Amazon Indoor Delivery – Avoid the Porch Pirates

Package thieves (AKA “porch pirates”) have become a huge problem because of the ease of theft. Many criminals don’t care about cameras because here in California theft is barely illegal… I like to shop on Amazon, so I was eager to try their Amazon Key indoor delivery.

I first purchased the Amazon Key system with the smart deadbolt, which allowed Amazon delivery to open my front door with a onetime code. The delivery personnel would not even step in the house. They would reach in a place the package just inside the door. The door would then lock behind them. The big problem was they kept setting off my Ring home alarm. Ring is also an Amazon product, though it doesn’t yet work with Amazon Key (at the time of this post). Many of my friends thought I was crazy to trust the delivery personnel with [onetime] access to my house. My friends were still not comfortable even though Amazon required their camera monitor the door.

To remedy the alarm issue, I purchased the Amazon Key system that uses the garage for delivery. I chose the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener Amazon Key package, which includes their Amazon Cloud Cam (required for Amazon Key deliveries). The setup was rather easy since the MyQ basically acts as an additional garage opener remote that is connected to WiFi (a very simplified description). The big problem with the installation was that the MyQ has terrible WiFi reception. The WiFi signal in my garage was somewhat weak, but the Cloud Cam worked and I could even stream video to my laptop. However, the MyQ was unreliable and stopped working soon after installation. I have ethernet in my garage, so I purchased an inexpensive WiFi access point and connected it to my network. Now I have a WiFi signal so strong in my garage I could use the signal across the street if I so desired (I dialed down the power to be a good neighbor).

I now get deliveries in my garage whether home or not. The delivery personnel don’t even try the front door. I see the van arrive, the garage open, and the delivery. The garage shuts and the van drives away. Exactly how I want it!

Though I replaced my Amazon Key delivery to the front door, I am still happy with the purchase. I can now remotely control my front door lock and even use Alexa to lock and unlock the door if my phone isn’t handy. I can use my phone to unlock the front door from anywhere, add or remove users, and know when my door is opened and by whom.

What I do not like about Amazon Key delivery is that the Amazon Cloud Cams are a separate product from their Ring products. I have a Ring home alarm and some Ring cameras. Because I have the professional monitoring with my alarm, I get sixty days storage of my Ring video. Because Cloud Cams are a separate Amazon product they are not included with my Ring video storage. Amazon keeps my Cloud Cam video 24 hours and encourages me to pay for storage and advanced camera features. I understand that Amazon purchased the Ring company and they are not entirely integrated with other Amazon products, but I still find the incompatibility or lack of integration irritating. I don’t want to subscribe to more Amazon services. I am already tight in their grip of subscriptions and I need to draw the line somewhere!

Even with the annoyances, I find Amazon Key delivery well worth the price. One package theft can easily cost more than the Key delivery investment. I am hoping Amazon starts to offer delivery to other companies, though they likely know it keeps people like me shopping at Amazon instead of companies that will merely leave packages vulnerable on my porch…

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