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3 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Alexa Devices Outside

You love what your Amazon Echo can do inside the house and you'll love what it can do outside, too.

Katie Teague Writer II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
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Katie Teague
3 min read

Bring your Echo outside with you.

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You've always used Alexa to assist you inside your house, so why wouldn't your Amazon Echo be just as helpful outdoors? After all, everything your Echo device can do indoors, it can do outside, too. For example, you can control your smart outdoor devices when you're outside, rather than having to go inside to do it, or using your phone.

If you do decide to bring your Amazon Echo outside, make sure it's placed under a covered area, like a porch or umbrella, to prevent weather damage. You should also consider mounting it on your house near an outlet or using a portable battery base to make your speaker wireless. You might feel more comfortable with a small Echo in a side yard or backyard rather than on your porch or anywhere visible.

Note that your Echo device will need to be within Wi-Fi reach (here's how to extend your Wi-Fi outdoors) or connected to your phone's hotspot to work. Here are our favorite uses for Amazon Echo outside the house.

Use Echo to see and hear what's going on outside

If you don't have a video doorbell like Ring, you could place an Amazon Echo Show outside so you can drop in on anyone outside. Note that you'll also need an Echo Show inside your house, but you may want to turn that camera off to avoid someone else from dropping in on you. 

For backyard use, you can use it to monitor the kids or dog if they're outside, and to keep track of any unexpected outdoor activity. You can even temporarily move an Echo outside to use as two-way communication, then move it back inside the house before closing up for the night.

To drop in on your outdoor Amazon Echo, just say "Alexa, drop in on [name of device]."

Read more: Amazon announced the new Echo Show 15 smart display at its September product launch event, along with several other new Echo and Ring products

Control your smart outdoor devices

If you've got smart lights set up outside, it can be a hassle walking into the house to adjust them. Instead, if you have an Amazon Echo set up on your front porch, you can just ask Alexa to do it for you.

Also, if you have a smart lock and you accidentally lock yourself out of your house without your phone, Alexa can unlock it for you. Note that you'll need to know what the voice code is for security purposes -- this is so no one else outside of who you live with can have access to your lock.

To set up a new smart device, open the Alexa app and tap Devices, then select the Plus icon in the top right corner. Tap Add Device, select what you want to set up and follow the on-screen instructions.


Control your outdoor lights with Alexa.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks

Whether you're sipping your coffee on the front porch while listening to an audiobook or you're playing your favorite music playlist, having an Echo speaker outside can make your listening experience so much better. You don't have to worry about your phone's battery running low from playing music and the volume is better, especially if you have an Echo Studio.

Want to listen to the same music while you're doing yard work? Pair your wireless Bluetooth headphones with your Amazon Echo. To get started, open the Alexa app and select Devices, then select the Plus icon in the top right corner. Tap Add Device, then scroll down and tap Headphones. Alexa will start searching for available devices, so make sure your headphones are powered on and are ready to connect. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish setup. 

You'll need to be within earshot of your speaker if you want to change what you're listening to, but Alexa will respond from your headphones and not the speaker while it's connected. When you're ready to disconnect, just say, "Alexa, disconnect."

Ready for more Amazon Echo tips? Here are the four best things you can do with multiple Amazon Echos, six ways to use your Echo device when you're not at home and six Alexa settings you won't regret changing on your Amazon Echo.

Watch this: Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) review: Dot, Dot, Dot...

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