Risk of Amazon Alexa Guard: No Battery Or Cell Backup

By: Dan Gelinas, Published on Jun 20, 2019

Amazon positions its Alexa Guard Service as a "smart home security system" and says it can help you "keep your home safe".

However, the service—dependent on hardwired (no built-in battery backup) Echo devices with just IP communications—no alternative like cellular or a phone line—presents a risk to end users in the event of a power outage.

In this note, we examine:

  • How Echos have no built-in battery backup
  • How Echos only communicate via WiFi
  • How Alexa Guard is branded as a free security service
  • How security systems typically have power and communications redundancy
  • How Alexa Guard can lead to a false sense of security for DIY end users
  • How ADT uses Alexa Guard as part of its monitoring platform
  • Response from Amazon
  • How Alexa Guard failures will be common
  • Input from industry attorney Ken Kirschenbaum

****** ********* *** ***** Guard ******* ** * "smart **** ******** ******" and **** ** *** help *** "**** **** home ****".

*******, *** *******—********* ** hardwired (** *****-** ******* backup) **** ******* **** just ** **************—** *********** like ******** ** * phone ****—******** * **** to *** ***** ** the ***** ** * power ******.

** **** ****, ** examine:

  • *** ***** **** ** built-in ******* ******
  • *** ***** **** *********** via ****
  • *** ***** ***** ** branded ** * **** security *******
  • *** ******** ******* ********* have ***** *** ************** redundancy
  • *** ***** ***** *** lead ** * ***** sense ** ******** *** DIY *** *****
  • *** *** **** ***** Guard ** **** ** its ********** ********
  • ******** **** ******
  • *** ***** ***** ******** will ** ******
  • ***** **** ******** ******** Ken ************

[***************]

How ***** **** ** *****-** ******* ******

**** ******* ** *** have ******** ****** *********, as *********** ********* *** ************** ** *** ****** site, ***** ****** *****:

****** ******** ***-** ******* ***** for **** ******* **********.*******, ** ***** *** optional, ****, ** *** most, ***** **** *** use ****.

How ***** **** *********** *** ****

*** **** ****** **** only ************ *** ****, as **** ** ******* ******* **** **** the ****** *********:

** *** ***** **** out ***/** ***** ****** goes ****, **** **** not *********** **** *** Alexa *** *** ***** Guard **** *** *****.

How ***** ***** ** ******* ** * **** ******** *******

******’* ***** *****, ******* ******* **** ** was ********* ** ********* 2018, ** * **** service, ** **** ***** from ****** ******* ** *** bottom ** *** ***** Guard ****:

***** ***** *** ******** Alexa ***** *** ******* the ******* **** ***** app ** **** **** “home *** ****** ****” according ** *** ********* video *****:

*** ******* *** ** used ** *********** **** security ******* **** **** and ***, *** *** also ** **** ** a ********** “********” ******, according ** ******. *** can ****** *** *** they **** ** ******* their **** **** *** Alexa ***** ******* ** the ****** ****, ** seen *****:

********* “****** ** ** the *****…” *** ******** next ****** *** ** a **** **** **** how **** ***** *** homeowner ***** ** ****** sounds **, ** **** below:

** ******** * ***** and **** ******* ** a **** **** ***** us ** “***** **** smart **** ******** ****** with ***** ***** *** these *********** ***** ********”, as **** *****:

*********** *** ***** ***** page, ** *** *** section ***** “**** ** Alexa *****”, *** *** user ** **** **** Alexa ***** “***** *** keep **** **** ****”, as **** *****:

How ******** ******* ********* **** ***** *** ************** **********

* *********** ******** ******—******* professionally ********* ** ***—********* has ********* *** ****-** power ** *** ***** of * ***** ******, as **** ** * backup ***** ** *************, either **, ******* ***** line ** ***** ** seen *****:

****, ***** ***** **** Alexa *****, ********** ****** power *** ************** *******, as **** ** *** screenshot ******* **** ***** ******** kit *********:

********, *** **** ******** kits,********** ** ** *** dealer ************** ******* ****** *** an ****** *** *********, cellular ******, ** **** below:

How ***** ***** *** **** ** * ***** ***** ** ******** *** *** *** *****

*****'* *** *** ***** increasingly *** *** ******* their *** ******** ******, even ***** ***** *** monitoring, ** ***** ***** without * ********* ****** would **** **** **.

*******, **** *** *** be ***** ** *** value ** ********* ***** and ************** ** ****** life-safety *** ********-**** *******, or ** **** ****, sound *****, *** *******.

********* *** ** *** know ****** *** ******* that ** *** ***** of * ***** ******, their **** ** ***** going ** ** *********, with **** ********* *** Alexa ***** ******* ***** clips, ****** "***** ******."

How *** **** ***** ***** ** **** ** *** ********** ********

*** ******* ******* *** Alexa ***** ******* ** part ** *** ********* security ********, ******** *** users ** **** ***** Alerts ******** ** *** ADT ******* ******* *** evaluation *** ********, ** seen ** *** ********** from ******/***** ***** **** ** Amazon*****:

*** **** **** **** its ********** ******** ** Internet ********** *** **** it "****** **" ***** to "******* ********** ********", as **** *****:

************, *** ***** *** purchase ** ***** *****, smart **** ******** ****** with ** *** ***** system, ***** ******, *** an **** ****** ********:

Response **** ******

****** ***** ***** *** be **** *****, ****** said ** ** *** "meant ** ******* ******** systems":

***** ***** ***’* ***** to ******* ******** *******, but ******* ********** ******** systems **** ********* **** Ring ** *** *** works ** ** ***** layer *** ******** *** customers **** ******** **** Smart ****** *** **** Lighting. ******* ***** ***** is * ***** *******, it ******** **** ******** Echo ******* ********* ***** be ******* **** ** adequate ***** ****** *** have * ******** ********** to *** ******** ** work.

*******, **** ******* '*********' systems, ****** ** ***** marketing ***** ***** ** be **** *** ********.

Alexa ***** ******** **** ******

***** ***** ******** *** to ***** ******* **** happen, *** ***** *** may **** ** ****** upon ** **** ** left **** ** ********* and ************.

Input **** ******** ******** *** ************

******** ******** *********** **************** **** ****** ***** expect ********** ** *** event ** * **** if **** *** ***** used ** * ******** device:

** *** ****** ** be ***** ** * lawsuit ** *** ****** are *********** ******. ********* look *** ***** ****** if *** ******* *** big ******. ** ***** Guard *** ****** ** be ***** ** * provider ** * ******** device ** * ************ of *** ****** ***** circumstances.

*******

***** ****** **** ***** Guard ** *** ***** to ******* *********** ******** systems, ** *** ** used ** * ********** service, *** **** **** existing *******, ****** ** leading *** **** ** believe **** ***** ***** will ** ********* ** part ** *** ******.

**********, ***** ***** ****, on ********* ** ***********, and **** ***** ***** to ***** ** **** offering.

Comments (3)

***** *** ****** ******* that *** **** ** home ***********. **'* *** a ******** ******.

***** ** * *** difference ** ********* *** quality *********. ******** ******* are **** **** *** far **** ******. ****** systems *** ***** *** work, **** ** *** time.

*** * ******** ******* 'most ** *** ****' is *** ** ******.

#* ** ***********....

***** *****, **** *** these **** ***** ******* they *** ** **** to ****** ******** ****** with **** **** *** therefore *************.

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