If you’re in the market for a new home security system, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all the options available. There are a lot of different video surveillance security systems out there with some key differences that you may not be aware of.
We recently tested Ring and Blink security cameras, paying special attention to things like installation, features, user experience, pricing, and overall value.
Both are owned by Amazon, so Blink and Ring have a lot in common, but that doesn't mean the two brands are the same. The main difference between Blink and Ring has to do with their products. Ring has a bigger product selection, in line with the company's aim to create a ring of protection around its customers' homes. Blink, on the other hand, has fewer products, but is more affordable.
Today, we're going to put Ring and Blink head-to-head to see which is the better camera system. Without further ado, let's jump right in and compare these two, Amazon-owned brands.
Blink and Ring Features & Tech
When deciding which home security system to purchase, you should first look at the features offered. This way, you’ll be sure to get a camera that’s up-to-snuff when it comes to performance and your expectations. 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
- Up to Ten Camera Capacity: 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. This is 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, so the cameras themselves store the video recordings. Though the storage space is limited, the fact that Blink stores media locally is quite handy. Note that you can also sign up with a paid cloud storage plan, allowing you to store a nearly infinite amount of videos in the cloud.
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: Blink cameras can be installed in minutes, which is great for folks who aren’t handy around the house. There’s no extensive drilling or wiring to deal with. It took us only a few minutes, using two screws and the step-by-step instructions. The cameras are battery operated.
- 1080p HD Image Quality: Blink cameras gave us crisp and clear 1080p HD resolution. This is the industry standard these days, and it’s plenty sharp to pick up the little details you need. That said, the Blink Indoor camera only offers 720p HD, which isn’t great in our experience.
- 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. Blink recently released a couple of cameras called the Blink Indoor and Blink Outdoor. They also sell the popular Blink Mini indoor camera. So keep an eye out for these devices.
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. Home automation will allow you to control your lighting and security system as well as monitor from a remote location via your mobile device. Home automation can be extremely handy.
- 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
Blink and Ring are both home security systems that rely on video surveillance cameras to keep porch pirates and burglars at bay. The two DIY systems share a few similarities, which include:
- Affordability: Neither Blink nor Ring require a contract, long-term payment plan, or expensive installation. Both can be installed quickly and easily, saving on installation fees. Customers purchase the equipment up-front, which means there are no hidden costs.
- High-Definition Video: Both Blink and Ring record high-quality videos with crisp, clear images. After all, a home surveillance system is pointless if you cannot tell what it is that you are looking at while streaming or reviewing recorded footage of an incident. Both cams offer 1080p HD resolution, which should be plenty sharp for what you’ll need.
- 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: This is related to the last point. Since the equipment is wireless, the installation only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Note, however, that this does depend on the camera. For instance, the Ring Floodlight Camera offers the most robust protection, and thus requires a good amount of wiring and professional installation.
- 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
Although Blink and Ring have many similarities, they also have several critical differences you’ll want to consider before pulling out your pocketbook or purse. Here are some of the key differences between Blink and Ring.
- Camera Selection: As we've mentioned above, Ring offers a handful of outdoor cameras, doorbell cameras, and an indoor camera. Blink, on the other hand, only sells a few cameras. 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 Blink’s camera only offers 110-degree FOV. This isn’t a deal-breaker for us, but a wider viewing angle is almost always preferable. You’ll simply capture more in the frame with Ring compared to Blink cams.
- 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 Ring, you can also sign up with 24/7 professional monitoring. The Ring Protect Plus plan only costs $10 per month. This way, if someone breaks into your home, Ring’s monitoring center can dispatch police to your property — even if you’re unavailable for any reason. This is another difference between Ring and Blink, as Blink does not have professional monitoring.
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
Blink Indoor starts at $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.
Blink Outdoor ranges between $65 and $100 per camera, and you’ll get the same packaged savings if you buy multiple cams at once. Finally, the Blink Mini indoor cam only costs $25, but the features are fairly limited. 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 $65, which is right in-line with Blink’s cameras. But from there, the outdoor cameras will run you between $79 – $249.
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. And with that in mind, we recommend looking at our Ring Cam pricing guide here.
A Look at Ring Cam Prices
|Ring Camera||Power Source||Equipment Cost|
|Spotlight Cam Battery||Battery||$149.00|
|Spotlight Cam Wired||Hardwired||$249.00|
|Spotlight Cam Solar||Solar||$229.00|
|Stick Up Cam Battery||Battery||$79.99|
|Stick Up Cam Plug-in||Wired||$79.99|
|Stick Up Cam Solar||Solar Panel||$148.99|
|Stick Up Cam Elite (2nd Edition)||Power over Ethernet (PoE)||$199.99|
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 indoor camera system. The cameras gave us great resolution, and the motion detection was on-point — always alerting us to potential criminal activity. So while we’d sooner purchase Ring, you really can’t go wrong with either camera system.