Home security used to be expensive, require specialist installation and completed but not anymore. Home systems are now easy to install, low cost and simple and in this review look at the Blink XT home security system. Blink were recently acquired by Amazon and offer both indoor and outdoor cameras. The starter kit costs £149 from Amazon and there are no subscription fees.
Setting up Blink XT
Included in the box is the Blink XT camera, sync module, bracket and cables. The setup procedure is very simple; I used the Blink app (available for iOS and Android) to scan a QR code on the base unit and then created a Blink account and signed into the app.
A pair of AA batteries (supplied) powers the camera module and to set it up it was just a case of putting the batteries in and scanning the QR code on the camera. This adds the camera to your account and it’s ready to go. The Blink XT is waterproof (IP65 rated) so you can use it indoor or outside. I fitted the camera to an outside wall looking at my garden and it comes with a small bracket for wall mounting.
There is a motion sensor built into the camera and so you can have it alert you when it detects motion. It record a clip of the motion to the cloud, which you view on your phone. You can setup schedules when you want the camera armed and you can adjust things like clip length and sensitivity.
It has night vision so you camera can record video in the dark. Video clips are recorded at 1080p with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The video quality is very good including recording at low light levels. It also records audio.
Blink XT with IFTTT and Alexa integration
You can do other things with system. I linked it up with IFTTT to trigger actions when motion is detected, I have it set to flash a Philips Hue light when motion is detected in the garden. You can also view the camera on an Amazon Echo Show or Spot. You can say “Alexa, show garden” and it shows a live feed from the camera. It would be great if you could have it automatically show the camera on an Alexa device but I could not find a way to enable this.
The system is simple to setup and easy to use. Blink say the batteries can last up to two years depending on the amount of movement. Of all the systems I have tested, this is one of the easiest to get setup and working. Camera quality is very good and so far, I have not issues with it dropping off the network.
Unboxing, setup and review video of Blink XT
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.