What do Ring and Blink have in common? A lot. They’re both part of the Amazon family – and they are both huge money-makers. They both offer high-tech but affordable cameras. And they both come from humble beginnings before becoming the household names they are today. Ring and Blink are essentially twins, but that doesn’t mean they’re identical. There are some pretty significant differences that you’ll want to consider when thinking about protecting your family.
For one, Ring offers a lot more products — and a lot more product categories, for that matter. Ring is far from just a security camera company; they offer all kinds of equipment to create comprehensive security systems. Blink, on the other hand, just sticks to helping customers keep an eye on things.
Nothing wrong with that at all, especially when you consider that Blink has been busy adding to its lineup lately. They recently released the newest iteration of their outdoor camera, and we’re going to be reviewing it for you soon.
Today though, we’re going to take a closer look at both Amazon-owned brands to help you decide which is the best fit for you.
Pro Tip: The more options, the better. Check out Lorex’s vast selection of security cameras in our Lorex review. See for yourself how Lorex security cameras are more high-tech than people give them credit for.
Blink and Ring Features & Tech
When you’re shopping for home security equipment — particularly for cameras — you need to start by making a list of must haves, nice to haves, and deal-breakers. It also doesn’t hurt to get an idea of your budget. What are you looking to spend, and how much are you willing to budge if you find something you just can’t live without?
With that in mind, here’s a lightning-round of the different features that Blink and Ring bring to the table. Keep in mind that both brands offer several camera types, and features vary from one to the next.
Blink Features & Tech
- Capacity of Up to Ten Cameras: The Blink video surveillance system has a large capacity for multiple cameras. You can link up to ten cameras to the same hub with Blink, but you can multiple hubs under the same account. Some Blink cameras can even connect directly to Wi-Fi. It’s a great option if you have a large house that needs a lot of cameras.
- Motion-Triggered Recording: Blink home security cameras are equipped with built-in motion sensors. The cameras automatically begin recording when the motion sensors detect motion. This saves storage space, as the camera records only the activity that matters, not continually day and night.
- Internal Storage: The Blink home video surveillance system uses onboard storage via the aforementioned hub. You’d need to provide your storage media in the form of a USB flash drive with up 245 GB of space. Though the storage space is limited compared to the Lorex cameras we tested recently with 1 TB of space, the fact that Blink stores media locally is quite handy.
- Affordable cloud plans: Blink calls its locally save clips “backup clips,” and that’s because its cameras were designed primarily to store videos in the cloud. That requires a monthly subscription fee, but it’s quite affordable at $3 per month for each camera or $10 per month for unlimited cameras.
FYI: To learn about our hands-on experience with Blink and what it’s like using the cameras day-to-day, have a look at our comprehensive Blink camera review.
- Easy DIY Installation: Most of Blink’s cameras can be installed in a matter of minutes, as there’s no real drilling or wiring required. When we tested Blink, we found their installation to be easier than a lot of DIY cameras out there, and they were up and running with very little effort on our part. A major reason for that is that all of Blink’s cameras are battery powered.
- 1080p HD Image Quality: Blink cameras gave us crisp and clear 1080p HD resolution on both indoor and outdoor models. This is the industry standard these days, and it’s plenty sharp to pick up the little details you need.
- Indoor/Outdoor Cameras: You can monitor your kiddos and nannies, contractors, or other service workers inside, while also keeping an eye on your front yard and backyard. The Blink Indoor and the Blink Outdoor, both of which are battery-powered, headline Blink’s product line. Blink also has a super affordable indoor camera in Blink Mini, a budget-friendly video doorbell, and an outdoor lighting accessory for the Blink Outdoor.
The most recent addition to the Blink Camera lineup is the new Gen 4 Outdoor Camera. This wire-free outdoor camera boasts a two year battery life, HD quality live view, and an enhanced motion detection system. We’re about to review it, too — so stay tuned for that. If you want to pick one up for yourself, it’ll run you $71.99.
In addition, you might want to check out the new plug-in Mini Pan-Tilt. It can cover a whole room thanks to its 360-degree field of vision which can be remotely accessed from the Blink app. It goes for $29.99.
Pro Tip: It’s that time of year again, when holiday sales mean great prices on security equipment. A Blink Mini is just $19.99 right now, over 40 percent off the usual price. Often these sales last through the holidays until the first of the year, but we can’t make any promises.
Ring Features & Tech
- Entry Sensors: Ring Alarm’s entry sensors will alert you when someone enters your home through an exterior door or window, which is an obvious advantage that Ring has over Blink. Also, note that Ring’s entry sensors can seamlessly communicate with Ring’s cameras. Check out our hands-on review of Ring Alarm here.
- Doorbell Cameras: Ring put doorbell cameras on the map! Having a doorbell viewer means that you’ll be able to see, in real-time, a live video feed of your front door and anyone who is there. Ring video doorbells can protect against package theft and break-ins with features like 1080p HD image quality, two-way talk, and night vision. To read more, see our latest Ring Video Doorbell review.
- Indoor/Outdoor Cameras: Seeing that Ring offers a variety of different security cameras, it’s not surprising that they have devices for both indoor and outdoor use. Similar to what we experienced while testing Blink, Ring’s outdoor cameras are built to withstand harsh weather conditions. So rain or shine, you’ll be able to monitor the activity around your home.
Pro Tip: If you choose Ring, you can integrate your Ring doorbell and Ring Cams into your Ring Alarm system. To read about what it’s like using this complete system, we recommend reading our deep-dive review of Ring Cams.
- Home Automation: Ring offers home automation options such as smart lighting and automation of the cameras themselves. With just your mobile device you can control your entire security system plus your lights. In addition, Ring is compatible with many other smart products, such as door locks from Schlage, garage door openers from Chamberlain, and thermostats from Honeywell. Trust us, there’s nothing like telling your security system to bump the heat when you pull into your garage on a cold winter’s day.
- Alexa Compatibility: Another neat feature with Ring is that their cameras are Alexa-compatible, giving you hands-free voice control over your home video surveillance system. Ring Cams also work with Google Home now, but since Ring and Alexa are both Amazon-owned, the Ring/Alexa compatibility is seamless.
- Spotlights & Floodlights: Ring offers cameras with built-in spotlights and floodlights. We call this “active deterrence” in the industry, and it works! After all, criminals don’t want to be exposed by bright lights, and that’s exactly what these motion-triggered spotlight and floodlight cameras do.
Blink and Ring Similarities
Besides being owned by Amazon and hated by prowlers everywhere, Blink and Ring cameras do have a few things in common.
- Affordability: Both of these two security camera options are on the cheap side. You don’t need to sign up for any long-term contracts either, or pay to have your cameras installed. They’re both completely DIY. You just pay for your equipment and you’re off to the races — unless you opt in to a monitoring plan, which we do recommend.
- HD Video: You can’t catch a thief if you can’t see them. Despite the lightweight price tag, Blink and Ring offer some heavy-duty bang for your buck when it comes to delivering crisp, clean videos. While they don’t quite make it up to the 2K or 4K range of a Lorex security camera, their 1080p images are more than enough to see everything moving in and around your home.
- Wireless Home Security: This is a plus because surveillance and security systems that are not wireless require professional installation and are usually quite costly. Since these two camera systems are wireless, they can be installed in a matter of minutes. Also, there are no service fees or activation fees to worry about. If you’re a fan of wireless tech, check out our best wireless home security systems guide.
- DIY Installation: Since the majority of Ring’s equipment is battery-powered or plug-in, they’re squarely in the DIY installation category. This means most setups will take less than 10 minutes, particularly if you’re handy with a power drill. That said, there are a few hardwired options in Ring’s lineup that will take some knowhow — and some time — to get installed.
- Two-Way Talk: This is a staple feature we always look for in a security camera, and both Ring and Blink offer it. You can speak with visitors using the companion app on your smartphone, which is always great for convenience and safety’s sake. Gone are the days of opening your front door for strangers and pesky salesmen of all stripes.
- Night Vision: You’ll want to see what’s happening around your home, even in the dark of night. Thankfully, Ring and Blink both offer night vision. Although the quality does noticeably decrease compared to daytime viewing, night vision is still a must-have feature to look for.
Blink and Ring Differences
Blink and Ring do have some overlap when it comes to their offerings, but there are several key differences that you need to consider before plunking down the credit card. These differences include:
- Camera Selection: Blink offers a total of seven products, including at least one indoor, outdoor, and doorbell camera. On the other hand, Ring sells seven products in the doorbell category alone. A bigger selection is better in most cases, as you’re more likely to find a quality camera that works for your home and budget.
- Range of Protection: The range of protection that Ring brings to the table is all-around better than Blink. Need an outdoor cam with a floodlight, they’ve got it. Need a doorbell camera? You’re set. Intrusion protection with door/window sensors? Check. Ring offers much more robust home protection compared to Blink. Currently, Blink only sells a few cameras.
- Reputation: Ring is a household name, while Blink is still finding its place in the market. That’s not to say that popularity means you’re getting a better product. Both Ring and Blink are great cameras in their own right. But Ring is tried-and-true with years in the industry and backed by Amazon’s deep pockets and Mr. Bezos himself. Just something to note.
- Field of Vision: Ring has cameras that boast up to a 160-degree field of vision, while many of Blink’s cameras only offer 110-degree FOV. However, with their new Mini Pan-Tilt, Blink now offers one camera with 360-degree coverage.
- Intrusion Protection: Remember that Ring sells the Ring Alarm home security system. This puts another layer of security around your home, with door/window sensors, motion sensors, and a Z-Wave hub with a built-in siren. Unfortunately, you won’t get any of this with Blink.
- Professional Monitoring: With a Ring Alarm system, you can sign up with 24/7 professional monitoring through the Ring Protect Pro plan. Essentially, you’ll pay $20 per month and Ring’s partner monitoring center will monitor your security system for you. This is a huge advantage for Ring. Blink doesn’t offer professional monitoring, so if you go with them, you’ll have to stay on top of everything yourself. That includes checking notifications when they come in, reviewing footage, and alerting the authorities when necessary.
- Pet Monitoring: Ring’s newest product is a set of custom features tailored to pet owners. Not only does Ring let you see and talk to your pets when you’re away from home, it lets you set up a pet profile so Ring Neighbors can help you track them down if they should go missing. You can even set up your Ring Doorbell to keep track of when your furry friends come and go through the front door, so you’ll know exactly when the dog walker stops by to walk them.
As you can see, we think Ring is an all-around better option compared to Blink cameras. Of course, Ring isn’t a perfect system, but there’s a reason why it ranks so high on our list of the best home security cameras available. In fact, there are several reasons!
Ring vs Blink: Snapshot of Costs and Fees
Editor’s Note: Right now both Blink and Ring are running sales on select pieces of equipment. If you’re interested in purchasing either, now might be a good time to shop.
The Blink Indoor retails for $79 per camera, which is a very reasonable price considering the features you get. Keep in mind that you can also bundle and save with Blink — with 2-camera, 3-camera, and 5-camera kits saving you up to $100 or more.
The Blink Outdoor costs $99.99 and you’ll get the same packaged savings if you buy multiple cams at once. Finally, the Blink Mini indoor cam costs $34.99, and the Mini Pan-Tilt costs $59.99. Here’s our full rundown of Blink Camera pricing and packages.
Now, when we compare those costs to Ring, we find that Ring is the more expensive option of the two. Ring Indoor starts at a very reasonable $39.99, which is right in-line with Blink’s cameras. But from there, the outdoor cameras will run up to $249.99 for the newly released Spotlight Cam Pro.
Pro Tip: While you’re shopping around for security cameras, there are some you’re going to want to avoid outright. Check out our guide to three camera brands you shouldn’t trust to watch over your family.
So if you’re looking to save money, Blink might be the better option. Again though, Ring offers more options and better protection for your home and family. It’s worth the money in our eyes. For more information, we recommend taking a look at our Ring Cam pricing guide here, but we do want to include a brief rundown of Blink’s prices so you can get an idea of what you’re looking at.
Blink Pricing Breakdown
|Blink Mini Pan and Tilt
|Blink Wired Floodlight Cam
Pro Tip: Blink frequently runs sales for anywhere from 25 to 40 percent off. Be sure to bookmark our guide to Blink deals to stay up to date on all of the discounts.
And for comparison, here’s a breakdown of some of Ring’s most popular camera equipment:
A Look at Ring Cam Prices
|Spotlight Cam Plus Battery
|Spotlight Cam Plus Wired
|Spotlight Cam Plus Solar
|Floodlight Cam Plus
|Stick Up Cam Battery
|Stick Up Cam Plug-In
|Stick Up Cam Solar
|Stick Up Cam Pan and Tilt
|Stick Up Cam Elite (2nd Edition)
|Power over Ethernet (PoE)
|Floodlight Cam Plus
|Floodlight Cam Plus
|Floodlight Cam Pro
|Floodlight Cam Pro
|Floodlight Cam Pro (Premium Colors)
Are Surveillance Systems Effective?
The main goals of a video surveillance system are to deter potential threats, keep you informed, and to notify you in case of an emergency. They act as a deterrent when the cameras are visible. When a criminal knows that he or she cannot enter your home without being seen (and recorded!), they will likely move on to target a different home.
Surveillance systems will also allow you to monitor your home while you are away. They’ll provide you with information such as whether you have packages waiting at the door, a visitor at your entryway, or a looky-loo trying to peek into your windows. Certain alerts and alarms will alert you in the case of an emergency situation as well. So there’s no denying the effectiveness of a camera system like Ring or Blink.
Ring vs. Blink: The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a camera-based security system, this comparison of Ring vs Blink has highlighted the important points to help you make a smart decision between the two systems. When it comes to the security of your home, you should always do your homework (that’s why you have us!), weigh your options, and find the best system that makes sense for you, your family, and your budget.
On your search, be sure to keep in mind how many cameras you might need, whether any will be used outside, how many home automation features you might need, and whether or not you need a 24/7 monitoring service.
All things considered, we have to say that Ring is the better camera system compared to Blink. We’ve tested both systems for several days, and we prefer Ring Cams for their build-quality and features. Also, if you’ll want to expand your system in the future, Ring offers a whole suite of devices and home alarm components that Blink is lacking.
With that said, don’t overlook Blink if you’re searching for an affordable camera system. The cameras gave us great resolution, and the motion detection was on-point — always alerting us to potential criminal activity. And since the company introduced outdoor cameras, our home is protected both inside and out. So while we’d sooner purchase Ring, you really can’t go wrong with either camera system.