’s compatibility with so many smart products stood out to us against Blink’s limited smart integrations. Despite not choosing to add them to our home’s security this time around, we enjoyed the idea of adding more of Ring’s smart home integrations in the future, such as:
- Smart locks (Yale, Kwikset, and Schlage)
- Smart outlets and lights (Leviton and GE)
- Keyless entry (Yale and Schlage)
- Light dimmers (Leviton and GE)
- Remote garage door capability (Chamberlain).
Both Ring and Blink offer cloud storage options, but only Blink comes with local storage.
By selecting a cloud storage subscription, we added artificial intelligence to our Ring cameras, specifically person detection and Ring’s new stay threshold. Person detection, available on all Spotlight, Flood and Stick Up Cams, helps us limit the false alarms we receive by identifying whether the motion our camera catches is from a human. The new stay threshold made sure we only got notifications if the person in our camera’s view remained in a certain motion zone for more than 10 seconds, or whatever amount of seconds we decided.
Although Ring continues to expand its use of artificial intelligence in its security cameras, Blink has still yet to incorporate any artificial intelligence into its cameras.
Cloud Storage Subscription
Let’s start with cloud storage. We got 60 days of cloud storage for only $3 a month for both Blink and Ring cameras. As Amazon owns both companies, we seriously doubt this is a coincidence. Add more cameras to either subscription and the cost goes up to $10 a month.
|Free||Ring Basic||Ring Plus||Blink Basic||Blink Plus|
|Cloud Storage in Days||0||60||60||60||60|
Blink’s Local Storage
Priced at $34.99, the add-on Sync Module 2 supports local storage of up to 256 GB through a removable USB (sold separately) for the Blink Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2), or Mini cameras.
Blink and Ring both have the capability for self-monitoring, but only Ring offers the option for professional monitoring.
Blink’s inexpensive HD cameras are specifically designed for self-monitoring through the Blink Home Monitor mobile app. The cameras include motion detection and sent us mobile notifications if the movement was detected while our cameras were armed. Upon receiving the message, we could log in to view our livestream or view our recorded clips to see what occurred when the motion detection was triggered. We also viewed recorded video from our Ring cameras and received motion-triggered notifications via Ring’s mobile app.
For $20 per month, Ring offers professional monitoring, which means Ring’s partner monitoring center can call the cops on your behalf in case of a home security breach. That said, professional monitoring doesn’t apply to cameras and doorbells. Ring only monitors Ring Alarm and Ring Alarm Pro security systems. It’s definitely nice to know that if you need a professionally monitored system, you can count on Ring to offer a system that works seamlessly with its cameras and doorbells.
Green Tip: Want to avoid spending more on electricity or batteries? Ring’s Stick Up Cam can be entirely solar-powered.
User-friendly mobile applications are critical to the success of connected devices like security cameras. It’s these apps that we use to livestream camera footage, employ two-way audio, play back recorded clips, and more, so they must also be free of viruses and bugs. Here’s what we thought of Ring and Blink’s apps.
The Ring Always Home App
The Ring— Always Home mobile app has a rating of 4.1 out of five on the Apple store and four on the Google Play store. With both forms of the app, we noticed that when our phones were synced to the Ring Alarm System, the words “disarmed,” “home, ” and “away” appeared at the top of our screen. We found this tool to be extremely helpful since we had a number of users in our household that could arm or disarm our cameras. We also liked that the app allowed us to look at a history of events. As we browsed the recorded clips from our outdoor cameras, we discovered the identity of the porch pirate who had been stealing our packages.
Other features we appreciated about the Ring Always Home app included the opportunities to set privacy zones and change the sensitivity of our motion detector. Once we made that motion sensor adjustment, we no longer had to put up with annoying notifications about our pets exploring our home or yard.
We’d just like to put it out there that Ring’s software has had issues in the past. They’re mostly gone now, but Ring did face a class-action lawsuit in 2020 about its apps and cameras getting hacked. Ring has taken steps to improve the security of its software, but it’s also our part to make sure our security camera systems are safe from hacking by avoiding weak passwords and activating two-factor authentication when possible. After all, it’s our privacy that’s on the line.
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Blink Home Monitor App
The Blink Home Monitor app is rated 3.3 in the Apple store and four in the Google Play Store.
We mostly used the Blink app to live-stream footage from all our security cameras, but we also set it up so that we received notifications if any of the cameras detected motion while they were armed. We loved how user-friendly the app was and that it allowed us to adjust for motion sensitivity, create activity zones, customize the length of event clips, and more. Our only complaint was that the app kept asking if we were watching.
Our Take: Blink vs. Ring
Since both Blink and Ring offer high-quality and affordable cameras that are easy to use, we concluded that the company with the most suitable cameras will be determined by the user’s specific needs and circumstances.
Select Blink if you’re looking for
- Local storage
- Money-back guarantee
- Quality cameras as low as $35
Choose Ring if you prefer…
- Expert installation
- Professional monitoring
- Seven more camera options
- Smart device integrations
- Artificial intelligence
To learn about our recommendations for brands other than Blink and Ring, check out our best home security camera review page.
The Zebra. (2020). Burglary Statistics, Research, and Facts.
WFAA. (2017). We asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes.