Home Security with Blink
I used to be fearless. I lived with a strange man I found on CL my freshman year of college (not advisable), I lived by myself in East Harlem when I was 23 and have always said yes to anything that felt slightly risky if it sounded fun. I was invincible and fearless, which has led to my success (uh, DesignStar?).
Cut to 3 years ago, shortly after Charlie was born, I called 911 on the FedEx guy. To be fair a knock on the door at 9:45 at night is strange, Brian was out of town and when I yelled ‘Who’s there?’ I was met with loud silence. I became physically overwhelmed with fear, my imagination quick to run the video of worst case scenario in my brain. I was unsure whether to put my infant in his crib or to hold him as I defended us. Maybe I should run to the kitchen to grab a knife or better yet run out the back patio, up the hill to the street above. Instead I did the more logical choice which was call the police. As I shakily dialed 911 I thought ‘Welp. I know this is nuts, but I pay my taxes …’.
‘What’s the emergency?’ they asked.
I don’t remember what I said, but this is what I thought.
“Well, I’m a new mom and I have just realized for the first time how my life could be absolutely ruined if something happened to my little baby. I understand and fear my mortality wildly more than I thought possible and turns out it’s as if I’m just realizing that I’m not invincible. Despite my previous judgements on parents I know that all I truly care about is my family, and keeping them alive and safe is my #1 priority and I will do ANYTHING to ensure that. Because of my absolutely indescribable love for my baby, “fear” now runs some aspects of my life that it never touched before. It overruns my common sense, it makes me act illogically and you know what, I’m ok with that.”
“So obviously when someone knocks on my door, I now call you, 911.”
I opened the door, phone up to ear, to find a small package from Amazon. I informed them of the mis-identification of the “criminal”, apologized for the inconvenience and breathed a massive sigh of relief … then burst into laughter (while still shaking). This was only 2 weeks after Brian called the fire department because our new carbon monoxide monitor was unknowingly out of batteries and beeping erratically. All 8 firemen were inside as I cradled Charlie on the front patio – shielding his innocent mouth from the invisible (and non-existent) silent killer. To be fair I thought that scenario was ridiculous but who was I to talk…. So yah. Home security is a thing to me. It NEVER was before, and ask Brian and all my friends – it really is now.
But first – I’m not someone who wants to promote a product based on fear, but when Blink decided to sponsor this blog post and work together on a big giveaway (UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed) I was into it, knowing that many of you might be, too.
Let me be totally clear: I’m a public figure with a large following therefore we have a high-end alarm system with video cameras and alarms on all doors and windows. The alarm company even calls the police immediately even if a glass window from inside the house has broken while it’s activated. It’s expensive, and probably unnecessary but due to one creepy comment about my kids on the blog, this is what we are choosing to spend some money on right now. Insecurity and fear sure can be expensive …
But for most people an alarm of that extent isn’t necessary nor affordable. You might have a simple alarm system on your front and back doors, but maybe a camera for monitoring would bring another level of confidence or complement your already existing system to bring you the coverage and security you need – enter Blink.
So what makes Blink different from the rest of the security and video monitoring options out there? Well to start, unlike traditional security or video monitoring systems there are no contracts, no hard wires, and no technician needed. Blink is ready to go out of the box and the system can be added to as needed with as many additional cameras as you want. The indoor camera system starts at $99 which includes the sync module and one camera, but you can expand on that as much as you want and add up to 10 cameras to fit your needs. So not only is it easy to install but it is a system that doesn’t set you back a small fortune like a lot of other video monitoring systems out there.
The system is a simple and easy DIY setup, which you know I can stand behind. Take it out of the box, put two batteries in the back of the unit (which last for 2 years!), scan the camera into the system with your phone, position it where you want (inside or outside) and you are good to go. Unlike other systems which require wiring, a technician and a tech savvy brain this one is about as “plug and play” as you can get.
See that happy little camera up there on my living room shelves (pre-halloween decorations of course), that has NO wiring or bulky interface? That is Blink.
Once you have your camera set into position it works through an app on your phone so you have access to a live view from any of the cameras. You can also manage the settings directly in the app which allow you to set alerts for movement, or automatically record any time there is movement in the room. Basically when motion is detected, Blink will record the activity it sees and saves it as a shareable video file that you can access at any point directly from your phone.
And while we may not feel the need to constantly monitor the system through the live feed knowing that it does it automatically by recording the movement it sees could put you at ease.
Which brings me to the next reason that I love this system. Due to the fact that there are no hard wires it can be positioned anywhere both inside and out of the home. To show you how it works we placed one of their indoor cameras up on one of our bookshelves which gives a full view of the living room.
And while spying on people is not my thing, keeping an eye on things is and I know that many of you run the gamut from no monitoring at all to hidden cameras. It’s a great option for those of you who want a little more knowledge, without paying a lot of money. It would have been GREAT during the renovation of the house to see the progress instead of asking the contractor all the time. It’s not an alarm system, but does monitor and keep you informed.
Because the system is totally wire-free it also makes it a great option for renters or those not looking for a hard installation as it can be easily setup and then brought along if you ever move.
For those looking for a view of your outdoor areas or the perimeter of your property they have an outdoor version as well which is completely water and element proof. So whether you have a dog that hangs out in the yard that you want to watch over while you are away at work, packages that are delivered throughout the day, or you just want to see a view of who is at your front door before you have to greet them in your robe, then this setup can work for you.
To show you how easy it is to install we went ahead and did it on my front door.
The camera comes with a small mount that easily installs with just one screw and a screwdriver and then the camera snaps into place.
From a design standpoint it’s nice that the units are simple, discreet, and don’t look like a massive security system that you have installed at your house making it look like a fortress.
Once all hooked up, here is what the app interface looks like:
It’s also great for offices – if you are a small to medium sized office you might want a level of monitoring your staff in the day and at night. I’m a fairly trusting person and actively try to stay that way, (which admittedly is tricky the older I get and the more vulnerable I feel) but the world is getting more and more complicated and insecurities do make us wish for more control and knowledge. I never want to be someone who promotes the culture of fear, to say that you need something in order to be safe. But if you are one of those people, who wants to spend less money, have less commitment and less hassle but would feel more secure with extra monitoring in your life, then I highly recommend this product.
*** UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed.
The system is simple and discreet, yet it brings a great sense of security to wherever you use it. Blink has also been kind enough to giveaway an entire system which includes a Two Camera Indoor System and a Blink XT One Camera System to one lucky reader. Just click through HERE to enter and be sure to leave a comment below on how you would use the system in your own home or apartment. The giveaway will be open for one week and a winner will be chosen at random.
This post is sponsored by Blink, but all the words and opinions are my own. Thanks for giving me the excuse to tell my ‘I called 911 on the FedEX guy’ story. It was something I totally forgot until last week when I was writing this post, but it truly epitomizes what being a parent can do to your common sense and how much it can trigger the mammalian instinct to protect.
I would love to hear any of your maybe less than logical stories of temporary parental (kid or pet or just general) insanity… Go for it in the comments…