One of the coolest benefits to come out of the smart home revolution is the fact that our homes can now keep watch on themselves, and provide us with a modern level of security.
Alexa Guard is a feature available on Amazon’s Echo Smart Hubs, but with all the hype surrounding it, it’s hard to tell what its worth really is.
What does Alexa do when she guards the house?
Setting Alexa into Guard mode means the device can notify you of unusual sounds like footsteps, breaking glass, or smoke detectors going off when you’re not around. Furthermore, the virtual watchdog can assist you in calling for help in an emergency, connect with your security cameras, alert you to any potential dangers in your area, and more.
Alexa’s new Guard offering sees her serving as more than just a personal assistant, but now a fully-fledged bodyguard.
If you’re wondering what’s on offer with the Guard and Guard Pro plans from Amazon, we’re going to uncover what you’ll get for your money and whether this new watchdog feature on the Echo would be useful in your home.
What Is Alexa Guard?
Amazon’s Echo hub is home to Alexa, arguably the most popular digital assistant we’ve ever known.
Alexa Guard is a mode that you can set Alexa to, so she becomes more than just helpful, but acts as a certified watchdog as well.
There are basic features available through Guard, or you can spend extra to join the Guard Plus plan and get the full suite of offerings. There are two levels of protection on offer from Alexa with Guard and Guard Plus.
Guard comes free as standard with compatible Amazon Echo devices, including the Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot, Echo Show, and Echo Studio, but the features are somewhat limited. If you want a more dedicated security system in place, upgrading to Alexa Guard is a good idea.
To set up Alexa Guard, you can subscribe by asking prompting with “Alexa, try Guard Plus.” You’ll then be taken through the checkout process where you agree to pay either $4.99 a month or $49 a year, with your first month free as a trial so you can see whether the feature has anything to off your home.
What Can Alexa Guard Do?
The biggest benefit that Alexa offers as a digital assistant is convenience, and you’ll get this plus peace of mind when you use the Guard feature.
There are a number of ways Alexa Guard and Guard Plus can protect your home, including:
- Have Alexa listen for sounds while you’re away. Depending on what plan you have, this could be as simple as the smoke detector or the sound of breaking glass, or for more advanced protection, Alexa can listen for footsteps inside the house.
- Alexa sends smart alerts to your existing home security system (if compatible) and sends notifications to your phone. If something is wrong, you’ll be notified with a 10-second audio clip and have the option to drop in and listen or call for help.
- If anything goes wrong, you can say “Alexa, call for help” and she will contact a trained emergency response expert who can put you in contact with the relevant authorities.
- When an intruder is detected or if Alexa picks up any unusual activity, she will play sounds like a dog barking or a siren. This will help to scare off unwanted visitors and make it seem as though someone is home.
- Alexa Guard uses algorithms to determine the lighting and appliance patterns that you use when you’re home and can apply these when you’re not there. If you’re planning a vacation and want protection, Alexa will make it look like you’re still around as requested.
Home Security With Alexa Guard
As a standalone home security device, Alexa Guard shouldn’t be the only thing you have in place.
However, it excels when paired with another system, like a smart security camera or a complete security suite, and there are lots of brands that you can integrate with.
When used in conjunction with a security camera, Alexa can alert you to sounds that occur before your camera even picks up motion or activity. If you are notified of something, a quick check-in on your camera will show you whether it’s worth worrying about.
Those with complete security systems can customize Guard so that it sends a direct notification to their provider, including popular names like ADT, Vivint, and Ring Alarm. This way, even if you miss any events like the sound of breaking glass, your smart home is taking charge and alerting the relevant authorities so that quick action can be taken.
Although Alexa Guard provides a lot of features for home security, it still requires some input from the user and shouldn’t be seen as a complete security package.
It’s technically not a monitoring service but more like a warning device, so most of the time you’ll have to determine what action should be taken. However, it does add a sense of security to your home and takes over as a watchdog when you can’t be around.
Alexa’s Capabilities and Features
Beyond the Guard Plus functionality, Alexa is a great companion to have at home and offers many family-friendly features.
If you’ve been thinking about getting an Amazon Echo and seeing what makes Alexa so popular consider these possibilities:
- Simplify the way your smart home runs by setting up Alexa with your other devices. You can use the voice commands to lock the front door, turn up the air conditioner, or turn off the lights when you’re leaving a room, so it acts as a central hub for your home.
- There are lots of fun games and entertainment options with Alexa, including song quizzes, trivia, dance parties, hide and seek, and Simon Says.
- Kids will be able to do more than just have fun with Alexa, as you can request her help with homework, general knowledge, being prepared for bedtime, and dropping into the speakers in your kid’s room to listen to what’s happening in that part of the house.
- Alexa is a communication device and allows you to send SMS, emails, and make phone calls from the central hub.
- Set routines with Alexa and make rules that she can follow. If you tell Alexa you’re getting a snack, for example, she can pause your TV show and turn on the smart lights in the kitchen.
- Having an Amazon Echo device at your family’s house means you can check in on and them and be notified that they’re up and okay, while still maintaining their independence. This can be especially helpful for elderly loved ones or those with accessibility issues.
- Alexa can help in the kitchen with recipes, ordering groceries, announcing to the house that dinner is ready, and asking cooking-related questions.
Simple Home Security From Amazon
Amazon’s Echo smart home hub has proven that it’s more than just a friendly assistant with the new Guard feature.
With Alexa in Guard mode, your home will feel safer and your family secure, so consider trying it out with your Echo to see if it makes a difference to your peace of mind.
Alexa has become one of the most popular digital assistants, and with the addition of the Guard feature, also one of the most fearsome.
If you’re looking for other automated and intuitive ways to keep your home safe, we’ve got the answers to some questions about how these smart security systems work.
What Can A Smart Camera Do?
A smart security camera can capture imagery and surveillance around the home and make smart and automated decisions beyond a regular CCTV camera.
These smart actions include alerting the homeowner of specific types of movements, detecting packages left at the door, sounding alarms to deter intruders, and using features like zoom, panning, and night vision to get a clearer image of the subject.
Do You Need WiFi For Home Security Cameras?
Some types of home security cameras don’t require a wireless internet connection to install, even though the majority of them use this connectivity method today.
Without a wireless connection, you can manually wire the cameras to a viewing monitor, storage device, or wired internet network, so there are many options for installation.
What Security Systems Work With Alexa?
Amazon’s Alexa is compatible with many of the popular security systems on the market today including Ring Alarm, ADT, Vivint, and Simplisafe.
Before choosing a security system for home, check to make sure your Amazon Echo device is compatible first so that you can integrate its features into your smart home hub.