Does A Blink Mini Require A Sync Module?

A Blink Mini doesn’t require a sync module to work provided that you are either willing to pay a monthly fee for a Blink subscription plan or that you only want your Blink Mini to work in a very simple and limited way.

A Blink Mini camera can work on its own, or with a Sync Module 2 or with a Blink Subscription plan. 

A Blink Mini that works without a Sync module or a cloud storage plan has very few functions available. Whereas a Blink Mini which has a subscription plan has loads of features.

And a Blink Mini that is connected to a Sync Module sits somewhere between the two of these options

Before I do anything else, let’s take a look at what a Blink Mini camera is capable of just on its own.

The features of a Blink Mini in isolation

A Blink Mini camera will provide its owner with three basic controls

  1. motion alerts
  2. live view
  3. app controls

Motion alerts

Which means that you will get a notification that motion has been detected but there won’t be a motion clip with it.

These notifications can be viewed in the clips menu on the homepage

This is what it looks like.

The thumbnail informs us that there’s “no clip recorded” and then the individual notifications has a play arrow with a line through it.

Whereas a notification that is delivered to a Mini that has a subscription or a sync module looks like this.

The thumbnail at the top has a white play arrow and all the notifications below have a thumbnail and the icon of a video camera.

Live view

Although you can connect to the live view of your Blink Mini after receiving a motion alert,  this connection needs to be refreshed every minute.

Here’s what it looks like.

If you don’t refresh the connection by tapping on the continue button then the connection automatically closes.

After five minutes, the connection will be closed regardless of whether you want to or not. 

Whilst in live view you can still use the two way talk feature by pressing and holding the “hold to talk” button at the bottom of the screen but any of the features from the “save” or “ “more” are unavailable. 

App settings

A Blink Mini which is used without a subscription or a Sync Module 2 still needs to be managed by the Blink app.

Most of the options in the app can still be managed and changed by you. You can still do things such as changing the name of the camera or using two way audio.

It is just the options that directly relate to video which are more limited.

And when I look into the motion settings menu in the app, I can still modify the activity zones and the sensitivity of the detection but I can’t change the length of the motion clips.  

Having looked at what a Blink Mini can do on its own, let’s see what happens to it when we connect it to a Sync Module 2. 

What can a Blink Mini do with a Sync Module?

When you link your Mini with a Sync Module 2 and a USB stick, more features are unlocked. But before I explain what they are, I will introduce you to a Sync Module 2.

What is a sync module 2?

A Sync Module 2

A sync module 2 is an electrical device that connects your Wi-Fi network and your Blink app and allows you to store video clips from up to 10 Blink cameras to a USB stick that plugs into it.

It is a lightweight, black plastic box that measures 6cm x 6cm x 1.7cm. It is a cheaper alternative to the cloud storage plans provided by Blink.

Buying a sync module 2 and a USB stick is a one time cost whereas the Blink cloud storage plans require an ongoing monthly subscription. 

The biggest capacity of the USB stick that can be used with the module is 256 GB. 

The Blink Mini is capable of recording videos at a resolution of 1080p. 256 GB can store around 24 hours of 1080p video. Remember that you can change the resolution of the videos (link to video settings video.)

How long is live view connection?

The live view connection when a Mini is connecting to a Sync Module is 5 minutes. But that is five uninterrupted minutes where there isn’t any need to tap on a continue button after every minute- which is the case for Blink Minis that are operating on their own. 

Motion detection recording

On its own a Blink Mini cannot record or store any clips but with a sync module it can.

You can view the clips via the Clip menu on the app homepage. You can view these clips remotely. You don’t need to be at home connected to your home WiFi. You could be anywhere- as long as you have your phone and a decent Internet connection.  

And remember that you can do all sorts of different things with these clips by changing the settings in the motion settings menu such as how many seconds you want a motion clip to be.  

Optional local backup

These clips are stored automatically when a USB stick is plugged into the Sync Module. The clips are stored on the USB stick until they are deleted by the owner. When the stick can’t hold anymore motion clips a notification appears in the app about storage. There isn’t any automatic deletion of the oldest files when the storage capacity of your USB stick has been reached. 

Although the app will show a maximum of 1000 clips from the last 30 days, more clips from longer ago will still be stored on the USB stick. It is just that in order to view these additional clips you will need to insert the USB stick into a laptop or desktop PC. 

Can you share motion clips stored on the Sync Module 2?

Yes, you can share the motion clips that have been backed up onto the USB stick. But you can only do this by inserting the USB into a laptop or desktop and sharing from there.

If you are using the SM2 and a USB, these clips can’t be shared directly from the Blink app. 

So having looked at how much more powerful the Blink Mini is when it is used with a Sync Module 2, it is time to look at what it can do at its most powerful- when it has an active Blink subscription plan.

App settings

As a result of being able to record and store video clips, the options relating to these clips are also available.

Blink Mini and a Blink Subscription plan 

To round this article off, I will look at what the Blink Mini can do with a subscription plan. There are actually two Blink subscription plans- basic and plus. The basic plan is for people who have one Blink camera whereas the plus plan is for people who have more than one Blink camera.

The basic plan costs $3 per month or $30 per year whereas the plus plan costs $10 per month or $100 per year.

As well as all the features discussed above a Blink Mini with a subscription plan can do lots more. But I just want to focus on what I consider to be the main three. 

Live view recording

This feature enables you to record your live views as you connect directly to your camera. 

However, there’s a limit to the length of these recordings and I’m running a test now to determine how long I can record for. I have just run two tests where I have recorded my live stream. And the limit for each video was 5 minutes before the recording stopped and I lost my connection to my Blink Mini. 

Extended Live View

Extended live view enables you to connect to your camera for 90 minutes at a time. However, you can’t record these extended sessions. As I said the maximum that you can record a live session for seems to be about 5 minutes. 

60 day unlimited video history

If you are in the US then you get 60 days unlimited video back up. You can view any clips over the past 60 days- no matter how long or short they are. 

In the EU and Europe this limit is 30 days. 

And all of this history no matter where in the world you live is accessible from the app.

Do you remember that with a Sync Module 2, you can only access the last 1000 clips from the previous 30 days within the app, which is quite a difference