Amazon's voice assistant makes it easier to control the devices in your home, set timers and find out how long your commute to the office will take. But privacy has become an increasing concern as smart speakers and displays grow in popularity. Reports that Amazon keeps transcripts of your voice conversations, even after you've deleted the Alexa audio recordings, led to concerns over user privacy. Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, wrote a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seeking answers about Amazon's Alexa user data and how it's stored.
Amazon has since introduced the "Alexa, delete everything I said today" feature. The tech giant says it's also working on new ways for customers to delete their transcripts. For example, the Echo Show 8 comes with a built-in camera shutter, unlike earlier Echo Show devices.
Amazon isn't alone in its privacy concerns. Its subsidiary Ring and other major tech companies such as Facebook and Google have faced their own privacy issues, prompting questions about data usage. However, Amazon and others appear to be working to win back consumer trust, but it is still an important factor to consider.
Type of smart home device
There are literally thousands of Alexa and Alexa-compatible devices that you can buy on the market right now, from smart speakers and home security devices to smart lighting and smart thermostats. Before you make a purchase, consider how you plan to use your Alexa device so you can be sure to find the one that best suits your needs.
Installation and set up
Amazon makes installation seamless with the help of Alexa voice commands. Plus, many of the best Alexa and Alexa-compatible devices offer a companion app to help with installation and controlling the device. Before buying an Alexa device, consider your other smart home devices, too. It wouldn't necessarily make a ton of sense to buy an Alexa device if your smart home is already made up of an ecosystem of Google Assistant or Siri devices.
Cost is always a factor. The good news is most of these Alexa devices are budget-friendly, ranging from $30 to $300, depending on the device.