Alexa Guard is a free service from Amazon that helps to leverage the listening abilities of Amazon Echo devices. The service monitors other security products that work with Alexa, and when enabled, Alexa Guard can take advantage of the microphones in your Echo devices to listen for signs of intrusion. If you have an Amazon Echo device, current or previous generations, then it is easy to set up Amazon's latest security feature, Alexa Guard. We'll show you how in just a few short steps!
Products recommended in this guide
- Smart home security: Ring Alarm Security System ($199 at Amazon)
- Show me safety: Amazon Echo Show 5 ($70 at Amazon)
What is Alexa Guard?
Alexa Guard uses your Echo devices to enhance security in your home. It may pick up sounds like a window breaking, or signs of danger like the alarms from carbon monoxide or smoke detectors. With Alexa Guard Away mode enabled, you'll receive alerts via the Alexa app. This service also works with select Ring and ADT security system products. So Alexa can arm your system when you set Guard to Away mode and disarm the system when you return it to Home mode.
If you are using the ADT monitoring service, Alexa can forward smart alerts to ADT. If you subscribe to the Ring monitoring service, an Alexa push alert allows you to connect with Ring emergency responders through the Ring app quickly.
Amazon's list of Echo devices that work with Alexa Guard include the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock, Echo Plus, Echo Studio, Echo Show (2nd Gen), Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, Echo Flex, and Echo Input, as well as most older versions of these devices.
How to set up Alexa Guard
- Make sure that you are logged into your Amazon account in the Alexa app on your smartphone. Open the app and click on the top left to access the menu. Click on Settings at the bottom of the menu list.
- Scroll down the list of settings options and click on Guard.
From here, click on the gear-shaped icon in the top right corner. The Guard settings menu will appear, which will show you which of your Echo devices are enabled to work with Alexa Guard.
- Click on Smoke & CO Alarm Sounds to be notified if Alexa hears your carbon monoxide or smoke alarms sound off when set to Away mode.
Click on Glass Break Sounds to be notified if Alexa hears the sound of glass breaking when set to Away mode.
- Click on Security System to connect your Alexa Guard-enabled Ring or ADT security systems.
- Click on Lights to connect your Alexa-enabled light products to turn on when Alexa Guard is set to Away mode.
Click on Notifications to have Alexa notify you when the system switches to Home mode or Away Mode.
- Finally, from the main Guard Settings menu (back in Step 3), click on Alexa Privacy at the bottom of that menu screen to access the Amazon Privacy Hub. Read more about these features in our article about How to access the Amazon Privacy Hub.
Add Alexa Guard to your routines
In early 2020 Amazon announced that it had extended support for Alexa Guard in its Routines feature. This means that users can now easily create a Routine in the Alexa app or online to do things like automatically set Alexa to Guard mode every day at 9:00 AM when you have left for work, or to automatically set Alexa to Guard mode every night at 10:00 PM and turn on your exterior lights when you are ready to go to bed. Check out this great article on how to create Routines in the Alexa app and get your Alexa Guard preferences updated today.
Our top equipment picks
Now that you know how to set up Alexa Guard, it is a good time to consider building out your smart home security suite.
We recommend the Ring Alarm Security System paired with an Amazon Echo Show 5 as a strong base for getting the most out of your Alexa Guard system. The basic Ring package listed below is the cheaper of the Alexa Guard security system options, and you can always add on additional components as you go. Amazon also owns Ring, and some may find it to be more tightly integrated into the Alexa experience. Plus, you can purchase the entire system (and monitoring service) directly through Amazon.
An inexpensive Alexa guardian
With Ring, you can secure your home with an affordable and fully-functional security system. This 5-piece kit comes with a base station, contact sensor, motion detector, keypad, and range extender, and you can always add more modules as needed. You can ask Alexa to arm, disarm, and check the status of your system, and there is the option of adding 24/7 professional monitoring for $10/month.
If you are an ADT customer and prefer their service, you can sign up for an ADT Command with Alexa Guard bundle on ADT's website. This package includes a video doorbell, smart bulbs, sensors, and a 3rd Generation Echo Dot for around $250 (not including monitoring and other associated fees).
See Your Security Setup
The most secure Echo
Not only can you ask Alexa to enable Alexa Guard through your Echo Show 5, but you can view your Ring security camera feeds on the device. The device itself has some nifty security features, like a physical mute switch and camera cover, and on-screen access to the Amazon Privacy Hub.
The Amazon Echo Show is the most capable Alexa device yet. Thanks to its built-in display, your Alexa skills get even more useful, and Alexa becomes the true center of your smart home.
To take full advantage of the Alexa Guard service, we recommend that you pick up some compatible accessories. Some smart lights from Ring or a smoke/carbon monoxide detector from First Alert are great options. We also think that the Echo Show 5 Adjustable Stand makes using the Show 5 an even better smart home monitoring experience.
Ring Pathlight ($30 at Amazon)
The Ring Pathlight is a great way to add some external illumination to your home security mix. You can purchase these individually or in bundles of 2 or 4 lights.
First Alert Smoke Dectector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm ($30 at Amazon)
Every home needs good smoke detectors, and we recommend that you have a few carbon monoxide detectors as well. This alarm from First Alert combines both functions in one device - and you can have Alexa listen for an alarm they sound through Alexa Guard.
Amazon Echo Show 5 Adjustable Stand ($20 at Amazon)
This stand is the perfect complement to your new Echo Show 5. It allows for better viewing angles and snaps on magnetically for easy assembly.
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