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Blink vs Ring: Which doorbell camera system is best?

·6 min read
<p>Consider which set-up will best suit your home layout </p> (The Independent/Istock)

Consider which set-up will best suit your home layout

(The Independent/Istock)

When it comes to looking at a home security solution for your individual needs, there are lots of different options to consider.

As well as thinking about the type of security you need, you’ll also have to turn your attention to installation, how easy it is to operate and how your home layout suits different styles of set-up.

Two of the most popular systems at the moment, Blink and Ring, deliver very similar services on paper.

In this guide, we’ll look to delve a little bit deeper into the pros and cons of each service, what they offer and the benefits of both.

First, let’s introduce the set ups and look at what they do.

Read more:

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Ring security solutions

Ring is often touted as the first company to fully integrate a video doorbell system into everyday security solutions. Its consumer orientated product range has now expanded to offer security set ups for almost all parts of the home, integrating technological enhancements to fully keep track and monitor the goings on in and around your premises.

Ring offers doorbells as its primary product but the aforementioned product expansion means it now has a good range of security cameras, systems including alarms and trackers, and accessories including range extenders to ensure its alarms reach all areas of the home. As the products are aimed at a consumer market, they appeal to people who would like to strengthen existing security systems, or add light-touch security such as video doorbells without enormous price tags and expensive installation procedures.

Ring offers a fuller security system in terms of technological features too. Blink’s cameras are simple and straightforward, and although they offer motion detection, Ring’s cameras tend to pull ahead of the competition in terms of tech, with clever features added to cameras like a spotlight function to illuminate house entrances. Accessories such as infrared sensors to track doors and windows opening are also available. It needs more management, but Ring’s offering is the best bet for the tech-tinkerer.

Read more: 11 best home security cameras that are easy to set up and reliable

Our favourite video doorbell from Ring is the video doorbell pro (£159, Argos.co.uk). It’s a simple but effective and clever package, and also comes with 30 days free to their subscription service.

 (Ring)
(Ring)

For those who want a cheaper option that plugs into existing doorbell setups, the wired video doorbell (£49, Ring.com) is a good option, and still features live video and two-way talk.

Blink home security systems

In the same way Ring offers consumer-orientated security for your home, Blink is an Amazon-owned company supplying outdoor and indoor cameras for monitoring, with a supplied app that enables you to keep track of the comings and goings at your home, including ensuring you respond to parcel deliveries while you’re out or recording HD video of potential threats or intruders.

Blink offers a good range of outdoor and indoor cameras. Unlike Ring, it doesn’t focus on video doorbells, but rather more traditional “CCTV” style cameras that monitor what’s going on, controlled via an app like many other consumer security devices out there.

Blink’s offerings are among the cheaper options out there, but again, without video doorbells and other professional monitoring equipment, you’re getting a slightly more diminished package. That being said, not everyone needs bells and whistles, and we found that Blink excels in other ways. The battery life, for instance, is said to last as long as two years, which is very impressive, while the batteries on Ring’s offerings only last up to six months. Obviously, if you’re wiring Ring’s cameras in, you don’t have to worry about that too much, but Blink does offer an excellent package if you’re wanting to set it up and forget about it.

Read more: 10 best smart home devices that make life easier

As far as Blink’s products and offerings are concerned, the range is a little more straightforward than Ring’s, and easy to understand. It’s recently added the blink outdoor (£89.99, Johnlewis.com) to the line-up, which adds waterproof and weatherproof ability to the camera– perfect for just outside the front door.

 (Blink)
(Blink)

The blink indoor (£79.99, Amazon.co.uk) does exactly what you’d expect it to do and also works with Alexa so you can use your voice to monitor your home through supported Alexa-enabled devices.

The verdict: Blink vs Ring

Although they offer slightly different solutions and different products, Blink and Ring have similar offerings, especially when it comes to the performance of their cameras. They both offer HD-quality cameras for both outdoor and indoor use, and in our testing we found that they perform similarly and give acceptable clarity, even in low-light or inclement conditions.

We can see why both of these systems are popular. They’re both at an affordable price point, ranging from about £30 to £100 for different set-ups, and they’re easy to live with. Information about them is readily accessible and they are a good entrance into the home security market if you’re thinking of expanding into more professional systems at a later date . They do have different audiences however – Blink’s cameras are good but they’re limited in terms of options, features and extras.

They do what you’d expect them to do and they do them very well, but are probably more suited to people who want to set something up and forget about it, rather than keep tweaking with settings and setups. Ring, on the other hand, is more of a gateway into higher-end setups, and although the basic cameras do exactly the same as Blink’s, its sheer range of accessories, and its use of more advanced technology such as face-recognition on its doorbells, for example, indicate that the brand operates in slightly different territory.

This brings us on to the general everyday running and operation of both systems. Both system’s apps function very well and do what they need to do for the devices in question. As expected, Ring’s is heavier on the features and settings, but the live view on the Blink app works well and is as good as required. The live views on both apps are free, and you don’t need to purchase or commit to any paid subscription in order to use these devices. However, you don’t get the full benefit of each system unless you buy into a system that allows cloud storage and multiple devices linked up.

The prices are reasonable and for both systems, if you only have one device, you’re looking at about £2.50 a month. This rises to nearly £10 a month if you want to link up a number of devices and extend your cloud storage, but you do have to be committed to security to purchase this, and we think that package would only really suit larger premises or protecting garages and outbuildings with extra setups, for instance.

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For more home security options, try our best video doorbells, from battery powered to wired models