Getting started with Key by Amazon: how to take advantage of in-home package delivery

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Being able to have just about anything delivered right to our doorsteps is the biggest perk of online shopping. But with the rise of porch pirates and other nefarious package thieves running amok, anxiety is replacing convenience in the minds of many online shoppers. Amazon has been waging war on the issue for some time now with its Key shipment service. But how do you actually take advantage of the in-home delivery? Below you’ll find all of the information needed on how to get started with Key by Amazon and keep your deliveries safe.

Available in select locations |

Right off the bat, Key by Amazon isn’t available just everywhere yet. At the time of writing, only 37 cities are eligible for the service. Those include New York, Chicago, San Francisco and more. You can check out the full list here or head over to this landing page and input your ZIP code for a direct confirmation.

I live outside of Philadelphia and am eligible, so if you reside in the surrounding area of a major city, odds are you’ll be in the clear. And to go along with the select locations limitation, you’ll also need to be a Prime member to take advantage.

Using In-Home Delivery |

You’ll first need to outfit your home with two new pieces of hardware to get started with Key by Amazon. The first of those is Amazon’s own Cloud Cam; a 1080p internet-connected camera that works with the Alexa ecosystem. You’ll also then need a smart lock, which works in tandem with the Cloud Cam.

As of now, there are three main companies that are working with Key by Amazon: Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale. Not all of the companies’ devices are compatible though. There are ten different models available right now that tout the in-home delivery perk.

Luckily, both the Cloud Cam and your smart lock of choice can be ordered together in a bundle to help streamline the setup process. Once you’ve received both smart home devices, you’ll then need to pair them with the Key by Amazon iOS or Android app.

How does it work?

Now that you’ve prepared your home to take advantage of Key by Amazon, you’ll be able to select it as a delivery option at checkout. Aside from that, there’s nothing else you’ll need to change to enjoy the benefits of in-home delivery.

Four hours before your driver arrives with the order, you’ll receive a notification. Then once the deliverer makes it to your home, they will unlock your door with a Amazon handheld scanner that will enable the Cloud Cam. Finally, once the package has been safely tucked away, the door will re-lock. You’ll also receive a copy of the video and verification from Amazon that it’s been delivered.

In-Garage Delivery |

At the beginning of the year, Amazon also debuted another way to keep your packages safe. With what is essentially less of an intrusion of personal space, the in-garage option allows your packages to be safely tucked away without a delivery driver going into your home.

The new delivery option does comes with some different hardware requirements than its in-home predecessor. Instead of the Cloud Cam and a compatible smart deadbolt, you’ll only need a Chamberlain or LiftMaster garage door opener. Alternatively, you can retrofit your existing opener with Chamberlain’s $80 MyQ Smart Hub

Then when it’s time for delivery, instead of driver heading to the front door, they will open your garage. Otherwise, the process works nearly identical to the home-based counterpart.

All-in-all, Key by Amazon is a compelling way for many to gain peace of mind for their package deliveries. Its one main downside is limited availability. If you’re looking for other ways to fend off porch pirates, be sure to head over to our guide.

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