Yes, the Blink cameras work without WiFi but will not record and store footage on the Cloud servers. Furthermore, you will lose access to their most desired features, such as two-way audio and remote camera monitoring, and you will not receive any motion detection notifications on your phone.
Let’s say you have invested in the Blink security system to monitor your home from anywhere and want to share the Blink cameras access with your loved ones!
But after buying the whole system, you find out that you must always connect it to WiFi to get the most out of these smart security cameras. The panic sets in, and you are worried about possible power outages and your internet being addicted to playing hide and seek!
Well, breathe a sigh of relief, knowing we are here to clear up any confusion and guide you through the world of security cameras and their capabilities.
After some research, I discovered that although the camera remains powered ON and functional without an internet connection, it loses essential features such as recording and live feed access.
- The camera recording features become significantly restricted, and one won’t be able to view the feed remotely. (There is a workaround to fix it, don’t worry.)
- You will not receive motion detection notifications on your phone.
- Additionally, features like two-way audio and compatibility with voice assistants like Alexa will only work with WiFi.
- The cameras will not be able to connect to the Blink cloud servers, so if you are subscribed to Blink premium plans, they will be of no use to you without WiFi.
Therefore, having a stable and reliable WiFi network is crucial for maximizing the benefits of Blink cameras.
As I have mentioned before, to access all of the features of your Blink camera, you must have it connected to the internet.
It is a design default, which limits the use of Blink cameras. But that doesn’t mean that your camera is absolutely useless being offline.
Offline, these cameras can still record footage in their local storage and save motion detection events. So, they are still of good use.
Now let’s get to setting up your Blink cameras for offline recording.
You need an ExFAT (recommended), FAT32, or FAT formatted USB drive (256 GB recommended), a Blink sync module (which you must buy separately), and a WiFi connection, which you will only require while setting up the cameras for offline usage.
With that said, Let’s set up the Blink cameras for offline storage.
- Install the Blink app on your phone.
- Create an account and log in. (You don’t have to create a new account if you already have one.)
- In order to record offline footage, you’ll need to have the Blink Sync Module 2.
- Tap on the “Plus” icon on the top right corner of the app to add a new device.
- Tap on Sync Module.
- Scan the QR code on the back of the module, and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the procedure.
- Once the module is added, Insert a USB drive for upto 256 GB into the sync module 2.
- The app will let you know once you add the USB drive and update you about local storage.
- Now add your cameras to the Blink app and connect them to the Blink sync module by following the on-screen prompts.
- Once you set it up, your camera will record to the USB drive when no internet connection is available.
That’s it! You’ve successfully set up your Blink camera for offline recording.
Viewing and Downloading Offline Recordings
Once you set up your Blink cameras for offline storage, you will always have the backup on the USB drive connected to the sync module.
To eject the USB from the module, follow these steps:
- Open the Blink app on your phone.
- Tap on the sync module.
- Scroll down to “Local Storage” and tap it.
- Tap on “Safe Eject USB.”
Remove the USB from the sync module and plug it into your computer to view the recorded footage and motion events. Then you can browse and watch all the recorded footage files.
Now you know how to set up the Blink cameras without needing the internet.
But still, I want to let you know how much you are missing out by not providing the internet to your Blink security cameras.
1. Remote Monitoring
One of the most valuable features of the Blink camera system is its remote monitoring capability.
When connected to a stable WiFi connection, the Blink camera allows you to keep an eye on your home, pets, and family from anywhere in the world, straight from your phone.
So, if you are setting up your Blink cameras without WiFi, you will be missing out on this incredible feature.
- Related content: Sync Module vs. direct WiFi connection for Blink cameras
2. Device Control
Without WiFi, not only you won’t be able to access the cameras remotely, and you won’t be able to control them as well.
The cameras will keep the settings you did while setting them up in the Blink app. If you want to disarm the cameras to save storage or change the settings for sensitivity, you will not be able to do so.
- Related content: What is armed and disarmed on blink?
It is because the Blink app on your phone requires the Blink Sync Module to have an internet connection all the time to provide command signals to the Blink cameras.
3. Voice Assistant and Commands
Another popular feature of Blink cameras is its integration with Alexa.
Giving voice commands and controlling your smart security system is a luxury you will miss out on by not having a stable WiFi connection.
4. Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is a convenient and modern way of storing and accessing digital data online.
This technology offers a secure and easily accessible storage solution by saving files online, allowing you to access them from any device with an internet connection.
Without WiFi, the Blink cameras cannot save the recorded footage on the Blink cloud servers, so you won’t be able to access them remotely.
You will always have to manually intervene to access the recorded footage via a USB drive, which adds a few extra steps and takes more time.
5. Security Notifications
There will be a lot of chaos since all security alerts will stop, and you will be late to know about the tragedy in your home.
No matter how much motion your Blink cameras detect, they can no longer send you a notification via the Blink app.
Connecting your Blink cameras to the Blink app ensures that they are always up-to-date with the latest security patches and firmware versions that Blink releases.
Blink devices receive software security updates for a minimum of 4 years, ensuring ongoing protection for users.
You may use these firmware upgrades to protect yourself from hackers, fix any faults in the system, or add new features.
Without a WiFi connection, your Blink cameras will never update and might be easily compromised.
7. Two-Way Audio
Another great feature of a few Blink cameras is the ability to talk to a moving item near your Blink cameras from your phone.
You may talk to the person in the camera’s viewfinder and get immediate feedback on the security scenario identified by your Blink camera.
Unless you connect your Blink cameras to a reliable WiFi network, this feature will be inaccessible to you.
Unfortunately, there are only two main features that you can enjoy without a reliable WiFi network.
- Local Footage Recording
- Motion Detection
Other than these two, all of the primary features of the Blink security system will be useless!
1. Motion Detection
One of the most important features of Blink’s security cameras is the motion detection capability.
This smart feature offers an extra layer of security and convenience, as it actively monitors the surroundings and triggers an alert when any movement is detected.
When the camera senses motion within its field of view, it automatically starts recording the micro footage and saves it as events of 5-10 seconds.
Without WiFi, the cameras will still detect motion and record events, but they will keep them secure offline in the USB drive, and you won’t be able to access them via the Blink app.
That is the reason you should connect your Blink security system to the WiFi to use the motion detection feature to its full potential.
2. Recordings Footage and Events in a Local Storage
As I mentioned, your cameras will still record the footage without WiFi in local storage.
You will have to invest extras in the sync modules and connect them to a USB drive in order to get the recordings saved offline.
You can view the recordings anytime by ejecting the USB from the sync module and plugging it into your PC.
There are a few drawbacks of local storage without WiFi:
- You cannot access the footage from the Blink app.
- You must manually transfer the video files to your PC, which requires extra effort and time.
- You must also keep the storage tabs as the drive gets full pretty quickly. Since I have six cameras, it gets full within 8-9 days.
For that reason, you should always connect your Blink cameras to WiFi.
Or, if you really want to get something for offline security, you should always stay away from Ring and Blink cameras. They are smart security cameras, which are never meant to stay offline.
In conclusion, Blink cameras can work without WiFi but with significant limitations. You will be missing out on a lot.
- They cannot record or store footage on cloud servers.
- You lose access to most of the features, including remote monitoring, motion detection notifications, two-way audio, and more.
The Blink Sync Module and a USB drive allow offline recording. To get the most out of your Blink cameras, you should link them to your WiFi network.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What security camera works without WiFi?
Almost all security cameras work without WiFi, but they will not be useful to their full potential.
Blink cameras are meant to record all the time, they will still record without the internet if you have connected to them with a sync module and the sync module has a USB drive connected to it.
Yes, you can use the Blink cameras without the sync module. However, without the sync module, you must buy the Blink subscription plan.
No, Blink does not work with cellular networks. You need a stable 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi connection to connect your Blink cameras to the internet.
To use the Blink local storage feature without the internet, you must buy a sync module and a USB drive for upto 256 GB. Connect the sync module to the Blink app and insert the USB drive into the module, and you are good to go.
Yes, Blink cameras do work without a subscription. Though will be required to buy Sync module 2 and connect all of your cameras to the module.