By default, all Echo smart speakers include a feature called Alexa Guard, which can alert you to the sound of broken glass or smoke alarms. But the free Alexa Guard feels quite small now that Amazon is rolling out Alexa Guard Plus, a premium security service that gives you intruder alerts, hands-free access to emergency services, and barking sounds to scare off burglars.
Alexa Guard Plus is included with Ring Protect Plus at no additional cost, although you can subscribe to Guard Plus for just $5 a month (or $49 a year) if you don’t want Ring’s service. In the event of an emergency, Guard Plus customers can ask their speaker to “call for help” and gain access to Amazon’s Emergency Helpline, which can request medical, fire, or police dispatch on your behalf.
Guard Plus also expands on Alexa’s standard emergency alerts and intruder deterrents. Subscribers can ask Alexa to keep an ear out for suspicious noises, or to send a notification if activity is detected by smart security cameras (which are optional, of course). More interestingly, Alexa can bark like a dog if it detects suspicious activity, or ring like a siren if a fearless intruder slips into your home.
For the low price of $5 a month (or $45 a year), Alexa Guard Plus is a cheap n’ dirty solution to a typical home security service. Of course, it’s hard to make the most of Guard Plus without installing Echo speakers and compatible smart cameras around your home. If you’re inexperienced with smart home products or genuinely worried about break-ins, you should probably opt for a traditional home security service (you can always use Guard Plus as a supplement for another security service).
If you already pay for Ring Security Plus ($10 a month), then you can open your Alexa app and set up Guard Plus today. Amazon says that it will eventually offer Guard Plus for free with other smart security plans from Abode, Scout Alarm, Resideo, A3 Smart Home, and Wyze.