New XT2 customer?

Hello everyone,

Potential new XT2 customer here :slight_smile:

I was referred to the Blink XT2 system from a home automation community I frequent. I wanted to add a smart doorbell system but the location of the installation would be tight and narrow and may not fit. So one user suggested the XT2 system as they were using it as an alternative.

I’ve been reading this forum and reviews and the system seems to be pretty good and might serve my purposes but I have some questions:

  1. One video review showed the system activate when movement was detected but I saw some sort of light turn on at the same time. I know there’s a blue LED but can that be turned off? Also would the recording camera pick up the PIR sensor light up but in actuality you don’t see it? 12:08 at this review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx28PziqdME
  2. I want to purchase the 3 camera system but read that only one camera can record at a time. My setup would be front door, side house, and backyard. If someone enter the view of the front door cam and then decided to go to the side of the house and then to the backyard would the cameras be able to activate and record all movements?
  3. Is the beta testing of getting early notifications still ongoing? I know that previously notifications would be sent out once the recording was completed depending on the setting for clip length.
  4. There was one thread regarding someone’s XT2 being hacked. It didn’t get into specifics but was wondering is it that easy to do? How has Blink addressed this if at all?
  5. Has the new firmware 7.95 been resolved? Reading that it is causing some users’ sync modules and cameras to “fail”.
  6. My router is in my basement and I have a week wifi signal around the perimeter of my house. If I got a wifi range extender would that help with the system? Do you get to choose which network the system connects to or does it do it automatically during setup?
  7. If you had to do it all over again would you still pick the XT2 or go with something else?

tia

The bottom line for Blink is various results for various people. One of the key problem areas is not good enough wifi signal and/or too much other “stuff” on their current wifi network. You have weak wifi signal and you are being referred via home automation community - that has potential for network conflicts. Buy it from a vendor that has an easy to return in 30 days policy that reflects Blink’s 30 day return policy.

For me, would I buy Blink again? Nope. The reason is shortly after you buy Blink, you realise you want more features/benefits. You will outgrow the entry level Blink solution quickly. Well, that means spending more money for more features/benefits. In the long run, you are better off spending more money up front for a more robust system vs. spending a little money now for Blink, and then spending even more money later for a real security system.

  1. Yes you can turn off the blue light - https://support.blinkforhome.com/how-to-turn-off-the-blue-recording-led-on-blink-xt-BJMwGeXUr

  2. Yes the three cameras would each record the movement as someone walked around the house. When my husband comes home from work and goes around to the back of the house, he is picked up on the driveway camera, the camera on the side of the house, and the backyard camera.

  3. Yes early notification is still available in the US and it works well for me. I’m notified within seconds and clicking on the notification takes you directly to live view.

  4. I haven’t seen anything about anyone’s camera being hacked. I’ve seen a few posts from people who “thought” their system was hacked, but I’ve never seen anything definitive like there’s been with Ring. That said, I’m no expert but if someone can hack into your wifi I’m sure they can gain access to the system (as well as any other home automation “smart” systems).

  5. I’m on 7.95 and have had no problems. It seems to affect only a small number of users and there are a couple posts speculating on the reason why. If 7.95 isn’t fixed yet and it causes a problem for you, rolling back the firmware until it is fixed has resolved the problem for others.

  6. Yes you will need a range extender, and you may need to experiment with placement of both the extender and the sync module. I have a dual band router and my Blink system automatically connected to 2.4, but some people report having to be sure it connects to the right band or needing to turn of 5ghz before it will connect to 2.4. Apparently it depends on your router.

  7. I’d buy it again in a heartbeat. I’ve only had my 4 cameras for 7 months but I haven’t had any problems, and people who don’t have problems don’t usually post here. I don’t need to have anyone else monitor my cameras for me, I’m not concerned about viewing cameras on a computer because I find the screen on my tablet big enough if I want a bigger picture than what’s on my phone, and if for some reason I want even bigger I can always view the cameras with my FireStick on the TV screen. I know when a wifi problem is a wifi problem (my problem, not Blink’s). I don’t have a large number of devices using my wifi and hogging up the bandwidth. I don’t find it a big inconvenience to manually turn off the “running man” when I want to turn off the camera in my backyard. I don’t need to see every car that drives down my street and every person that walks past my house, so I have my cameras placed where they trigger the instant someone walks into the frame. I understand how passive monitoring works, and it works well for my uses. I don’t want a hardwired system and I don’t need cctv. My cameras have endured torrential rain, high winds, and 100+ F heat without a problem. For the price point, my system does exactly what I need it to do.

One night last December a camera instantly notified me of three men attempting to break into my house while I was alone. I was alerted as soon as it happened (early notification) and was able to take action when I view the live feed and saw what was happening (I was expecting it to be a raccoon!). When they spotted the camera they turned around and left, and I was able to give police a good description. They attempted to rob other houses in the neighborhood but left every time they spotted a camera and robbed the one house that didn’t have cameras. I live in a “good” neighborhood and never expected to catch someone attempting to break into my house. As far as I’m concerned, my system paid for itself a few months after I installed it.

5 Likes

Great answer, and almost exactly my experience, bar not being able to confirm how well early notification works, but including having had it deter a would be thief.

I do however like viewing things on my laptop, but with the help of other forum members, I have found ways around this, and I now get exactly what I want out of my Blink systems.

1 Like

Wow thank you everyone for your feedback and honest opinions.

@Carey: The way you describe how your system is setup and purpose sounds exactly how I want mine to be. I don’t want something elaborate and too high tech and don’t talk to me about a wired system…lol. Just something “reliable” and can monitor who’s at my front door or around my property.

I think I may just do that and see how it goes. Hopefully I won’t be in the group that has issues.

3 Likes

Amen brother. Agree. System works just fine for my needs. YMMV.

I bought mine this week after my gate was smashed open and a neighbours gate was prised open by people using an alleyway along side my house.

A neighbour helped me set everything up and yesterday was the first full day - it picked up my lodger leaving and walking down the alley on the front back and side cameras … I was able to prove to the Amazon delivery dude that he did NOT try and wait for me to come to the door instead of walking straight down the path after knocking.

I wish we had early notification here in the UK but I can get mirrored alerts from my phone to my Apple Watch while I am out and about.

No clips came in overnight on a wild and windy night so still bedding the system in.

For what I need which is to keep an eye on the vulnerable areas of my house, garden and access points, it works fine. I went for the 5 camera option with one spare for maybe inside.

Getting a Ring doorbell fitted on Monday as the two-way audio is too laggy.

After a spate of burglaries and attempted break-ins it gives me some piece of mind. It does the trick for me but if someone can tell me more about early notification that would be amazing!

To answer question 7 no way

The only time you’ll see a light on the XT2 camera is if
A) you havn’t turned off the recording light switch inside the camera
B) the camera is disconnected due to flat battery poor wifi etc. when the PIR lens flashes red. (Which is a fairly dumb ‘feature’ but there you go . . )

What I’ve learnt is that you can’t just chuck a load of cameras on your main WiFi and on one sync module and expect it all to work reliably. Blink use very low powered radio to save battery and that’s easily lost or interfered with over even quite small radio paths.

I had plenty of teething troubles but they have all been resolved (touch wood) now that each pair of cameras is on its own sync module with a mesh WiFi unit also located nearby. Get all the signal strengths (Wifi and Sync/control unit) at max and it’s fine (and my busiest camera records 50 - 80 30 second clips a day with a set of batteries still lasting well over 3 months in that unit . .

The infrared illuminator provides enough visible light, red light, to be totally obvious to anyone. The only way to avoid that is do disable the infrared, and rely on lighting the scene with security lights, or similar.

The flashing red light, behind the PIR, when the system is disabled for some reason, such as the sync module is down, is dumb, just as you say. It wastes power, and advertises that the system has an issue, to those who might want to know. I wrote to them about that, and they confirmed that my system was behaving normally. They took on board my comments that this was just an advert to someone that the system was down, and that it was also wasting power, and said they would raise it with the developers. Nothing has changed.

On the bright side, someone did say, I forget who, that it stops after about half an hour, which is better than nothing, if true. I haven’t tested this, but may well do so, now that I’ve been reminded about it.

Otherwise, the system works great for me too.