Can You Use Blink Doorbell Without Subscription? (Monthly Fee)

Blink Doorbell in hand on front of doorBlink Doorbell in hand on front of door

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If you’re looking for a smart doorbell to complete your home security system, the Blink Video Doorbell is a great option. 

Blink offers a monthly subscription that adds more functionality to your Doorbell, but you can still use it without one.

Does the Blink Doorbell Require a Subscription?

You can use the Blink Video Doorbell without a subscription. The Doorbell’s free features include:

  • Motion alerts
  • Live View
  • Two-way audio

However, upgrading to a paid Blink subscription plan will give you more functionality to keep your home more secure. 

What Features Do You Get with a Blink Subscription?

When it comes to home security, there’s no such thing as being too safe. Honestly, saving your motion clips is a must-have with any security system. Without this feature, the doorbell is closer to a regular doorbell than to a smart doorbell.

Message that shows when trying to save a clip

When you purchase a new Blink Video Doorbell or camera, you automatically get a 30-day free trial of the Blink Plus Plan. 

Keeping this subscription going after the trial period gives you continued access to premium features, like recorded footage and 60-day video storage. 

Currently, there are two Blink subscription plans available — the Basic plan and the Plus plan. Here’s how the features vary from one plan to the other.

FeaturesNo Blink Subscription PlanBlink Basic PlanBlink Plus Plan
PriceFree$3/month per device$10/month for unlimited devices
Motion notificationsYesYesYes
Video recordingNo Live View recording, motion detection recording available with Sync Module 2Live View and motion detectionLive View and motion detection
60-day video historyNoYesYes
Local storage backupNoWith Sync Module 2 and USBWith Sync Module 2 and USB
Video sharingNoYesYes
Photo captureNoYesYes
10% off Blink devices from AmazonNoNoYes
Extended warrantyNoNo Yes

All Blink Cameras are eligible for the Blink Plus Plan, but not all are eligible for the Basic Plan. If you have any of the following cameras, you’ll need to sign up for the Blink Plus Plan:

  • Blink XT
  • Blink XT2
  • Blink Indoor Camera (1st Gen)

However, the three cameras listed above also include free cloud storage to help offset the additional cost.

Is a Blink Subscription Worth It?

In my opinion, a Blink subscription is worth the small monthly cost to get the most functionality possible out of your Blink devices.

Three features that make the Blink subscription worth it are video sharing, video recording, and 60-day video history. Let’s discuss each in more detail.

1. Video Sharing

Video sharing is included with Blink Basic and Blink Plus subscriptions, allowing you to share camera feed recordings with other devices

You can send your video feed to neighbors, family members, or anyone else. 

2. Motion-Detected Video Recording

This feature activates your Doorbell’s camera when motion is detected, then records and streams the camera feed directly to your smartphone. 

While the Blink Doorbell will also send you alerts and allow you to view your live feed without a subscription, having recorded footage is useful for identifying intruders while you are away from home. 

3. 60-Day Unlimited Video History

Both Blink Basic and Blink Plus subscriptions come with 60-day unlimited video history. 

Any footage recorded by your camera will be stored on the cloud for up to 60 days, giving you time to review your recordings and collect evidence if a crime occurs.

Can I Record from my Blink Doorbell without a Subscription?

There is one way to record and save footage from your Blink Doorbell without a Blink subscription plan. 

Some Blink cameras have a slot where you can insert a USB drive and SD card to record footage externally. This works for:

  • Blink Doorbell
  • Blink Mini
  • Blink Outdoor Camera
  • Blink Indoor Camera Gen 2

However, you must have a Sync Module 2 for this to work.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to record from your Blink Doorbell without a subscription:

Screen Record Blink Live View on iPhone or iPad

You set your Blink Doorbell up without a Sync Module 2, so there’s no way for the camera to record any type of video. 

But one day, you get a motion notification on your phone and open your Blink app to see an intruder trying to break into your home! Is there anything you can do?

Luckily, there is a way to record from your Blink Doorbell without a subscription or Sync Module 2 — through your iPhone or iPad’s Screen Recording feature. 

  1. Open the Blink app and view your Doorbell’s Live View.
  2. Swipe to open the Control Center and hold down the record icon.
  3. When the Screen Recording menu pops up, press the microphone icon to record any sound your Doorbell picks up.
  4. Press “Start Recording.”

Wait for the countdown to finish, then swipe to close the Control Center. When you’re done recording, just press the record icon in the Control Center again.

The video will automatically save to your Photos app, where you can keep it for future reference.

While this is definitely not the best way to record footage from your Blink Doorbell or Camera, it’s the best option when you don’t have a Sync Module or subscription plan.

How to Sign Up for a Blink Subscription

You’ve weighed the pros and cons, finally deciding that you want to sign-up for a Blink subscription plan. How do you get started?

  1. Open the Blink Home Monitor app on your phone.
  2. Press the gear icon to open your settings.
  3. Tap “Account and Privacy.”
  4. Select “Link to Amazon Account.”
  5. Sign into your Amazon account.
  6. Select the Blink subscription plan you want to purchase and follow the steps to activate it.

After completing the sign-up and payment processes, you can access all the features your chosen Blink subscription offers.

You can also visit this page on Amazon to sign up.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens if You Cancel Your Subscription or Don’t Renew the Free Trial?

If you cancel your Blink subscription plan or don’t renew it after your free trial ends, you’ll lose access to all the subscription-based features at the end of your billing cycle.

You can still use the Blink app, but your account will revert to a free account. 

Is a Blink Subscription Free with Amazon Prime?

Currently, Amazon does not offer a free Blink subscription as part of your Amazon Prime benefits. 

Whether you’re a Prime member or not, you will need to pay the monthly subscription price for your plan.

Does the Blink Video Doorbell Require a Sync Module?

You can use a Blink Video Doorbell without a Sync Module, but adding one improves your Doorbell’s functionality and battery life. 

Blink states that your Doorbell’s batteries should last up to two years. A Sync Module 2 guarantees that they last these entire two years. 

Adding a Sync Module is the best way to use a Blink Doorbell without a subscription. It lets you link up to 10 Blink devices and record motion-detected footage on a USB drive.

What Are Blink Legacy Cameras?

There are currently three Blink Cameras eligible for Blink’s legacy offer:

  1. Blink XT
  2. Blink XT2
  3. Blink Indoor Camera (Gen 1)

If you have any of these three cameras or created your Blink account on or before April 15, 2020, you get two hours of free cloud video storage.

Alternatives to Blink Doorbells without Subscriptions

If you want full functionality from your video doorbell without paying a monthly subscription cost, I recommend the Nest Doorbell or the Eufy Doorbell.

The Nest Doorbell gives you three hours of event video history without a subscription, while the wired and wireless Eufy Doorbells offer 4GB and 16GB of free local video storage, respectively.

Both doorbells are more expensive upfront than the Blink Video Doorbell. However, they give you more functionality without an additional monthly cost.

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