I’ll admit it–I’m an Amazon addict. When life gets busy with work, travel, whatever–it’s easy for me to open an app and order items I need directly to my door. I probably receive two packages a week from Amazon and order everything from my favorite scent of laundry detergent to Lola’s favorite dog treats to these new fall boots. And when Amazon Key was ready to launch, I quickly signed up to be one of the few to try it before launch. Here’s my first hand experience and review of Amazon Key…
AMAZON KEY’S IN-HOME DELIVERY
Amazon Key provides you the ability to control your home when you’re away, receive Amazon deliveries inside your home, and provide guest access through the Amazon Key app. I generally have my phone glued to my hand at any given moment, so being able to manage my door digitally is right up my alley. I like the idea of having my packages delivered in-home so that it’s one less thing left out on the doorstep for someone to walk off with. Amazon has their A to Z guarantee if a package ever were to go missing, but I’d prefer to avoid any missing package claim process all together with this new in-home service.
ORDERING AND INSTALLATION
To prep your home for Amazon Key In-Home, you’ll need to order the Amazon Cloud Cam and a compatible smart lock. There are currently three lock choices available: Yale Assure Smart Lock Touchscreen, Kwikset SmartCode 914 Keypad Smart Lock, and Kwikset Convert Smart Lock Conversion Kit). I opted for the one that best matched my classic home style. When ordering your lock you can check availability in your area (currently available in 37 cities for Prime members) and set up the free professional installation.
When my installation technician Ed came by for my appointment, he took me through the process of getting the lock installed and the Amazon Key app set up on my phone and it took about an hour to do everything. My current lock was removed and the new Smart Lock was installed in it’s place. One of the major benefits of having Amazon do the installation is the troubleshooting that comes along side the experts. My door was sticking a bit on the first try and Ed adjusted the deadbolt and setting until everything functioned properly and passed configuration tests. Hey, the door was sticking a little anyway…thanks for fixing it up Ed! You do have the ability to re-key the lock and keep your existing key, or go for a new set of keys if you like. Spoiler alert…I haven’t once used my physical key since I had the Smart Lock installed!
We also set up the Amazon Cloud Cam so I can have a clear view into the delivery area to watch when packages are delivered. Once the lock is installed, cloud cam set up and synced with the app, I was good to go!
PLACING AN IN-HOME ORDER & PET PRECAUTIONS
Placing an in-home order is no different than placing any other order in the app or online. All you have to do is select “in-home” during checkout for your address. The day of my order, I received a notification that my packages would be arriving within a 4 hour delivery window.
If you have pets, it’s important to make sure they are gated away from your entry door during the delivery time. The drivers are trained to knock, ring the door bell, etc and listen for pets to ensure no animals slip out during the delivery. If you forget to put your pets away, the drivers will simply leave the packages on the doorstep as usual.
MAKING THE DELIVERY
When the driver is near to making the delivery, you’ll receive a notification that the driver is arriving. Amazon’s encrypted authentication process verifies its the right home, right customer, and right time. Amazon Cloud Cam kicks in and starts recording the delivery (which lasts all of 30 seconds!). No access codes are ever given to the driver–it has to be the perfect match for the door to unlock. All Amazon drivers performing in-home delivery go through comprehensive background checks, and from the handful of deliveries I’ve watched live on the Amazon Cloud Cam…they don’t even step foot inside the door.
As far as security for the Amazon Cloud Cam, it only records when an active delivery is taking place (unless you sign up for additional home security monitoring). I currently have a wide angle view using the Amazon Cloud Cam because I’m also using the device as a pet cam for when I’m not home, but you could consider putting the camera closer to the door if you want the focus to be on the delivery driver and not a live view of you watching Game of Thrones on the couch.
PROVIDE GUEST ACCESS FROM THE AMAZON KEY APP
I mentioned that my door key hasn’t left my purse since I had this Smart Lock installed, and it’s true! The keypad on the lock is great for quickly punching in your master code to open the door (amazing for taking the dogs for a walk and not wanting to carry your keys!) and equally as easy to manage guest access.
Friends or family coming to town? Instead of leaving a key under the doormat create a profile for them in app and assign them a code of their choosing (4 to 8 digits). The Amazon Key app will text them the code and you’ll get notifications whenever they come and go for piece of mind and control. You can even set parameters around frequency and length of time a person has access–which could be amazing for AirBNB or VRBO rentals.
Overall I have loved my experience using Amazon Key. My packages are safe from theft, I’m able to keep my keys in my purse, and even lock the door at night from my phone. I highly recommend installing this in your home for the ease home management when you’re on the go. No more leaving keys under the mat!
DISCLOSURE: This is not a paid review, but I received the Amazon Key lock and Cloud Cam for media review.