Amazon recently launched Alexa Guard Plus, a premium subscription upgrade to the free Alexa Guard service launched in 2019. With both services, your smart speaker or smart display listens for sounds that could indicate trouble. Which sounds it listens for, what other signs of break-ins it monitors and how it responds all depends on whether or not you're willing to pay a premium.
The paid service includes a 24-hour helpline, alerts when your device hears footsteps, doors closing or glass breaking and automatic deterrents like the sound of dog barking playing from your smart speaker.
That noise detection is in addition to the free detection of sounds from smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. The free Alexa Guard can also flip on connected lights to simulate occupancy while you're away.
Guard Plus will cost $5 per month or $49 per year. All you need to get started is an Echo smart speaker or Echo smart display. Here's how to get started with Guard and Guard Plus.
1. Open the Alexa app
Open the Alexa app and click More in the bottom right corner.
2. Click Settings
After clicking More, scroll down to Settings.
3. Click Guard
Scroll down and click Guard beneath the Alexa Preferences heading.
Here you'll see a list of options dependent on which smart devices you have in your home. If you've enabled the free Alexa Guard in the past, you'll also see a history of actions taken by Alexa Guard.
4. Select Guard Plus options
Click the gear icon in the top right to view upgrade options for Alexa Guard Plus in the Deter, Detect, Assist and Connect categories. Premium features are indicated by the word "Plus" on the right hand side of the screen.
If you'd like to upgrade, click any of the Plus features, then select Learn More. You'll be taken to an Alexa website where you can start your subscription.
Not sure if Guard Plus is for you? There's also a 30-day free trial offer if you ask Alexa, "Alexa, try Guard Plus."