Originally announced in 2019, Alexa Guard adds an extra layer of protection by listening for certain danger sounds that indicate there’s an emergency going on in the home. However, the service has some limitations, and Amazon is attempting to address some of those limitations with an upgraded service called Alexa Guard Plus. What’s the difference between Alexa Guard and Alexa Guard Plus? We break it down in this guide.
What is Alexa Guard?
Alexa Guard listens out for the sounds of breaking glass, smoke detectors, and CO detectors. During setup, you can indicate which sounds you want Alexa to listen for, so if you only want Alexa to listen for breaking glass and not fire alarms, you can indicate that preference.
Once you set up Alexa Guard, just say, “Alexa, I’m leaving,” to switch to away mode. This puts Alexa on alert and ready to guard your home.
If Alexa hears a danger sound, the assistant will send a 10-second audio clip to your phone. You can then decide what to do with that clip. You can use the drop-in feature to listen in on your home to check what’s going on, or you can call emergency services for help.
Alexa Guard integrates with some alarm systems (Ring Alarm, ADT Pulse, ADT Control, and Scout Alarm), and Alexa may be able to forward smart alerts to your provider. However, the Alexa Guard service is not a substitute for a security system, as it doesn’t integrate as well as a more advanced system.
What is Alexa Guard Plus?
Alexa Guard Plus is a more advanced version of the Alexa Guard feature. It offers everything Alexa Guard offers, plus it can listen out for additional sounds, like activity noises.
Alexa Guard Plus can also play sounds (like a siren or barking dog) to deter unwanted visitors. While Alexa Guard Plus can listen for additional danger sounds and play sounds to scare away intruders, the biggest benefit of Guard Plus is perhaps the available emergency helpline. You can say, “Alexa, call for help,” and you’ll reach a trained emergency response agent who can help you request emergency responders (like an ambulance or the fire department).
What’s the difference between Alexa Guard and Alexa Guard Plus?
For starters, Alexa Guard Plus comes with a fee of $5 per month (or $50 per year), while Alexa Guard is a free service. Alexa Guard Plus provides hands-free calling to an emergency helpline, while Alexa Guard doesn’t provide the helpline service. Alexa Guard only listens out for breaking glass and fire and CO alarms, while Alexa Guard Plus listens out for additional noises and also plays noises to deter potential intruders.
While the free Alexa Guard service is available to use right now, the Alexa Guard Plus service should be available later this year. Guard Plus will be included at no extra cost with the Ring Protect Plus subscription. Amazon says the subscription service will also be available through partner brands next year, such as Abode, Scout Alarm, Resideo, A3 Smart Home, and Wyze.
If you want to use the free Alexa Guard service now, it works on Echo smart speakers and smart displays like Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Flex, Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, and Echo Show 10. For Guard Plus, you can sign up to get an email alert when the service launches later this year.