Use this article to understand optimum network requirements for your Blink devices.
Things to check first
Start with the following:
- Verify signal strengths. Blink App > Device Settings > General Settings > Camera to Wi-Fi will show your device's signal strength.
- Find out more in the Network layout and Connectivity sections below.
- Power cycle all devices that allow connection to the internet.
- Verify your internet connection and account are active.
Where to place your Sync Module
The Sync Module is the hub between the Blink app, Blink Servers and your camera. Without an internet connection, this data exchange is not possible.
In a typical situation (single building, no unusually dense construction materials), the Sync Module should be able to communicate with Blink cameras up to 100 ft. (30m) away in any direction. We recommend keeping the Sync Module near your wireless router for best signal strength. For optimum camera and Sync Module usage, three bars of signal strength displaying on the Sync Module screen is ideal.
Examples of less than ideal Sync Module locations:
- Behind a Television
- Inside a closed cabinet
- Directly on top of your Wi-Fi router
- In a basement
Examples of good Sync Module locations:
- On a window sill, in a central location between your indoor and outdoor cameras
- On TV stand or cabinet, and no less than 3 ft. (1m) and no more than 10 ft. (3m) away from your Wi-Fi router
- Near other equipment that may also be using your Wi-Fi
Camera connectivity issues with your network
The Blink system relies on having good signal strengths for optimal performance in viewing Live Views, uploading motion clips and for best video quality. It is critical for the cameras to show 3 bars of connectivity to avoid performance issues.
Fewer than 3 bars for each connection can create intermittent issues with the performance of your system.
In case of any camera issues on a mesh network, rebooting the router should be a first step.
Assuming standard construction techniques (single building, no unusually dense construction materials) the Sync Module should be able to communicate with Blink cameras up to 100 feet (33m) away in any direction. We recommend keeping the Sync Module near your wireless router for best signal strength.
See the section below to learn about signal strengths and how to check them. You should have three bars of signal connectivity at the Sync Module and each camera, as depicted on the Sync Module screen in the Blink app.
Where to find signal strength in the Blink app
Tap Device Settings above your camera's thumbnail and select General Settings.
You will see a Network section. Depending on the type of camera you have, this section can contain:
- Tapping this allows you to change your device's existing Wi-Fi connection. Use this if you have installed a new router for your network or want to change access points for your devices.
Connection to Wi-Fi
- The icon here represents the strength of your Wi-Fi connection to the camera.
Connection to Sync Module
- The icon here represents the strength of your Sync Module's connection to your network.
Its important to note that the cameras use two types of signals for communication:
- LFR - Low Frequency Radio - is the signal that cameras share with the Sync Module.
- Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) - is the frequency that the cameras communicate with your Wi-Fi router on. Blink supports mesh and merged networks with a single SSID but only communicates on the 2.4 GHz band.
How to boost internet signal
One solution, other than moving the camera closer to the Wi-Fi router, is to install a Wi-Fi extender or booster. A newer, more effective solution is called mesh Wi-Fi.
A Wi-Fi extender repeats the wireless signal from your router to expand its coverage. Extenders function as a bridge to capture the Wi-Fi from your router and rebroadcast it to areas where the Wi-Fi is weak or nonexistent. This improves the overall Wi-Fi performance and signal strength for all connected devices within range. Learn more about using extenders with Blink cameras.
Mesh networks eliminate connectivity dead zones by blanketing your home in Wi-Fi. They work by allowing different types of devices to chain off each other as nodes in a network, each broadcasting the radio signal further than the last. The typical mesh network includes several nodes, which act like satellites for your network. One of these nodes is a gateway and connects to the internet through your modem. The other nodes communicate to each other and will expand your wireless coverage every time you add a new node. Rather than communicating with a single access point (like a traditional network), each node of a mesh network communicates with the others. This distributes the overall signal strength and Wi-Fi coverage throughout an area.
Troubleshooting your connection
If your connections to either your Wi-Fi or Sync Module are below 2 bars or less, attempt the following troubleshooting steps.
- Device placement
- Move the device closer to the Wi-Fi router and tap Pull to Refresh to check if the bars increase. Repeat until you see improved signal strength.
- Check your internet
- If you haven't already, attempt a power cycle of the Wi-Fi router.
- Check that your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network is functioning normally and that the internet is available.
- Check that the Wi-Fi network speed is not being reduced by streaming movies and games, or other high bandwidth activities. Two Megabit per second (2 Mb/sec) upload speed (going from your location) must be available to the Blink system at all times. Test your connection by temporarily suspending any streaming of music, movies, video or gaming to prevent consumption of bandwidth.
- If your Wi-Fi password or network has changed, the Blink system will not function correctly until you update the settings.
- Check that the outlet provides power
- To confirm that power is present to the wall outlet, you can try plugging in a different device or appliance.
- Some outlets are controlled by a wall switch, check to see if this applies to your outlet.
- If the wall outlet is not providing power, you can try a different outlet.
- It is also possible that a circuit breaker has tripped, so you may want to check your electrical distribution panel.
- Check that the wall charger provides power
- If your outlet has power and the camera is not getting power, try to use a different wall charger.
- Any standard 5 volt USB wall charger should work. 5 volt USB phone chargers are commonly available.
- Check the cable
- It is possible that the USB cable became damaged from being bumped into. The damage may not be visible from outside.
- You can try the camera's power cable with another device to see if power is present.
- You can try to use another USB Type A male, to micro-usb Type B male, cable. These are commonly used for charging phones and other devices.
Wi-Fi Router Band Settings
Blink products can only connect to 2.4 GHz (802.11 b/g/n) networks.
Many newer routers provide 5 GHz Wi-Fi, or switch between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz automatically. The Sync Module will not respond if it has been switched to a 5 GHz network.
What’s the Difference Between 2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz Wi-Fi?
When logging into a Wi-Fi network and presented with two bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz — you might have the following questions:
- Which band should I connect to?
- Is one band faster than the other?
- Are both bands part of the same network?
The answer to the last question can clarify the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Even though they are different frequencies, supported routers can broadcast on both simultaneously, and some can switch between the two bands during operation. Blink devices; however, will only connect to 2.4GHz bands.
A dual-band router is any wireless internet router that sends out a signal on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Routers have features that vary based on manufacturer and model. Most dual-band routers automatically broadcast on both bands without any additional configuration, which is why it may not be obvious there are two bands.
Which Band is Better?
The main differences between 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands are the speed and range of their networks. A 2.4GHz band transmits farther and can penetrate building materials better with lower power transmission. A 5GHz band; however, can send more data. 5GHz should not be confused with 5G networks that mobile devices use for data transmission.
Many other devices commonly found in homes, such as microwave ovens and garage door openers, also operate on the 2.4GHz band. This can cause interference and reduce speeds. In addition, placing your devices behind dense building materials such as brick, stone, concrete, steel, and aluminum can interfere with signal strength, even when connecting on 2.4GHz.
With the technological advancement of routers, "band steering" is becoming more common. Routers with this feature use the same Wi-Fi network name (SSID) and password for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, allowing you to join a single network and receive the advantages of both frequencies.
Note: Blink devices only connect to 2.4GHz bands, even when bands are merged on your router.
Make sure that your router is not blocking access to the Sync Module. This can happen if you are alerted that a device is attempting access but the name is not familiar. Blink devices are sometimes identified by their radio chip instead of the Blink product name.
Do you use a virtual private network (VPN) on your mobile device? If so, please disable the VPN before you set up Blink devices. You can enable your VPN after you complete setup.
If you're continuing to have issues with VPN after setup, make sure your VPN server is in the same time zone as your device.
Important information to discuss with your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
We suggest speaking with your ISP to discuss your home network capabilities. Here is a guide for reviewing your network setup with your ISP.
- Upload speed - The Blink system requires a consistent minimum upload speed of 2Mbps. Any result lower than 2Mbps can cause latency and/or issues establishing or maintaining connection.
- Network congestion - The more devices in your home use Wi-Fi, the more they will be sharing your network's bandwidth. You can disable the Wi-Fi setting for non-Blink devices not in use and reenable it as needed.
- Old routing equipment - What is the age/model of your router? We recommend a router model less than 5 years old to ensure it supports the latest technology. If you're renting network equipment, your ISP may be able to provide you with an upgraded model at no additional cost.
- Packet loss - This means bits of information are being dropped when communicated over the network. This can cause communication failure from your device to your router or your mobile device to your router. Packet loss can occur within your home (device to router) and/or within your connection from your router to your ISP's server.
- Privacy settings/Parental Controls/Firewalls - Network security is important. Ensure these settings are set up so they do not interfere with your ability to connect to your connection to your Blink system. Ensure that each individual Blink device is allowed to establish its own connection. Tip: you can white-list your Blink device's individual MAC addresses. If you are unsure how to do so, check with your ISP.
- Duplicate SSIDs - When two networks in the same location have the same SSID/name, your Blink system may try to connect to the wrong one. This other SSID may be in a different location that is too far for reliable connectivity or may be and incompatible network. Ensure you are attempting to connect to the appropriate SSID.