When most people think of smart home devices, their minds probably jump to something like a thermostat, light bulbs, or maybe a security system. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind for most people when thinking about connected homes, but smart speakers are becoming more and more common in homes all over the world. With so many different options and brands on the market today, it can be difficult to know where to begin when trying to add a smart speaker to your home.
Here are some things you should consider before investing in an Echo device or any other smart speaker. An older version of Amazon’s popular Echo smart speaker may help users get a new Wi-Fi network up and running. That’s because the device has a hidden feature that allows it to act as an access point. According to documentation posted by Amazon in September, the same feature exists in newer versions of the device, though it must be activated first.
More About Old Echo Speakers
If you have one of those old Echoes lying around and are struggling with Wi-Fi at home, you can use it as a wireless access point to extend your Wi-Fi network. This process is much easier than activating the hidden feature on newer versions of the device and will take just a few minutes to complete. Let’s go over what you need and how to do it.
If you have an old Echo speaker and a Wi-Fi router that broadcasts on The New Wireless standard, you might be able to pair the two and use your Amazon Echo as a wireless access point. Even better: You can do this without sacrificing any of the cool Alexa functionality.
The New Wireless standard is faster than the previous generation of Wi-Fi, but not many devices support it yet. If your home has lots of older devices, such as smart thermostats or cameras that are based on older Wi-Fi standards, your Wi-Fi network might not have enough bandwidth for all your internet-connected devices to stream media simultaneously.
Instead of upgrading your router — which is probably connected to cable internet service — you could get more out of its existing capacity by pairing it with an old Amazon Echo (or another device that uses The New Wireless), which will serve as an access point instead of connecting as a client.
What is an Echo Speaker?
The Echo is a hands-free speaker that uses a virtual assistant to help you with your daily tasks. You can use it to play music, receive news, weather, and traffic updates, set timers, and alarms get answers to your questions, and more – all with just the sound of your voice. The Echo is powered by Amazon’s own virtual assistant, called Alexa. Alexa’s skills and abilities are always growing, and it’s easy to customize and set up the Echo to do what works best for you and your family. And with a growing number of other devices that work with Alexa, you can use your Echo to control almost everything in your home.
Which Echo Should You Buy?
The first thing to consider is which features you plan to use most often. For example, if you plan to primarily use your Echo for music, you may want to consider the traditional Echo or the Echo Dot. These both come with a standard 3.5mm audio cable, so you can plug them into any existing speaker system. If you plan to use your Echo for more than just music, like for controlling smart home devices, you may want to consider the Echo Plus.
The Echo Plus comes with a built-in hub, so you can plug in any smart home devices you’d like to use. This doesn’t mean the other Echo devices can’t control smart home devices. The Echo and Echo Dot come with an Alexa app, so you can still plug-in devices and set them up to work with your Echo.
Amazon Music, Audible, and Echo for Music
The Echo is a great device for listening to music. It works with Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio, so you’re likely to find something that appeals to you. If you have an Audible subscription, you can use your Echo to listen to audiobooks, too. You don’t need to set up and connect an existing speaker with your Echo to play music.
Echo for Music is built-in, so you can just tell Alexa to play your favorite song or album from any room in the house. If you’re an Amazon Music subscriber, you can use Echo for Music to control your personalized playlists, too. Just tell Alexa what you’d like to hear and she’ll play the music you love. Amazon has announced that its new Alexa-powered Echo smart speakers will help to boost your home’s Wi-Fi signal strength.
Why Add an Echo to Your Home?
With all of these features, it’s clear that the Echo makes a great smart speaker. But why would you want to add one to your home? One of the biggest reasons is because of control. When people buy new appliances, they often find that they’re difficult to use and clunky to set up. The same applies to new light bulbs; they often don’t provide the kind of ease of use that you might be expecting.
The Echo can help with this. If you have an Echo device in your home, you can simply tell Alexa to turn on your lights or start your washing machine with just your voice. This is also helpful for those with visual impairments or other disabilities that make it difficult to operate these devices.
Echo Plus and Smart Home Hub
The Echo Plus is a great device for those who want a smart home device. It comes with a built-in hub, which means you can plug any smart home device you want to control into it. This also means that you don’t need to set up a separate hub for each device you want to control with Alexa. It’s compatible with a number of smart home devices like Philips Hue lights, Honeywell, and Wemo. You can even use Echo Plus to control appliances such as fans and humidifiers with a connected plug.
You can also use the Echo Plus to control your smart home security system with devices like the Amazon Cloud Cam, Ring, and Arlo cameras. We can also use the Echo Plus to control smart home accessories, like smart plugs and switches.
Other Options in the Echo Family
If you don’t want the Plus model, there are a few different other models to consider. The original Amazon Echo is a great choice for anyone who wants a high-quality, high-end device. If you have an existing speaker system that you want to use, or if you just prefer the sound quality of a wired connection, then this model is a great choice. The Echo Dot is a compact, affordable device that’s great for any room in the house. It comes in several different colors and is just as functional as the standard Echo. The Echo Spot is similar to the Dot but with a built-in camera. This is great for anyone who wants to use video calls with Alexa or wants to be able to see who’s at the door.
Google Home and Google Home Mini
If you’re a Google user and prefer Google Assistant, Google Home is a great device. It comes in two sizes:
Mini and the Regular Home. While the regular Home model comes with a built-in speaker, the Mini does not. Instead, it plugs into any speaker system you have. The Google Assistant is powerful and capable of many of the same things that Alexa is. You can use it to control your smart home devices, get weather and news updates, and do just about anything else you can do with Alexa. With support for IFTTT and other services, there’s not much that you can’t do with a Google Home device.
Google Nest Integration
If you’re particularly invested in the Google ecosystem, you can also use your Google Home to control your Nest thermostat. You can also use Google Home to control your Chromecast devices and view content on your TV. The Amazon Echo can do these things too, but if you’re primarily a Google user, it might be more convenient for you to be able to control all of these things from one device.
The Echo is a great device for listening to music and controlling your smart home devices. It comes with built-in Amazon Music and Echoes for Music capabilities, so you can just tell Alexa to play your favorite song or album from any room in the house. Update the Wi-Fi Settings for Your Echo Device. If you’re a Google user, you can use Google Home to control your smart home devices and get news and updates. It also comes in two sizes: the Mini and the regular Home. The regular Home model comes with a built-in speaker, but the Mini does not. If you’re an Amazon user who wants to add an Echo speaker to your home, you don’t need to pick between Alexa and Google. You can use both, as they’re integrated.