Local Storage FAQ

What is Local Storage?

Local Storage is a Blink feature allowing a Sync Module 2 to save clips from Blink camera systems onto your personal USB drive between 1GB and 256 GB in size. You can purchase our Blink 64 GB USB drive here.

How does Local Storage Work?

Local Storage starts automatically for Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2) or Mini cameras, managed by a Sync Module 2 when it is not attached to a Blink Subscription Plan.

With Local Storage, motion clips are saved to USB and can be viewed in the Blink app Clip List.

Local Storage is not active when a system is attached to a Blink Subscription Plan or Free Trial. Instead, a once-daily Clip Backup is saved to the USB drive. Clip Backups are not viewable in the Blink app, they must be accessed directly from the USB drive using your computer.

The Blink Mini camera must be attached to a Sync Module 2 system to save clips on Local Storage. Click to visit the Sync Module 2 Amazon purchase page.

Blink camera owners may prefer the convenience of a Blink Subscription Plan over using the Local Storage feature. Click to learn more about the Blink Subscription Plans.

Here is a table of the main differences.


Local Storage Subscription Plan
Save Live Views
-
Yes
Bulk Delete
-
Yes
Rapid Viewing
-
Yes
Extended Warranty
-
Yes, with Plus Plan
10% Discount
-
Yes, with Plus Plan
View in the Blink app
Yes, with icon:
Yes, with thumbnail
Photo Capture
-
Yes


When your system is attached to a Blink Subscription Plan or Free Trial
Your clips are stored in the Cloud and Clip Backup is enabled by default. Clip Backup provides a once-daily backup of new motion clips from the Blink Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2), and Mini cameras. You access Clip Backups by Safely ejecting the USB drive and inserting in your computer.

When your system is not attached to a subscription
Local Storage saves motion clips directly to your USB drive. These clips can be viewed in the Blink app, where you can also share or delete them. An icon  shows for Local Storage Clips instead of the thumbnail preview shown for Cloud storage. Viewing motion clips from your USB drive through the Blink app can take longer than when you view clips from Cloud Storage because your clip's loading speed is affected by the Wi-Fi network upload speed at the Sync Module's location.

When you change subscription status
If you are using Local Storage with no subscription, and then receive a free trial of a Blink Subscription Plan, your motion clips and Live View sessions are saved on the cloud as long as the plan is active.

If the subscription plan stops being active, motion clips are saved directly to the Sync Module 2's Local Storage so long as storage space is available on the USB drive. All clips in Cloud Storage continue to be viewable in the Blink app Clip List under the Cloud icon until their auto-delete date is reached. The default auto-delete is 60 days (30 days in the EU, UK).

Clip locations are shown by icons at the top of the clip roll screen. Click to learn about using Local Storage.


Questions

Which Blink cameras work with Local Storage?

Only Blink Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2), and Mini cameras are compatible with Local Storage. The Blink Mini must be added to a Sync Module 2 system to use Local Storage.

The XT2, XT, and Indoor (gen 1) include cloud storage of their own and their clips are never saved to the USB drive.

Do all sync modules have Local Storage?

No, only the Sync Module 2 has the firmware and hardware required to support USB drives for Local Storage.

Can both Local Storage and a subscription be used?

Yes, you can use both forms of storage on the same account. A few options are shown below.

When a plan cancels, the clips in Cloud Storage remain available in the Blink app until they reach the auto-delete age.

If you have a Sync Module 2, that is not attached to a Blink Subscription Plan, Motion Clips from its Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2) and Mini cameras get saved to the USB drive.

With the Blink Plus Plan all of your devices are included in Cloud Storage and a once-daily Clip Backup is saved to your USB drive.

With the Blink Basic Plan, you have one Blink Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2), or Mini camera using Cloud Storage. Additional cameras on that same system will save their clips to Local Storage on the USB drive. This 'mixed storage' option is shown in the Blink app Clip List with icons for each type.


Does Live View work with Local Storage?

Live View sessions are never saved to USB, they are only saved to cloud storage with a subscription or free trial.

If you tap a notification to enter Live View, and you have Early Notification set to "on", any Local Storage clip being saved stops at that point to give you access to the camera view.

If you have Early Notification set to "off", then tapping an alert does not take you to Live View, and your Local Storage clip continues saving to USB.

The length of your Local Storage clip is controlled in camera settings.

Can all clips be moved from one storage type to another?

Sort of. When you begin using Cloud Backup, all clips that have not been saved yet are stored. This amounts to a bulk upload, however Clip Backups are not viewable in the Blink app.

Clips from a USB drive cannot be moved to Cloud Storage in bulk.

What happens when a USB drive is installed?

When you insert a USB storage device, the Sync Module 2 checks it for compatibility.

If the USB drive is smaller than 1 GB or larger than 256 GB, it is rejected.

If the device is compatible, the app icon shows a green colored drive. If the USB storage device needs to be reformatted, you are asked for permission to reformat the drive.

If no subscription is active, the Sync Module 2 begins storing Motion Clips from Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2) and Mini cameras. Local Storage Clips are viewable in the Blink app Clip List.

When there is an active subscription or Free Trial, the Sync Module 2 is configured to save a once-daily Clip Backup from eligible cameras into the USB drive. Clip Backups are not viewable in the Blink app.

Why was my USB memory device not detected?

The Sync Module 2 detects whether your USB memory device is compatible, and if needed, offers to reformat the drive for you. The USB drive must be between 1 GB and 256 GB in size, with at least 375 MB of free space available.

Caution: Reformatting the USB device will permanently erase all information already on the drive, and could affect compatibility with other computers or devices.

If your USB device is not detected, ensure that the connector is clean and free of debris. Spilled liquid can appear clear but still affect conductivity. Use the Blink app to make sure that the Sync Module is online and connected.

How many devices can record to my cloud storage?

Each system that is managed by a Sync Module allows up to ten Blink cameras or other devices to be connected.

If the USB drive is removed, will the cameras still record?

No recording can occur until a location for saving is created. When the Sync Module 2 is used with an attached USB drive, and the drive is removed, you receive motion alerts that send you to a Live View when tapped. You can see 'through' the camera but cannot save the Live View session.

When the USB drive is removed or deactivated, the message, “No USB storage device present.” appears on the Local Storage screen.

What happens if I remove the USB drive while it is saving?

When your USB drive is unplugged from the Sync Module 2, no saving can occur and the  the message, “No USB storage device present.” appears. If the drive is removed during an actual file save, the file is probably unusable, and the entire drive may need to be reformatted.

If the Sync Module 2 was attempting to save a Clip Backup when the USB drive was removed, the last file that was successfully downloaded is marked. The next time a USB drive is in place and Clip Backup is active, the first unmarked file in sequence begins the backup.

If the Sync Module 2 was attempting to save a clip direct from camera when the USB drive was removed, the data may be corrupt and not viewable without extremely sophisticated techniques. Click here for more information.

How are clips managed on Local Storage?

Local Storage Clips are viewable in the Blink app. If you have clips in more than one storage location, an icon at the top of the Clip List shows you which type of storage the clip is on.

If you are using Clip Backup, files on the USB drive can only be accessed on a computer or similar device. Because backups occur once per day, your clip roll may have changes that are not reflected on the USB drive. For instance, a clip that was created and deleted between backups will not be saved.

Are video clips on the USB drive encrypted?

Currently clips are not encrypted on the USB drive, as this would interfere with ease of access for viewing the clips on a computer. Your video data is always encrypted when transmitted from Blink cameras to the Sync Module as are the wireless transmissions of other Blink products to ensure your privacy and safety.

Are the clips stored in an accessible format?

Yes, all clips are stored as mpeg 4 (.mp4) formatted files and will be viewable using typical media player applications.

What happens if my power/WiFi goes out while clips are being downloaded?

If either your Wi-Fi or power goes out, clips cannot be stored.

The battery powered Blink cameras do operate when the power is out, but they require Wi-Fi to send imagery to cloud storage.

The Blink Mini camera requires full-time power to operate normally.

For Local Storage where the camera is saving directly to the USB drive attached to your Sync Module 2, the Sync Module 2 requires power to operate.

What is the file size of a clip in Local Storage?

File size changes by the quality and length of your clips. We use H.264 compression, which does a good job of making the file smaller while not losing too much quality. A Motion Clip of five seconds will naturally take much less storage than a Live View session of five minutes.

In very rough terms, a 256 GB drive should hold 256,000 clips that are each 'high resolution' (1080p) and ten seconds long.

Remember, when you are on a Bink Subscription Plan, you have unlimited clip storage space until they are 60 days old and get permanently deleted. You can use Clip Backup to store copies and not be concerned with the auto delete time.

Will clips that were already backed up to a local storage device download again to another inserted device?

No, clips for backup are only sent from our server once. You must safely eject the USB drive from the Sync Module and insert it into a computer to view, copy, or delete the clips.

Will I be able to see my Local Storage clips in the Blink app?

Yes, when you are using the Sync Module 2 with an attached USB drive, the first 1000 clips from the past 30 days are retrieved and presented to you in the Blink app clip list.

Each Sync Module 2 with USB drive using Local Storage is shown by a Sync Module icon next to the name of the system.

When the system is attached to a Blink Subscription Plan, new clips appear under the Cloud icon, and Clip Backups occur automatically, but they do not appear in the clip list. Visit the Sync Module's Local Storage screen to see when the most recent backup was completed.



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