Amazon to change Alexa Guard features, begin requiring paid subscription

There are a lot of different changes coming to this program, they clearly want to make it at least pay for itself.

I know quite a few community members who are using the ring security system use Alexa Guard to create an integration to SmartThings via an Alexa routine. Once this takes full effect, you will have to pay extra to do that even if you are already paying for ring protect pro.

At present, Alexa guard had a free tier for everyone who had an echo device (whether you were prime member, or not) and a paid tier, which was included with a Ring security pro subscription.

The name is changing from Alexa Guard to Alexa emergency assist.

They’re going to change the whole structure, beginning next year, with, but with some phased in changes.

First, the good news: it looks like you will no longer need to be in away mode to get phone alerts if smoke is detected. It never really made sense before, plenty of people would like to get an alert if there’s a fire in the basement and they are home, for example

Now, lots of bad news. All of this applies only to the guard features, not regular Alexa or Alexa routines.

  1. no more free version, even for those who are already paying for a ring protect pro plan. If you are currently enrolled in ring protect pro, it will stay as it is for one more year, then switch to an extra cost add-on in October 2024. Everybody else will have to start paying either $60 a year or six dollars a month starting soon.

  2. beginning in January 2024 you will have to have a prime membership to subscribe to the paid version of the new program.

If you are an Astro customer with a Ring Protect Pro subscription, Alexa Guard Plus was included as a part of your Ring Protect Pro subscription. As a part of this transition to Alexa Emergency Assist, we are removing Guard Plus as a part of the features included in Ring Protect subscriptions. To help ease this transition, you can enjoy Alexa Emergency Assist at no cost to you until 10/31/2024. No action is needed on your end for this transition to Alexa Emergency Assist.



Does the requirement for subscription include the component of Alexa guard that cycles the lights? I hope not, otherwise I’ll be back to square one seeking a replacement for vacation lighting. :disappointed:

That being said, this actually seems like a reasonably good idea/cost to help pay for Alexa. Both Google and Amazon are struggling to figure out a way to make money off of their devices and assitants, and this seems a decent value add overall (mostly a person who will respond) even if it’s actually subtracting some of what people get for free/included already.

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Looks like Away Lighting will still be a free feature for now.

Some Guard features, including Smoke and CO alarm detection, will be available as part of Emergency Assist for $5.99/month or $59/year (visit for up to date pricing details). Other Guard features, including Away Lighting, will now be available as part of your general Alexa experience.

Fingers crossed!

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Amazon is also adding Ads to Prime Video in 2024 unless you pay extra to remove them. cha ching! :wink: (yes - off topic)


The person being interviewed actually said they want to charge for the new AI version of Alexa eventually, but also specifically said that “the Alexa you know and love today will remain free.” But that’s not how the interviewer wrote it up. :thinking:


Alexa Guard is going away. See text from email that I received this afternoon from Amazon.

"Dear Alexa Guard customer,

We want to inform you that we no longer support Alexa Guard. We appreciate the opportunity you’ve given us to help keep your home safe and secure.

How can I access Guard features?
This transition has impacted whether and how you can access the following Alexa features:

Home and Away modes** — If you previously set up Away Lighting, linked a security system or Astro device to Guard, or created a Guard-based Routine, you can continue to use Home/Away modes to control those features.

Away Lighting** — If you previously set up Away Lighting, you can continue to use the feature with Home/Away modes.
Smoke and CO alarm sound detection*** — This is available to Alexa Emergency Assist subscribers.

Glass break sound detection*** — This will be available to Alexa Emergency Assist subscribers starting soon.

** To maintain access to these features, please download the latest version of the Alexa app.

*** If you have an Astro device and Ring Protect Pro subscription, you can continue to get smoke, CO, and glass break alerts from your Astro device.

Thank you for being an Alexa customer."

Yep. It’s the same thing They announced last year that I referenced in the first post above. The only detail that’s new is that you had to have set up away lighting already in order to be able to continue to use it without a subscription. It looks like new customers won’t get the option. :thinking:

Alexa Guard was deleted from my account today. I can confirm that I still have Away Lighting and can make modifications to the settings for it. I did have it set up previously so I can’t comment on whether new users have the option or not.


How do you make changes to Away lighting? I can’t find any reference to it in the Alexa app.

Devices->long hold Mode-> Gear icon->Away Lighting

2 posts were split to a new topic: FAQ: Where are my SmartThings scenes listed in the Alexa App?

Amazon lining up AI overhaul, paid plans for Alexa voice assistant

Nothing in the article that we don’t already know

Yeah, because Alexa has to actually work, at least most of the time.

According to Fortune , Amazon has grappled with getting its Alexa LLM to consistently and effectively make API calls, which is how the current Alexa interacts with your other stuff, such as third-party smart home devices and music services.