Can I use Alexa to listen remotely? I mean, if you can talk to Alexa and it can hear you, what’s stopping it from listening to everything you say?
We have all the answers in this guide!
Let’s talk about one of Alexa’s little-known features that allows you to listen in with your device.
We’re also going to discuss how to turn it on and take full advantage of it for security purposes.
We have so much to unpack regarding this feature so let’s dive into it.
Can you listen remotely using your Alexa device? Yes, you can! It’s a security feature that allows you to listen to what’s happening inside your home while you’re away. It’s also a way to manage your smart home devices so you can give Alexa commands even if you’re not home.
So, we can understand more about this feature, let’s discuss this unique Alexa feature.
Let’s look at how it works and how you’ll be able to use it yourself.
We know that Alexa is a cloud-based assistant connected to your smart speakers.
If you have an Alexa-enabled device, you can talk to Alexa and ask it to shop for you, control your other devices, listen to music, and much more.
For the most part, these devices have a microphone that can pick up your voice whenever you say commands to it.
If you’re not in the room and Alexa can’t hear you, you won’t be able to interact with it.
However, you can now talk to Alexa using the latest updates and apps even when you’re not at home.
Let’s take a deeper look into how you can pull this off.
Yes, you absolutely can! If you have the Alexa app installed on your phone, you can command it to open the microphones so you can listen to your devices.
This feature is not really about eavesdropping or spying on people in your home. It does come in handy in certain scenarios.
An example would be if you have already left your home and want to check if you turned the lights off.
In this case, you want to be able to contact Alexa, say your commands, and wait for the response.
Here are the requirements to make all of this work:
- Your device has the Alexa app installed.
- Your device needs to be connected to the internet.
- Your Alexa device must be connected to your home network.
Now that you know listening to your Alexa device is possible, let’s look at the steps to do it yourself.
As long as you meet the requirements, all it takes is a few clicks, and you’ll start to hear what’s on the other end.
Alexa’s latest feature, drop-in, also allows Echo devices to communicate with each other.
It’s a feature that works like an intercom making it easier for you to call someone in the other room.
Using this comes in handy if you want to call someone from a different room in your home, provided you have Echos in every corner.
There’s a way that you can use the drop-in feature remotely. Let’s look at how you’ll be able to do that.
The drop-in intercom feature sure is handy.
However, we’re more concerned with instances when you’re not at home and want to gain access to your Alexa speakers.
If you have the Alexa app on your phone, here’s how to do it:
- Open the Alexa app on your phone.
- Go to Conversations, then select Drop In.
- Tap on the Echo device you want to listen to.
- Wait for your Alexa app to connect to the device.
Note: You can also choose a contact that has allowed you to drop in on their Echo.
Of course, you’ll need to set it up before you can try the remote drop-in feature.
It’s not automatic, and there’s an obvious privacy and security concern why you need to tell Alexa that a certain connection is allowed explicitly.
Setting it up is simple and won’t take you a long time. The steps are simple, and you should be good to go as long as you have the Echo speakers connected to the internet.
Here’s how to set up Alexa’s remote listening features:
- Connect your Echo and phone with the Alexa app to the same network.
- Download the Alexa app on your phone.
- Log in to your Amazon account and teach Alexa your voice.
- Allow Alexa to find devices on the network.
- Confirm Alexa is connected to your Echo.
Note: You can now start giving voice commands to Alexa and listen to your connected Echo as long as both are connected to the internet.
Yes, after setting this up, you should be able to listen to your home with your Alexa app.
You do have a couple of options here, giving you more flexibility in how you want to access your Echo speakers.
The first one is, as explained above, with the help of the Alexa app on your phone.
Open it, and drop in by selecting an Echo device. You should be able to hear your Echo’s microphone via the app.
Your second option would be to grant one of your contacts access to drop in your Echo device.
Doing this essentially extends your drop in intercom system with another home.
Of course, you’ll only need to do this with someone you absolutely trust since they’ll be able to readily listen in to your home.
If you can use Alexa’s drop in feature to listen to your home remotely, you can also prevent it.
An excellent way to make use of this is that you can activate drop ins whenever there’s no one at home.
It’s a great supplement to your security camera since you can listen at any time.
You can also use these steps to disable drop-ins at home so no one can listen to your private conversations.
Here’s how to avoid unwanted drop ins on your Alexa device:
- Disable contact drop ins on the Alexa app.
- Set your Echo to Do Not Disturb mode.
- Press the microphone button to mute your Echo.
One of the ways to listen to your Alexa devices without granting someone full access to it is by using the Guest Connect feature.
You’ll be able to listen to your Alexa remotely using a different one. It doesn’t need to be yours, as this feature is helpful if you’re always on the go and want to check into your home.
Here’s how to activate Guest Connect on your Echo device:
- Open the Alexa app on your phone.
- Go to More, then Settings.
- Choose Account Settings.
- Tap on Guest Connect.
- Switch Allow Guests to Connect ON.
Note: It’s still best practice to leave this setting off. You can turn it on when you’re about to leave and want access to your Alexa device.
Read Next: Why Does My Alexa Music Keep Cutting Out?
Hopefully, we’ve answered everything you want to know when you ask, “can I use Alexa to listen remotely.” It’s possible, and Alexa even has features that allow you to do it.
They also put safeguards in place, so you won’t be a victim of eavesdropping.
You’ll want to listen to your home remotely, especially if you know that no one is at home.
You can use this information to set it up in a way that works for you and preserves your privacy simultaneously.
In the event that you run into issues, you can contact Amazon support for more assistance.
They’ll be able to help you out if you need to change certain settings or if there’s something wrong with your hardware.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues. Check out more about him here.