I have a been a fan of the Kevo Bluetooth locks for close to two years. When I was planning my move well before the remodeling was done, I bought a Kevo lock in preparation for move day. Since then it has been extremely beneficial in my day to day use and the entire family relies on it for locking and unlocking the door. I really love the Kevo lock and could not picture being without it, but the one gaping feature that was missing was its ability to read the status and lock/unlock the door from anywhere remotely. For some that may not be an issue but for me it was a feature I sorely missed. There are times when someone was not sure if they locked the door, or times when a repair guy came to the house to fix something (such as the work recently done as a result of a flood), or when a friend or relative comes to visit and you got detained in traffic. These are just a few examples but things like this happen quite frequently. It is times like this when you wish you could access the door lock remotely and get piece of mind and save yourself some aggravation. To fill this void, Kwikset released the new Kevo Plus Bluetooth gateway which bridges your internet connection to your Bluetooth lock to provide you with the best of both worlds. Bluetooth proximity features and remote connectivity.
Setup and Installation
It is always a guessing game when you buy a device that connects to your router. All of us have bought devices that have taken one or two minutes to setup and others that we spent hours trying to get working. The Kevo Plus definitely fall into the first category as it is extremely very simple to setup up. If you have ever setup a Roku or Apple TV before, then you will find this is even easier. The installation consists of plugging it into power, and connecting a Cat 5/6 cable into your router. Yep, that is about all to connecting the device. I would like to say it more complicated than that but it just isn’t. The only thing you really have to consider is how far the gateway is away from the door lock. The transmitter is a high power Bluetooth and can work up to 100ft away from the lock, but if you have an extremely large house, you “may” have to move it to a more central location or closer to the lock.
Configuration and Pairing
Pairing the device is also as simple as it gets. Assuming you have the lock installed and working, all you have to do is download and install the app. Once you are in the app, it will walk you through the setup including the firmware update for the device. No port forwarding and no special configuration of any kind. Very easy setup and it worked right out of the box.
Functionality and Summary
No matter how easy the device is to install, at the end of the day it has to work for you. In my experience with the Kevo Plus it has worked extremely well and has proved to be very useful. It has been accurate and has not failed me when I wanted to actuate the lock or just merely get a status. If I have any comments at all is that it was in some cases a tad slow to report the status after changing the state of the lock. For example, if I pressed unlock, the lock would respond almost immediately but it would take about 5-10 seconds to report it was unlocked on the app. Not really a bid deal but I did notice it. The other minor feedback I can provide is the look of the Kevo Plus. Again this is not an issue if it is hidden behind something or sitting with your router, however you would not want to put this on display. We are definitely not buying this device for visual appeal but rater for functionality, and it has plenty of that. I waited a long time for this device and I am very pleased with it so far. It fills the need I had and I am very happy with how this works as well as the overall quality of the product. If you already own a Kevo lock than this is a must have add-on, and if you don’t, look for the bundle where they offer the lock and gateway together as that will provide the best value. Though it took a long time for this product to hit the streets, I am real happy it did.