Alexa Guard can listen for signs of trouble while you’re away from home — like glass breaking in a window pane or your smoke detector alarm going off.
Here’s what you need to know about Alexa Guard:
#1. It’s free!
As long as you have an Echo device, Alexa Guard provides you home security at no extra charge — and without the hassle of setting up a separate home security system.
#2. With Guard, Alexa can listen for signs of trouble in your home and notify you if something bad happens
How it works
If Alexa hears glass breaking or a smoke alarm go off, Alexa will send your phone a push notification alert with a 10-second audio clip of the event. She’ll also give you the option of tapping a button to easily drop in on your Echo so you can hear (and, if you have an Echo Show, see) what’s going on.
Reviews are positive
I tested Guard by playing breaking glass and smoke alarm sounds, and it worked exactly as it’s supposed to. It was cool to see it work in action. It’s no surprise that early user reviews of Guard have been good.
What to watch out for
You may get a few false positives — some people reported that squeaky toys and other loud noises triggered alerts. This feature is just a few weeks old, so it’s no surprise there are still a few kinks to be worked out.
You can also use Alexa Guard to turn your connected lights and smart plugs on and off so it looks like you’re home even when you’re away (although you can also do this with an Alexa routine if you prefer).
#3. You can set up Guard in the Alexa app in 30 seconds or less
Just follow these simple steps:
- Open the Alexa app and tap the hamburger icon in the upper left corner
- Tap Settings
- Scroll down and tap Guard
- Tap the Set Up Guard button
- Follow simple set-up flow to select the Guard security features you want to use (I selected both the smart alert features and Away lighting) and the devices on which you want to enable Guard (I selected all of my Echo devices)
Here’s what my Guard settings look like:
#4. When you leave home and want Alexa to listen for trouble, just say “Alexa, I’m leaving”
“Alexa, I’m leaving” will set Guard to “Away mode” which means that the Guard features you enabled in #3 above will be active on the devices you selected.
When “Away mode” is on, your Echo device will have a white-blue ring like the one in the video below (you’ll notice it’s a different color from the blue ring you see when you are asking Alexa for something).
If you have an Echo Show, there will be a shield icon in the bottom right corner of the display when “Away mode” is on.
If you forget to turn on Guard “Away mode” before you leave home, you can do it from the Alexa app. Follow set-up steps #1-3 above to navigate back to Guard. Tap the green “Home” button and it will change into a blue “Away” button so you’ll know “Away mode” is on.
#5. When you get back home, just say “Alexa, I’m home”
Alexa will say “Okay, I’ll stop guarding now” and set Guard to “Home mode.” The white-blue ring on your Echo will also stop.
#6. Alexa Guard can also work with your existing Ring or ADT system
When you set Guard to “Away mode,” Alexa can arm your security system. It can also forward breaking glass and smoke alarm alerts to your security service provider — although you might want to wait to enable this feature until you’ve confirmed that you don’t get a high volume of false positive alerts.