Announced in 2018, Amazon’s Alexa Guard feature went live in the United States last year, turning Echo speakers across the country into loyal watchdogs.
Alexa Guard Plus arrived in 2020 – a huge boost for the platform that adds a bunch of new features to the mix.
When activated, Guard will listen to your Echo smart speakers for sounds of broken glass or smoke / CO2 alarms, and notify you if it detects anything.
It can also be used to simulate someone’s presence in your home when you’re away – by turning smart lights on and off – to scare off shaky burglars.
This is a really cool feature, which can basically turn your existing smoke detectors into smart smoke alarms, while also doing the job of other home security devices.
It also acts, with a few select brands, as a companion to setting up your existing home security system; be able to interact with live surveillance and other services.
Alexa Guard Plus also adds extra surveillance and dog barking to the mix; read on to learn more and learn how to use Alexa Guard.
1. Open the Alexa app.
2. Press More (three bars at the bottom right).
3. Go to Settings.
4. Scroll down and select Keep.
From there, you will be asked what tasks you want Guard to perform. You don’t have to have them all turned on, so if you already have a decent smart smoke detector you just want Alexa to listen for broken glass, that’s fine.
If Alexa detects an alarm, you’ll receive a notification and a 10-second audio clip recorded in the app, so you can listen to the noise. Just press the Drop In On Echo button in the Guard notification flow to hear it.
If you choose to activate exterior lighting, you will need to enter your postal code. This is how Alexa knows when it’s dark in your area and can start controlling the lights.
Once you are all set up there are two ways to control Guard. If you leave the house you can say: â ????Alexa, I’m leaving and it will activate Guard mode for you. When you come back just say, â ????Alexa, I’m home.
If not, go back to Guard settings and tap the green button that says Home at the top of the page. It will go into Away mode. Press again to go back.
Although you turn on the outdoor lights using the above method, you can change the lights for Alexa commands here. To do this, go back to Keep under Settings. Then tap the gear icon at the top right of the screen.
Scroll to Exterior lighting to activate and deactivate the function. You can also press Lights then select the lights you want Alexa to control when you’re away, making it feel like you’re at home.
Synchronize with your security monitoring service
Alexa Guard can also integrate with professional monitoring services such as Ring, Abode, Wyze, ADT, and Scout Alarm.
Alexa can arm these systems when you tell your voice assistant you are leaving the house and you can also send smart alerts for detected sounds to your security company. You can choose when you want this to happen or just choose on a case-by-case basis.
Each company’s compatibility with Alexa Guard differs slightly. For example, you can access the Ring app when you receive a Smart Alert for a selected sound, then request emergency services to be dispatched if you have professional monitoring with Ring Protect Plus.
Amazon doesn’t offer these professional monitoring services itself, it just works in tandem with your existing monitoring subscriptions.
What is Alexa Guard Plus?
Alexa Guard Plus adds a few more layers to the standard Alexa Guard service, including allowing users to ask Alexa to connect them directly to security guards by saying: “Alexa, call for help.”
Agents trained by security specialists can then request and dispatch medical, fire or police assistance on behalf of users..
Alexa Guard Plus adds monitoring for footsteps, doors closing, or glass shattering to the mix and, when an Alexa Guard Plus system is set remotely, a siren can be triggered on the Echo smart speakers.
Alexa Guard Plus can also help deter potential intruders by playing the sounds of dogs barking from Echo devices.
Is Alexa Guard free?
The basic Alexa Guard is free – but the Plus version will set you back $ 4.99 per month (after a month’s free trial) or $ 49 per year.
Ring Plus users receive the service free of charge. Benefits of being owned by Amazon.
Guard Plus will begin rolling out to US customers this fall.