The Kwikset Kevo doesn’t directly connect to the internet, so controlling it remotely isn’t possible unless you get the Kevo Plus add-on service ($99). It comes with an internet gateway in order to connect the lock to the internet for remote access, but is it worth getting?
Since the Kwikset Kevo doesn’t have a Wi-Fi chip built in, it’s not able to connect to the internet by itself. Instead, it relies heavily on Bluetooth for many of its functions. This means that you can’t control the lock remotely if you’re away from home.
However, this is where Kevo Plus comes into play. It’s an upgraded service that you can buy for a one-time fee of $99, and it comes with an internet gateway device that you plug into your router. From there, your Kevo lock and the internet gateway communicate with each other in order for the lock to gain access to the internet, and thus your phone when you’re away from home.
Unlike most other add-on services that charge a monthly or yearly rate, Kevo Plus is just a one-time purchase of $99, which will pay for itself in a year when compared to the cost of what most other subscription services charge for extra features.
Is that extra $99 worth spending, though? The Kevo lock itself is $230, so the total cost of your lock setup would rise over $300, and that’s a pill that isn’t easy to swallow.
It really comes down to what you want to do with the Kevo lock and how you’ll get the most use out of it. The one big feature of Kevo Plus is being able to lock and unlock your door remotely, no matter where you’re at (just as long as you have an internet connection). So for example, if you’re at work and a friend decides to stop by, you can let them in and have them chill until you come home.
Or maybe there’s an emergency at your house and you need to let your neighbors in to check things out. You can unlock your door remotely and have them take a look around.
The Kevo Plus also allows you to lock or unlock your door with Alexa, which can be handy if you have multiple Kevo locks in the house and want to make sure your entire home is locked up.
The same goes for integrating other smarthome devices, like the Ring Doorbell or SkyBell HD. You can launch the Kevo app from these respective apps and unlock your door after seeing who rang the doorbell. However, this only works if you’re at home and within Bluetooth range. Otherwise, unlocking your door remotely requires Kevo Plus, making the smarthome integrations kind of useless without it. It’s up to you whether that’s a feature you’d use enough to pay the extra $99.