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Security & privacy

Alexa can double as a security cam – Should you use it?

As news broke this week that eufyCam’s server update allowed strangers to view other people’s feeds, many might be looking at other options. Anker, the company that makes the security cameras, quickly patched the flaw. But much too late for some people’s liking.

Not related to eufyCam’s woes, Amazon released a new setting for its Echo Show devices. If you have the version with a built-in camera, you can now turn your Show into a security device.

Called Home Monitoring, it lets you peek inside your house without anyone knowing. By setting up Routines for your Echo Show 10 (3rd gen), it can automatically trigger when people or motion is detected. Let’s take a look at how it works.

Here are the details

Once the monitoring has been set up, you can remotely view the feed from the Alexa app. The new setting is also different from Drop In, as it doesn’t display your face when viewing. Drop In is essentially a video call, where Home Monitoring is a bit stealthier.

Here are the steps to follow to set it up:

  • On your Echo Show, swipe down from the top of the screen and select Settings. You can also ask Alexa to “Go to settings.”
  • Select Camera.
  • Navigate to and tap on Home Monitoring.
  • Verify your account by following the prompts.

If you have the latest Echo Show 10, you can control the camera as well. That means you can pan around the room to see where movements come from. Unfortunately, you can’t move the camera up or down.

To view a live feed remotely:

  • On the Alexa app, tap on Open Devices.
  • Tap on Cameras.
  • Select the camera that you wish to view.

You can also view the feed through other Echo Show devices:

  • Just say, “Alexa, show me [device name].
  • Or, if you prefer to use a physical device, swipe from the right edge.
  • Select Smart Home Dashboard.
  • Tap on Cameras.
  • Select the device name.

“When viewing the live camera feed, pinch the screen to zoom in or out. With Echo Show 10 (3rd gen), swipe left or right to physically rotate the device remotely and see different parts of the room,” Amazon explains.

A word of caution

Setting up your Echo Show as a security camera is a great addition, but it shouldn’t replace a fully functional security solution. If your power suddenly goes out, so too will your “security camera.”

The new feature will be best used as a quick way to see what your pets are up to, how the kids are doing, or as an additional motion detector.

But if you want whole-home protection, we suggest using our sponsor, SimpliSafe.

Tap or click here to get your SimpliSafe security system now and get a FREE HD security camera, free shipping, free returns, and a 60-day money-back guarantee!

Keep reading

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Set up a security camera in under 30 seconds (with stuff you already own)

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