Alexa Guard turns your unassuming smart speaker into a full-blown home security ninja.
Here’s the deal: You’re about to head out and tell Alexa, “I’m hitting the road; keep an eye on the fort.” Alexa, cool as a cucumber, slips into Away mode. Now, while you’re out, your Echo is home, ears perked up, listening for the sound of trouble—like breaking glass or smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
If Alexa hears something fishy, she will quickly notify your smartphone. So, wherever you are, you can still know what’s happening at home. Setting this up is a piece of cake. You’re good to go with just a few taps in the Alexa app. And Alexa Guard should play nice with other devices for those with installed fancy home security systems.
Are you keen to find out more about how to configure it?
Hang tight; I’m just about to walk you through it!
What Is Alexa Guard and What Can It Do?
Alexa Guard is an innovative security feature available on Echo devices.
Essentially, it turns my Echo into a security assistant when I’m away from home. Once Guard is enabled in the Alexa app, my Echo listens for sounds of concern, anything from glass shattering to the distinct beep of a smoke alarm.
The light ring on the Echo changes colour to indicate that Alexa Guard is active. My Echo becomes more mindful of the surroundings, specifically listening for sounds that may indicate potential hazards or suspicious activities. It’s not just about alarming sounds; this smart alert system also detects the unusual sound of footsteps that may imply an uninvited presence.
Alexa sends real-time alerts to my phone if any such incidents are detected. That way, even when I’m away, I’m kept in the loop. This is crucial in prompting a timely response to emergencies at home.
Guard doesn’t stop at listening – it integrates with smart lights to employ away lighting, essentially creating the illusion that the house is occupied. This feature is designed to deter potential intruders by mimicking my usual activity patterns with smart lighting.
In summary, the Alexa Guard transforms my Echo device into a sentinel that alerts me to the sounds of potential danger and helps secure my home through smart light orchestration. It’s a simple yet effective way to increase security with minimal effort.
Are There Any Limitations of Alexa Guard?
Alexa Guard is not a replacement for a complete security system. While it may enhance the safety measures in your home by sending notifications to your mobile device, it shouldn’t be solely relied upon for home security.
The alert sensitivity feature allows Alexa devices to detect sounds like glass breaking or different alarms. However, it’s not perfect, and sometimes, it can miss things. Also, Guard requires a stable internet connection to function effectively; any connectivity disruption can result in missed or delayed mobile alerts.
Some more proactive Alexa Guard features, such as deterrence sounds or emergency support, require a subscription to Alexa Guard Plus.
Additionally, as a user, I’ve noted that the service relies heavily on the location of your Echo devices. For instance, if the Alexa device is too distant from the origin of a sound, like a broken window, it may not recognize the incident. Also, audio from televisions or other electronics can occasionally trigger false alarms.
Moreover, the setting up process might seem complex to some. You must ensure all your Echo devices are correctly set up to detect specific sounds.
Alexa Guard acts as a set of “ears” but does not provide “eyes” or the ability to intervene in an event, as traditional security systems offer.
Alexa Guard Compatibility
I’ve found that Alexa Guard works well with a wide range of Amazon Echo devices.
If you’re curious whether your device is compatible, rest assured that it’s available on every Echo device across the US. This includes the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and even niche variants like Echo Look, Echo Tap and Echo Spot.
To set up Guard, remember that integration with home security systems is a standout feature. For instance, if you have an ADT Pulse, ADT Control security system, or a Ring Alarm, you can integrate these directly with Alexa Guard. This harmonious setup allows me to receive notifications if my Echo devices detect specific sounds, such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, or breaking glass.
Here are some key points on device compatibility with Alexa Guard:
- Echo Devices: Full support, allowing for sound detection and smart alerts.
- Security Systems: Direct integration with ADT Pulse, ADT Control, and Ring Alarm systems.
- Location: Availability is limited to the US for all Echo speakers.
Remember, while Echo Auto and Echo Tap can offer many Alexa features, their compatibility with Alexa Guard can sometimes vary since they’re designed for on-the-go use and not stationary home monitoring.
Setting Up Alexa Guard
I’ll walk you through the steps to enable Alexa Guard on your Echo device for enhanced home security. Setting up new device features can sometimes be confusing, but enabling Alexa Guard using your Echo speakers in your home is straightforward.
Here’s what you need to do to get started:
- Open the Alexa app on your smartphone. If it’s not already on your phone, it’s available for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Open the app and tap ‘More’.
- Select ‘Settings‘ from the menu.
- In the settings menu, find ‘Guard‘ and click on it.
- Next, click on Set up Sound Detection.
- Select Smoke & CO Alarm and Glass Break on the forward smart alerts screen. These smart alerts will notify you about specific sounds or activities that Echo devices detect.
After selecting my preferences, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup of Alexa Guard.
How Do I Know If Alexa Guard Is Working?
After enabling Guard Mode, look for a running Guard status in the Alexa app to confirm activation.
While I’m away, Alexa can also randomize connected smart lights, giving the appearance that someone is home, a feature known as ‘Away Lighting.’ It’s quite easy to do – I set it to ‘Away‘ when leaving and ‘Home‘ upon returning via the app or voice command.
What Is Alexa Guard Plus?
Alexa Guard Plus is a more robust, subscription-based offering that builds upon the original features of Alexa Guard.
Guard Plus is an advanced security feature that transforms your Echo devices into a more effective home security system. It’s a premium service from Amazon offers additional benefits and functionality to help keep your home safer.
However, the free version might be sufficient if you need a more basic security system.
What Are The Extra Features When Upgrading to Alexa Guard Plus?
- It offers everything in Alexa Guard, plus the ability to detect other types of sounds, like activity that might indicate an intruder.
- There’s a feature that can play the sound of a barking dog if motion is detected while you’re away to help deter potential intruders.
- You get access to a 24/7 emergency helpline that you can call through your Echo input by saying, “Alexa, call for help.”
- It can sound the siren when activity is detected inside the house.
This enhanced security feature comes for $4.99 per month or $49.99 annually. Considering how it integrates with Echo devices and bolsters my home’s security, I find it a worthwhile investment. Setting up Alexa Guard Plus is simple through the Alexa app under the Guard section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why might Alexa Guard not be available or working?
It might not be available if it’s not supported in your region or if there’s an issue with network connectivity. Sometimes, settings within the Alexa app or device software need updating.
What are users saying about their experiences with Alexa Guard?
Feedback generally indicates that users appreciate the extra sense of security. Nevertheless, some users encounter challenges related to false alarms or misunderstandings of the feature’s capabilities.
How can I resolve issues with Alexa Guard mode not turning off?
Ensure the Alexa app is up to date, and try disabling and re-enabling Guard mode. If issues persist, checking in with Amazon’s customer support may be necessary.
What steps are involved in disabling Alexa Guard?
You can disable Alexa Guard by going to the Alexa app settings, selecting Guard, and following the prompts to change its status or disable it completely.
Daniel Barczak is a software developer with a solid 9-year track record in the industry. Outside the office, Daniel is passionate about home automation. He dedicates his free time to tinkering with the latest smart home technologies and engaging in DIY projects that enhance and automate the functionality of living spaces, reflecting his enthusiasm and passion for smart home solutions.