Amazon Key is one of Amazon’s newest technologies that make consumers’ lives even easier than before. It allows you to get your Amazon packages and groceries delivered inside your garage; this is a great way to keep your things out of the weather or away from thieves. But, since an Amazon worker will be in your garage, you might be wondering if you need a camera.

Amazon Key does not require a camera; the app and service can be used whether or not you have one. However, many people choose to use a camera with the service to see when their packages are delivered.

Below, we’ll cover how Amazon Key works, whether or not it’s secure, and what Amazon and you can do to ensure your privacy.

Do I Need a Camera to Use Amazon Key?

You don’t need a camera to use Amazon Key. However, many people choose to use a camera to ensure their safety and privacy when packages are being delivered.

Amazon sells the Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition), which is directly compatible with the Key app. The app will notify you when a delivery is being made and show you your garage’s view during the delivery. (Keep in mind you need the Cloud Cam Key Edition; no other models of Cloud Cam will work directly with the Key app or have an automatic recording.)

Using the Cloud Cam with Amazon Key

If you choose to buy the Cloud Cam, there are some tips you can follow to get the most use out of it:

  • Place it near the front door or garage—wherever you plan to get your deliveries.
  • The Cloud Cam will need to be within 25 feet of the smart lock to show on the app.
  • Use the Key app to connect the devices and get ready for your delivery.

If you don’t want to use the Cloud Cam, you can also put a regular camera in your garage and have it recording during the time you know the delivery will be made.

Alternative Cameras to Use with Amazon Key

The Cloud Cam is often recommended because it can sync directly with the Key app. However, if you already own a smart camera that you would prefer to use, you can. Any of these other cameras from Amazon work just as well, though you may lose the ability to connect some of them to the Key app:  

These are the most popular choices on Amazon, but any outdoor security camera can work. Make sure you choose one built for the outdoors as you want to ensure it’s waterproof and won’t get ruined when around water or other weather elements when mounted outside of your garage. You will also want to choose one that you can easily monitor from an app, so you can see when the packages are delivered.

Once you have the camera, follow some of these steps to ensure it’s installed in the best place:

  • Make sure it’s securely mounted by the door or garage.
  • Ensure it has a clear view of where the deliverer will stand to put the packages in your home.
  • Make sure it is within 25 feet of your smart lock.
  • It should be placed high up enough that delivery drivers can’t block it with packages.
  • If you can’t mount it that high, make sure it’s screwed securely so it can’t be stolen.

What is Required to Use Amazon Key?

Although a camera is not required to use Amazon Key, you need to have the following to take advantage of the service:

  • Compatible smart garage door opener or smart lock – Amazon recommends using the Chamberlain Smart Garage Door Opener for garages and the Schlage Encode lock for in-home delivery.
  • Amazon Prime membership – An active membership is required to use the Key feature.
  • A participating zip code – Check to see if Key in-garage or in-home delivery services are available in your area using this link.

Final Thoughts

Amazon Key doesn’t require a camera, but it makes using the service more reliable and safer. If you want to use a camera and connect to the Key app, it’s recommended that you buy the Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition). Otherwise, any smart camera you have will do. (Although Amazon-owned cameras tend to be more compatible with the Key app).

You’ll also need to have an existing Amazon Prime membership, a compatible smart garage door opener or smart lock, and live in a participating zip code to use the service.