Recently, the congregation purchased and installed a new security/video system to help us in that rare instance that someone wants to come into our building to steal or vandalize our facility. After searching through the different options, some of which costing thousands of dollars and a large amount of labor to install, we chose to go with a new product called BLINK: Home Security Camera.
I know I don't usually do this on my blog but this is a quick review of the system for those who would also like to have an inexpensive and unobtrusive system to maintain a certain level of security for your church facilities.
Keep in mind, that this system is not a CCW system in the purest sense of the term. It is a wireless motion activated camera system that does the bare minimum.
What I Love About BLINK
Basically, I love it for exactly what it does. Like I said, it isn't a CCW camera system with monitors and whatnot with joystick actuated cameras! It's a small white box that wirelessly connects to a sync system and can be viewed via their app (available on iOS and Android). That also means that multiple can have the app and be notified when the motion detection alerts to someone entering your building.
The cost is by far the best given the other options we viewed. At the time of our ordering, a 5 camera system with the sync module costs only $350!
The connectivity and user interface is great and super user-friendly. Within about 30 seconds (including installing the AA batteries in the cameras which last roughly 2 years) you can view the live feed from a camera and with a screw driver and another 30 seconds, it's mounted.
Needless to say, that alone is worth it to me!
And, to top it off, it's not recording 24-7 sucking up your cloud memory space. You can set the clips to be either 5 or 10 seconds which is plenty of time to identify someone (visually and audibly) and track them from one room to another. I don't know many bad hombres that stand in one room looking around for 30 seconds before moving to the next object they want to put in their pocket.
What I Like About BLINK
This is a little tougher. Rarely do you find a tech system that has middle ground. Either they are really good, or REALLY BAD.
But, there are a few things that I think could be improved about the BLINK system like there being a desktop access portal to the recorded clips, outdoor cameras (but that is coming in the next few weeks so that problem will be fixed quickly) and maybe a more articulating mounting system.
What I Hate About BLINK
Nothing. It does exactly what we needed. Like I said, it's not the answer to the church wanting to be the Walmart of Faith with a security man sitting in a dark closet waiting for someone to shoplift a tract but I'm not sure that'd be a good thing anyway!
It's a good system with great options, great interface and a great price. If you are looking for something to have that is much easier, cheaper and overall cool than the traditional security/camera system just to provide a level of accountability in the case that someone tries to harm your facility or steal that awesome sound system from 1972, get it! You won't regret it!
Here are some pictures of (some) of our cameras and the app so you can see the system at work.