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Blink vs. Nest: Side-by-Side Comparison

For a home security camera system, there are some big players in the market—two of those being Blink and Nest.

Blink vs Nest

This writeup is going to be a head-to-head matchup of both Blink vs. Nest to see how they compare. There’s a lot to cover from these two so let’s dive right in.

Blink vs. Nest: Best of the Best

PRODUCTDETAILS

Best Budget

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Blink Indoor
  • Power: Wireless
  • Resolution: 720p
  • Hub Required? Yes
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Best Indoor

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Nest Indoor
  • Power: Wired
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Hub Required? No
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Best Value

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Blink XT2
  • Power: Wireless
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Hub Required? Yes
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moderncastle-table-__imageNest Outdoor
  • Power: Wired
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Hub Required? No
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moderncastle-table-__imageNest IQ Indoor
  • Power: Wired
  • Resolution: 1080p, 4K sensor
  • Hub Required? No
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Best Outdoor

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Nest IQ Outdoor
  • Power: Wired
  • Resolution: 1080p, 4K sensor
  • Hub Required? No
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Below we look at the full camera model lineup for both Blink & Nest.

Blink vs nest camera review comparison

Blink vs. Nest: The Models

Blink Cameras

  • Blink Indoor: low cost, entry-level camera for indoor use only with basic 720p video quality and free Cloud-based video storage; wireless battery power; requires the Blink Sync Module
  • Blink XT2: indoor / outdoor camera with better 1080p video quality and free Cloud-based video storage; wireless battery power; requires the Blink Sync Module

Nest Cameras

  • Nest Cam Indoor: most budget-friendly Nest camera for indoor use only; includes basic function with standard video resolution
  • Nest Cam Outdoor: most budget-friendly outdoor camera with basic functions and standard video resolution
  • Nest Cam IQ Indoor: a more advanced indoor camera with a renewed look, advanced 4K sensor, and tracking as well as integrated person alerts
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: advanced outdoor camera designed to pair with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor; with advanced 4K sensor and tracking as well as integrated person alerts

Table of Contents

Design Overview

10-SECOND SUMMARY: Blink and Nest both have cameras in overlapping categories (indoor vs. outdoor), but in design, performance, and function, they have some big differences. Blink offers an entry-level camera with basic features and excellent value. For more advanced sensors, intelligent activity detection, and energency response options, Nest more easily checks those boxes.

Blink Design

Angled view of the Blink XT2 camera

Nest Design

Nest Indoor Camera

Mounting Styles

Blink

  • Surface Mount

Nest

  • Surface Mount
  • Magnetic Mount

The Mount: Blink

Blink cameras are primarily designed to sit freestanding on a tabletop, counter, or another flat surface. They have a wide, flat base and wireless power.

If you want to opt for a wall-mounted application (or exterior installation with the XT2), there is a surface mount that comes with the camera.

Exact versions of this mount tend to vary, and there are a lot of third market options, but here is the basic breakdown of how this mount works.

It is a 2-piece mount that basically installs like this:

  1. Rigid base attached to a vertical substrate using two screws
  2. Secondary arm installs into the back of the camera with a ball socket that connects into the rigid base (see #1).
Back of the Blink XT2 camera
Back of the Blink XT2 camera

The Mount: Nest

Nest has two different surface mounts and one style that uses a magnetic mount. Here’s a look at exactly what options you have with Nest.

Nest indoor camera
Nest indoor camera review
  • Surface Mount 1.0: This is basically a thin disc base that stabilizes the camera. It is double pivoting, meaning that it can rotate forward and backward or side to side. The base is used for the Nest Cam Indoor.
Nest Can indoor pivoting
  • Surface Mount 2.0: With the release of the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, also came a new mounting style. For the sake of simplicity, we’re calling this the “2.0”. This mount is slightly thicker than the original and the pivoting point occurs higher up on the stem of the mount. See the photo below for comparison.

RELATED: What’s the best home security camera for your home?

Nest Cam IQ camera base
Nest Cam IQ camera base
  • Magnetic Mount: Both the Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor have a mount that magnetically attaches to the camera. Hardware screws are provided to secure the mount to an exterior wall.
Nest outdoor camera review

Video Storage

Blink

  • Cloud-based only (up to 120 minutes, free)

Nest

  • Cloud-based only (up to 180 minutes, free)

Both Blink and Nest offer Cloud-based video storage and no option for local SD card storage. Nest has subscription plans that allow you to add extra storage, while Blink offers no subscription plans.

Here’s the limits of each company:

Blink Storage Plans

  • Up to 120 minutes of video storage for free with no current option for more storage or local backup

Nest Storage Plans

  • Nest Aware 5-day ($6 / mo): 5-day video history, rolling
  • Nest Aware 10-day ($12 / mo): 10-day video history, rolling
  • Nest Aware 30-day: 30-day video history, rolling

The Takeaway: If you just need the basics and don’t want to pay a lot for it, Blink will likely cover all of your bases, but if you want video storage for a longer period of time, Nest is be the better choice.

Video Quality

Blink– Daytime

Blink XT2 daytime video performance - indoor

Blink – Nighttime

Blink XT2 nighttime video performance - indoor

Nest – Daytime

Nest – Nighttime

Nest indoor camera night vision mode

All current Nest models run with 1080p video resolution, just like the Blink XT2. The resolution of the Blink Indoor camera is a little less at 720p, but still not bad (Blink XT2 screenshots shown above.)

Setup & Usability

The setup and usability are comparable between Blink and Nest, but Blink has one thing you’ll want to take note of.

Each camera may come with slightly different variations of instructions for setup, but the basics do carry over. In short, here is the process:

  1. Unbox the camera.
  2. Connect the camera to your wifi network.
  3. Install the app on your smartphone and pair the two.
  4. Install the camera in the desired location.

Input Connections

Blink

  • Micro USB
  • Hardware mount

Nest

  • Micro USB
  • Hardware mount

The Input: Blink

On the back, Blink cameras have slight variations. Both the Blink Indoor and the Blink XT2 have a spot to connect to the mount. The Blink Indoor also has a micro USB port while the Blink XT2 does not.

For clarification, here is the Blink Indoor:

Back of the Blink Indoor camera
Back of the Blink Indoor camera

And here is the BLink XT2 Indoor / Outdoor:

Back of the Blink XT2 camera
Back of the Blink XT2 camera

In addition to the ports short, both Blink cameras also require use of the Sync Module.

What is the Sync Module used for?

This device works in tandem with the camera to communicate between the camera and your devices. Wireless cameras can be placed anywhere within the range of the centrally located Sync module.

Blink XT2 Sync Module
Blink XT2 Sync Module

The USB input on the Sync Module is used to pair the camera to the Sync and perform any future updates.

The Input: Nest

All current Nest cameras have a micro USB port that charges the camera or receives updates as they become available. They also have a separate area on the back for a threaded hardware mount.

Nest camera input
Nest camera input

What’s in the box?

Exactly what you get with the Nest or Blink cameras may vary depending on which model you go with. But overall, the 4 similar parts will be.

  1. The camera
  2. Power (battery or cords)
  3. Mounting (plates, screws, plastic anchors, and/or magnetic base)
  4. User Guide

Blink Indoor Camera

What's in the box with the Blink indoor camera

Nest Indoor Cam

Nest indoor cam - box contents

Blink XT2 Camera

Blink XT2 camera - what's in the box?

Nest Outdoor Cam

Nest outdoor camera parts and accessories

In addition to the contents above, Blink cameras also require a Sync Module.

This module comes with the camera and allows you to pair multiple Blink cams under one system.

Blink vs. Nest Subscriptions

When it comes to subscription plans, there are big differences between the two brands.

The difference? Blink does not offer a subscription plan.

On one hand, that’s great because that means free video suerveillance with cloud based sotrage with Blink.

But if you want extended storage for a longer period of time, Nest could be a better option. Nest offers surveillance without a subscription, but they also offer plans if you want a more robust security package.

Here’s the rundown.

Blink vs. Nest Aware

 Blink (free)Nest (free)Nest AwareNest Aware Plus
Price Starting AtNo subscriptionNo subscription$6/month$12/month
Motion-activated NotificationsYesYesYesYes
Live ViewYesYesYesYes
2-Way AudioVaries by ModelYesYesYes
Lifetime Theft ProtectionNoYesYesYes
Video HistoryUp to 2 hoursUp to 3 hoursRolling 30 daysRolling 60 days
Max Video ResolutionDetermined by cameraDetermined by cameraDetermined by cameraDetermined by camera
Snapshot CaptureYesYesYesYes
24/7 Professional MonitoringNoNoNoNo
e911NoNoYesYes
SupportUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited

Is Blink or Nest best for you?

Alright so we’ve made it this far. Comparing specs, features, camera types, video storage, power, the whole shebang. Still not sure which camera is right for you?

We’re going to run through the highlights one more time. Here’s the 4-1-1 on what you need to know for if you’re considering Blink vs. Nest:

Best Indoor Camera

Winner: The Nest indoor camera offers 1080p video resolution (like the Blink XT2) and is user-friendly. It pairs well with other Nest cameras or video doorbells and push-alerts via the Nest app informative and instantaneous. The one potential disadvantage would be that this is a wired camera.

Blink indoor camera

RUNNER UP: The Blink Indoor camera is a close second as a runner up. Video resolution drops down to 720p so the picture quality isn’t quite as clear and it lacks 2-way audio. But those points aside, the Blink is still a good option. The camera offers up to 120 minutes of cloud-based video storage and is wireless with up to a 2-year battery life.

Best Outdoor Camera

Nest IQ outdoor camera

WINNER: The Nest IQ Outdoor Cam is our winner for outdoor cameras. It has 1080p video quality and advanced sensors like the ability to tell the difference between familiar faces, strangers, and inanimate objects, as well as a 4K sensor. If the price tag is within your budget, it’s hard to go wrong with this camera.

Blink XT2 security camera

RUNNER UP: The Blink XT2 camera is an indoor / outdoor camera with wireless power, no subscription fees, and easy setup and usability. The sensors aren’t quite as advanced as the Nest IQ and it lacks 4K resolution, but it also is less expensive. For outdoor surveillance on a budget, the XT2 is a great option.

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