Best Alexa Home Security Systems

Security.org TeamOctober 1, 2019

Alexa is the virtual personal assistant who “lives inside” Amazon Echo speakers. With compatible devices such as TVs and security lights, Alexa can respond to voice commands. Make life easier while protecting your home! Here we outline five best security systems that work with Alexa.

Lots of home security brands are Alexa-friendly. However, some offer more Alexa skills (or functions) than others. Skills are add-ons for the Alexa app. Some examples:

  • Basic skill – Built into the Alexa app is an alarm clock. With this function, Alexa can wake you and give reminders throughout the day.
  • Smarter skill – Alexa can automatically tell you about local weather after the morning alarm sounds. You could program this skill directly, or Alexa could “learn” the action if you habitually check the weather shortly after waking.
  • Security skill – With voice commands you can arm your security system for “Home” or “Away” mode. Similarly, some security systems let you disarm by saying a PIN.

You can choose from thousands of Alexa skills at Amazon’s website. Many of the downloads are brand-specific, e.g., for Hue smart lights or Domino’s food delivery. (“Alexa, ask Domino’s to track my order.”) Downloads are free but some skills have paid upgrades.

Of the best Alexa-friendly security companies, Frontpoint stands out for Alexa security skill variety. Read on for Frontpoint Alexa details, or skip ahead to another Alexa-friendly favorite.

The Best Alexa Security Systems

Best Alexa Skills – Frontpoint

Frontpoint monitors security systems that customers easily self-install. For years the company has thrived thanks to reliable security equipment and excellent customer service. Now they have extra appeal with best Alexa skills!

We say Frontpoint has “best Alexa skills” because connected security cameras can be voice-controlled. You can pan a camera, for example. For comparison, some other Alexa-friendly security companies only support simpler equipment such as door locks.

For $49.99/month the Frontpoint Ultimate Plan supports advanced Alexa skills while also providing 24/7 pro monitoring. The plan can support home security, environmental sensors such as smoke detectors, and home automation. The Ultimate service agreement is available with 12-month and 36-month contracts.

Frontpoint Perks

  • DIY setup (no installation fee)
  • Excellent pro monitoring
  • Alexa for security cameras

Frontpoint Alexa Skill

Frontpoint customers with the Ultimate Plan can connect with Alexa at Alarm.com. Here are examples of Frontpoint Alexa skill functions:

  • Activate cameras. By default your home security cameras might be motion-activated. However, with Alexa you can instruct a Frontpoint camera to record anytime. Use a phrase like “Alexa, ask Frontpoint to record a clip with the kitchen camera.” You can also make cameras move! “Alexa, ask Frontpoint to pan the living room camera to the fireplace.”
  • Use a smart doorbell. The Frontpoint video doorbell, Skybell, is triggered by motion. Alexa lets you speak with visitors and give the impression that you’re home, wherever you might be. The Alexa skill also lets you disable the Skybell motion detector, turn off the alert chime, and take snapshots or video of your doorstep.
  • Set a scene. An Alexa scene is a combination of actions. With a scene you can activate more than one smart home device at nce. For instance, with Frontpoint security you could create a “Good Night” scene activated by a single phrase. This scene could adjust lights, temperature and locks and ensure that your home alarm system is activated.

Frontpoint provides a 30-day risk-free trial period. As mentioned above, this home security company is known for excellent customer service. Also, they won’t surprise you with unexpected charges; pricing is straightforward.

Best Mobile App Compatibility – ADT

ADT is a top home security company with pro setup and pro monitoring. They’re America’s longest-running home security company, and they’ve kept up with modern tech. For 2019 ADT is a best Alexa home security company in terms of app compatibility. That is, you don’t need a virtual middleman to communicate.

With ADT you can speak directly to Alexa. You can use phrases like “Alexa, disarm ADT.” For comparison, other security companies have a pass-the-message relationship. They’re a bit more cumbersome with phrases like, “Security company, ask Alexa to accomplish XYZ.”

Also, ADT is notable for letting you disarm with voice if you say a PIN. This feature is handy if you arrive home with arms full of groceries, your kids, etc.

Pricing for ADT is home-specific; it depends on the layout and services. Each account has professional installation and a contract for pro monitoring. Get a six-month trial! Learn more at ADT.com.

ADT Perks

  • Free professional installation
  • Pro monitoring via landline/cell chip/both
  • Best mobile app integration

ADT Alexa Skill

The ADT Alexa skill is available to all ADT Pulse customers without extra charge. Here are examples of typical ADT Alexa phrases:

  • Alexa, arm ADT in Stay Mode.
  • Alexa, set the bedroom temperature to 72 degrees.
  • Alexa, is the back door locked?
  • Alexa, lock the back door lock.
  • Alexa, turn on the patio light.

ADT, like Frontpoint, also lets you create scenes. For example, you could create a Fire Emergency scene. This would turn off your HVAC fan, turn on lights and unlock doors. A more peaceful example is a Good Night scene. Say “Good night, Alexa” to automatically secure your home, adjust the temperature, dim the lights and so forth.

ADT Alexa Bundle

Generally with ADT you need to talk with an agent on the phone for help choosing security equipment. However, Amazon sells an ADT Alexa home security bundle on their website. This combines an Alexa speaker (Amazon Echo Dot) with ADT equipment.

The ADT Alexa bundle includes:

  • Echo Dot (Alexa speaker)
  • ADT Command touchscreen panel
  • ADT video camera doorbell
  • ADT Away Lighting smart plug
  • Two entry sensors
  • One motion detector

You can add other components such as indoor/outdoor cameras a la carte.

Best Environmental Controls – Vivint

Vivint home security is professionally installed and monitored long-term. It’s a high-quality option for those who want security, environmental monitoring and home automation.

Compared with other favorite security companies, Vivint makes it especially easy to create “environments” or scenes; with one short phrase you can order multiple actions. Set up a Movie Night scene, a Good Morning scene and so forth.

Vivint Perks

  • Professional installation
  • Pro monitoring 24/7
  • Best Alexa environmental controls
  • Vivint Alexa Skills

Two Vivint Alexa skills are available for customers in the USA: Complete and Basic.

The Complete skill can arm your home security system and adjust:

  • Standard door locks
  • Garage doors
  • Thermostats
  • Lights

With Complete you’ll ask Alexa to pass a message, e.g., “Alexa, tell Vivint to lock my front door.” With Vivint Smart Home you can speak directly to the system.

The Basic Vivint skill works exclusively with lights and thermostats. Sample commands are “Dim my lights” and “Set my AC to 68 degrees.”

Easiest Setup – SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe is popular for combining DIY installation with no-contract monitoring. Many customers choose SimpliSafe for no-monthly-fee home security, but SimpliSafe has an affordable paid option with Amazon Echo integration too. They make some of the easiest systems to set up for home security with Alexa.

Alexa is available with SimpliSafe’s Interactive Plan. As explained below, the Alexa SimpliSafe skill is very basic. However, this paid plan also provides 24/7 professional monitoring. SimpliSafe Interactive costs $24.99 month-to-month.

With no contract required, SimpliSafe is one of the best home security companies for renters in particular.

SimpliSafe Perks

  • DIY installation
  • No contract required
  • Alexa available month-to-month

SimpliSafe Alexa Skill

The SimpliSafe Alexa skill is basic. It lets you:

  • Set Home Mode
  • Set Away Mode
  • Ask about system status

You can choose from several phrases for an action. For example, to activate Home Mode you could say:

  • Alexa, tell SimpliSafe to lock up.
  • Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I’m going to bed.

In addition to supporting basic Alexa, the Interactive plan gives access to text and email alerts. It also lets you get alerted when certain parts of your home are accessed. For instance, you can hear a chime or get a silent alert (via text/email) when someone opens your mailbox, medicine cabinet or bedroom door.

SimpliSafe is highly rated for its straightforward policies and effective security equipment. It’s one of the best security companies that works with Alexa without requiring a long-term contract.

Best Camera Controls – Ring

Ring, like Alexa, is an Amazon-owned company. They offer some of the best video doorbells and other home security cameras that work seamlessly with Alexa or Amazon Echo. You can also connect smart door locks and lights from third parties. Customers self-install Ring cameras and other components, then choose DIY or pro monitoring.

  • Do-it-yourself video monitoring requires a small monthly payment ($2.99) per camera.
  • Ring Protect Plus, which can contact emergency dispatchers, costs just $10/month. No long-term contract is involved.

Ring doorbells, indoor cameras and outdoor cameras all have two-way voice to let you chat with family members or holler at intruders. The brand’s best-known products are video doorbells, with five choices that can be hardwired and/or battery-powered.

Other Ring cameras, including outdoor security cameras, require no wiring for setup. They have night vision, HD resolution and audio enhancement to filter voices from other sounds. Two popular Ring cameras are:

  • Floodlight Cam with LED lights, motion sensor, siren and two-way voice
  • Stick Up Cam with motion sensor, siren and two-way voice; for indoor & outdoor use

All Ring cameras have rechargeable batteries. Depending on use, the batteries tend to serve for six months to a year before recharging is needed. An even lower-maintenance option is to upgrade Ring security cameras with solar chargers.

Ring Security Perks

  • DIY installation
  • Low-cost DIY video security
  • Best Alexa camera controls

Ring Alexa Skill

The Ring Alexa skill works with all Ring video doorbells and cameras. It also works with:

  • Z-wave door locks (300-series) by third parties
  • Fire TV, tablets and stick
  • Echo Show & Echo Spot (smart speakers with screens)
  • Smart lights

With Ring camera integration, here are some typical commands:

  • “Alexa, answer the front door.”
  • “Alexa, show me the last activity from the front door.”
  • “Alexa, pause” (during playback of a video clip)

If you like, you can invite police, neighbors or others to “drop in” on your Ring account to see security clips. You can also use Ring’s Neighborhood app, which is a neighborhood crime watch app that connects with Ring and local police.

Smart lights are included in the Amazon Alexa security bundle. Sample commands are “Alexa, dim my kitchen lights” and “Alexa, turn on motion sensor on balcony lights.” You can also get creative and set scenes that combine sets of lights and/or other equipment.

With smart locks you can check their status anytime. No problem if you’re in the shower or away from home! “Alexa, are my doors locked?” You can even add smart locks to Ring if you’re a renter; the compatible brand August works with existing deadbolt locks.

To arm you can simply say, “Alexa, arm my system.” Ring Alexa allows voice disarming with a four-digit PIN. Be aware that if you set a PIN, then it can be used by anyone. This could be convenient (for your babysitter, for example) but the option should be used with caution. You can change/cancel your PIN anytime, and you can also track PIN use in real time with the Ring app.

Fun Alexa Skills

After you set up Alexa for home security, you can start exploring its endless potential in non-security areas too. Here’s a sampling of Alexa’s many abilities that can make everyday life easier and more delightful.

  • Find your car – This Alexa skill requires purchasing an add-on gadget, but it can save the day!
  • Find your phone – Alexa can help locate your mobile phone; she can make it ring or track it down with geolocation.
  • Give a random fact – Wikipedia and other developers work with Alexa to provide kid-friendly random facts.
  • Give positive reinforcement – An Alexa skill called Therapy is a lighthearted attempt to help you feel better!
  • Lead an exercise session – Alexa can lead you through exercise with the Seven Minute Workout and similar skills.
  • Order pizza – Alexa can connect with your Domino’s pizza profile to place orders and track deliveries.
  • Order a ride – Lyft and other rideshare apps are integrated with Alexa. Order a ride, check the location of a car, and leave a tip by voice.
  • Play music – For free Alexa users can listen to music on Pandora, iHeartRadio and other online music services.
  • Tell a joke – Alexa can tell yo mama jokes, clean jokes and more! By default not all Alexa jokes are meant for children, but you can set Alexa to “kid mode” for people age 13 and younger.
  • Investigate the death of Batman’s parents – With the fun Alexa skill called Wayne Investigation you can work as a detective on behalf of Batman! This Alexa game is well-written and fun to play, in our review. It’s also likely to make you feel extra smart for investing in home security.

Alexa FAQ

Learn more about Alexa with our answers to common questions.

What is Alexa?

Alexa is the short name for Amazon Alexa, a virtual assistant created by Amazon. Alexa was first developed for use in Amazon’s smart speakers, called Echo and Echo Dot. These speakers can respond to your commands to play music, search the Internet, adjust your home security system and more. Now the assistant is also available through Amazon Fire TVs, iOS/Android phones and more.

How Does Alexa Work?

Generally you can activate Alexa by saying a “wake word” such as Alexa. (“Alexa, is my porch light on?”) Your voice message is then processed in Amazon’s cloud. You can choose from the wake words Alexa, Amazon, Echo and computer. Unfortunately you can’t change Alexa’s name.

Some devices, like certain models of Fire tablet, aren’t voice-activated. You need to press a button for assistance.

For home security you can also set Alexa to respond to specific sounds such as smoke sirens or breaking glass.

Whose Voice Does Alexa Use?

Alexa’s default voice sounds pleasantly human. However, unlike the voice of Siri, it’s computer-generated.

You can install other voices, including masculine and feminine voices in English and other languages. Most Alexa voices sound more computerized than the default, but some are synthesized to sound realistic. (One high-quality option is British accent Alexa.) Coders have also developed Alexa voice skills for Pikachu and famous actors.

Why is Alexa Named “Alexa”?

Developers chose the name partly because the “X” sound is so distinctive; the sounds helps make a great choice for a wake word. The name also pays homage to the Great Library of Alexandria, which scholars say was one of the largest libraries in ancient times.

Can Alexa Pronounce my Name Correctly?

Yes! With phonetic spelling you can show Alexa how to pronounce your name.

Can I Call Emergency Services with Alexa?

Alexa can call most US numbers for free, but you CAN’T call 911 with the default Alexa app. However:

  • You can use Echo Connect to make emergency calls if you connect the Echo account to your landline.
  • A pro-monitored security system with Alexa will call 911 for you in case of emergency.

As detailed above, some of the best security systems that work with Alexa and will call 911 are ADT, Frontpoint, Ring, SimpliSafe and Vivint.