Dotdash Meredith and Yahoo Inc. may earn commissions or revenue on certain articles via the links below.
It has over 106,000 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers.
Two weeks ago, I returned home to find that someone had entered my home, uninvited. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Goldilocks. This is the second time my house has been burglarized in five years. As a travel writer, I’ve been away a lot, so it doesn’t surprise me that my house was a target, especially since I didn’t have a security camera. It was a wake-up call.
Fast forward to today. I watch the sun rise over the Indian Ocean from my bedroom in Santorini Mozambique. If I look at my phone, however, I can see what’s happening right outside my front door at home, nearly 10,000 miles away in Montana. And it’s all thanks to the Blink Wireless Outdoor Security Camera.
To buy: amazon.com, $100
After this latest break-in, there was no doubt that I was going to buy a security camera, and I looked at many options to find the best one to protect my home when I’m on the road. After careful consideration, I finally settled on the Blink Outdoor Security Camera because it offered the best value for money and earned thousands of rave reviews from Amazon buyers. If I were to write a children’s book about it, it would be called “The Little Camera That Could”. At 2.8 inches by 2.8 inches by 1.2 inches, it’s definitely one of the smallest cameras around. But that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful enough to get the job done.
For starters, the Blink Wire-Free Outdoor Security Camera lets me record and view video footage in razor-sharp 1080p HD. At night, the HD infrared night vision technology comes into play and, despite the low natural light, the image is incredibly clear. It’s basically the same quality as what I see during the day, minus the color, of course. It’s also compatible with Alexa, and there’s even a two-way audio option to hear and communicate with visitors in real time. This useful feature can be accessed through the Blink app, which is free and lets you monitor live footage and access old recordings on the go.
Material-wise, this camera is made from a durable plastic that is weather resistant. It can even operate in extreme temperatures between -4 degrees Fahrenheit and 113 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the brand. This was a very important feature for me because Montana winters are harsh at best (and the summer heat can be just as unforgivable). I also like that the camera is black and square; it looks a lot sleeker and less tacky than the traditional white or beige cameras that most commercial businesses use while remaining unobtrusive.
Setting up my Blink Wireless Outdoor Security Camera was incredibly easy. No one in my life would describe me as a techie, but I had the camera up and running within 10 minutes. First, I had to download the Blink app, which walked me through the process, starting with pairing the device and connecting it to my WiFi. Because the camera is wireless, all I had to do was insert the two AA batteries that came with it to bring it to life. According to Blink, the batteries should last about two years. The trickiest part was mounting the camera, but even that only required a few screws.
With the camera installed, I can simply open the Blink app on my phone to see what my camera sees, in real time. If I want to save a video clip or photo, I can save it to the cloud, a feature only Blink Plus subscribers have access to (you can start a 30-day free trial today).
And because I don’t want to watch the stream 24/7, I set notifications. Currently I only get a notification when my camera detects motion. Every time someone walks past the camera, I hear a “ding” sound similar to what I hear every time I get a text. I will also be notified when the camera battery is low.
Obviously, I’m a fan of this camera, but I’m far from the only one. With over 106,000 perfect five-star ratings, the Blink Wireless Outdoor Security Camera is one of Amazon’s highest rated products. One camera costs $100 and it’s also available in bundles, so you can buy everything from a two-pack to an eight-pack to make sure your whole house is covered; prices range from $180 to $630. While researching the camera, I read many reviews from buyers who rely on them to keep tabs on their vacation homes. There are also many reviews from buyers like me who use them when traveling. One traveler even said his camera saved his house from flooding; while they were on vacation, he detected movement of water escaping from a broken pipe and warned them.
Another satisfied buyer wrote: “I never imagined that I could have such visibility of my house, wherever I travel, for such a low cost.” And a third customer shared: “[I’m] very happy with the product. I feel comfortable leaving my country house for an extended trip knowing that I can check things out. And, if something happens, I might have a recourse.
Obviously, the goal is that nothing happens when you are not at home. I hope potential burglars will see my camera — which is mounted above arm’s reach, so they’d have to get a ladder or stand on something to take it down — as a deterrent. And even if they don’t, they still have to get through my front door (I also changed the locks) and the Kevin McCallister-inspired traps I set inside. I joke with the traps!
But seriously, if you want to keep an eye on your home when you’re away, whether for work or play, I highly recommend the Blink Wireless Outdoor Security Camera. Believe me, you can’t put a price on peace of mind knowing your home is safe.
At press time, the price started at $100.
More T+L deals to buy:
Do you like it a lot? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products every week.
For more travel and leisure news, be sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original travel and leisure article.