Cameras That Work With Amazon AlexaBy - 11/30/2018
Alexa, being the forerunner of AI voice assistants, is no doubt a favorite among consumers and developers. Proof to that is the fact that hundreds of smart home devices are now compatible with Alexa, including home security cameras.
Different Echos, Different Skills
How Alexa controls your security camera will depend on the Echo device you choose and what the camera’s Skill allows for.
Skills are created by developers and usually backed by the camera maker. A Skill might allow you to arm and disarm your camera, check on motion events, or even swap to a custom mode. Most Skills are compatible with Echo ($99, Dolby speakers), Dot ($49, smaller size, smaller speaker), Echo Plus ($149, better speaker, built-in Zigbee hub), and Echo Dot Kids Edition ($69.99, kid-friendly features).
On the other hand, some Skills are only compatible with Alexa-enabled devices that have or connect to screens, such as Echo Show ($229, 10″ built-in screen, Zigbee hub), Echo Spot ($129, 2.5″ round screen), Fire TV ($69, TV box), Fire TV Stick 2nd Gen ($39, streaming device), Fire TV Cube ($119.99, TV box with hands-free voice control), Fire Tablet (4th gen or later), and Fire TV edition Smart TVs (Smart TVs running Fire TV). Having (or being connected to) a screen allows these devices to stream a live camera feed from compatible security cameras. (PRO TIP: Most cameras have a streaming limit of ten minutes. When you reach that limit, your Alexa video stream will automatically timeout. You can’t use Echo Show and other Alexa devices with a screen as a camera monitor.)
Security Cameras That Work With Screened Alexa Devices
|Skill Name||Compatible Cameras||Features Exclusive to ‘Screened’ Alexa Devices||Features Available to all Alexa Devices||Check Prices|
|Amazon Cloud Cam||Cloud Cam||Show/Hide Camera, Show Last Activity/Most Recent Event||Turn On Camera, Receive/Play/Delete Notifications, Trigger Routines With Motion Detection||Amazon|
|Blink SmartHome||Blink, Blink XT||Show/Hide Camera, Show Last Activity/Most Recent Event||Arm Camera, Disarm Camera (Requires PIN), Ask “When was my last motion alert?”, “What’s my status?”, and “What’s my schedule?”||Amazon|
|Ring||Ring Video Doorbell 2, Video Doorbell Pro, Video Doorbell Elite, Floodlight Cam, Spotlight Cam, Ring Stick Up Cam Wired; Limited Features Only For Ring Video Doorbell (1st Gen) and Stick Up Cam (1st Gen)||Show/Hide Camera, Answer Doorbell, Show Last Activity/Most Recent Event||Doorbell Ring Triggers Alexa Announcements, Trigger Routines With Motion Detection & Doorbell Rings||Amazon|
|Arlo||Arlo Wire-Free, Arlo Q & Q Plus, Arlo Pro & Pro 2, Arlo Go, Arlo Baby||Show/Hide Camera, Show Last Activity/Most Recent Event||Turn On Light/Change Light Color (Arlo Security Lights)||Amazon|
|Nest Camera||Dropcam, Dropcam Pro, Nest Cam, Nest Cam Outdoor, Nest Cam IQ, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, Nest Hello||Show/Hide Camera||Amazon|
|August Smart Home||August Doorbell Cam||Show/Hide Camera, Show Last Activity/Most Recent Event, Answer Doorbell (Coming Soon)||Doorbell Ring Triggers Alexa Announcements, Trigger Routines With Motion Detection & Doorbell Rings||Amazon|
|Logi Circle – Live||Logi Circle, Logitech Circle 2||Show/Hide Camera, Show Last Activity/Most Recent Event||Amazon|
|TP-LINK Kasa||Kasa Cam||Show/Hide Camera||Control TP-Link Kasa Smart Home Devices||Amazon|
|Canary||Canary All-In-One, Canary Flex, Canary View||Show/Hide Camera||Amazon|
|Wyze||Wyze Cam v2, Wyze Cam Pan||Show/Hide Camera, Discover Devices||Amazon|
|EZVIZ||Mini Plus, Mini 360 Plus, Mini O, Mini Trooper, Husky, ezGuard||Show/Hide Camera||Amazon|
|Honeywell Home||C1 Wi-Fi Security Camera, C2 Wi-Fi Security Camera||Show/Hide Camera||Turn On Camera||Amazon|
|Chk-In Cam||ConeC Cam||Playback Event Recording||Turn On/Off Camera, Arm/Disarm Camera, Launch Smartphone App,||Website|
|SmartCam+ for live view||SmartCam D1, SmartCam N1, SmartCam N2||Show/Hide Camera||Amazon|
|Amcrest Cloud||Amcrest IPM-723S, Amcrest Pro HD, Amcrest Ultra HD Series (require premium cloud subscription)||Show/Hide Camera, Discover Devices||Amazon|
|Zmodo||EZCam, Zmodo Greet HD & Pro, Zmodo Outdoor Pro, Zmodo Sight Series, Zmodo Snap, Zmodo Wireless Cam||Show/Hide Camera||Turn On Camera||Amazon|
Amazon Cloud Cam
The Amazon Cloud Cam is a prime example of a security camera that’s well integrated with Alexa. The Cloud Cam Skill is an interesting one. First, unlike other Skills, you don’t have to activate it. It’s automatically enabled when you link a Cloud Cam to your Amazon account. Second, it works with screened and non-screened Alexa devices. Obviously, you can’t play live or recorded videos using an Echo or Echo Dot, but you can use your non-screened device to turn the camera on. You can also use it to announce Cloud Cam notifications or you can set Cloud Cam’s motion detector as a trigger for your Alexa Routines.
Our editor, Rose, has tested Cloud Cam with Alexa. You can read her hands-on review here.
Blink is a security camera brand also owned by Amazon. They currently offer two wire-free security cameras: Blink (indoor camera) and Blink XT (outdoor camera). Rose has also tested both cameras, so if you want to learn more about them, click here.
Blink offers two Alexa Skills: Home and SmartHome. Blink for Home is obsolete, so your best bet is to use Blink SmartHome. The newer Skill lets you view live video feeds and the most recent recorded event from your Blink cameras if you have an Alexa device with a screen. If you have a screen-less Echo device, you can still arm or disarm your cameras and ask for the status of your camera’s battery, schedule, and notifications. Disarming the camera with your voice requires that you provide a voice PIN.
Ring is yet another Amazon-owned company, and they offer a range of security devices. Ring sells video doorbells (Ring Video Doorbell, Video Doorbell 2, Pro, Elite), security cameras (Stick Up Cam), and camera-equipped security lights (Floodlight Cam, Spotlight Cam). They also sell a security system, although that’s a topic for another day.
The Ring Alexa Skill lets you view your cameras and watch the most recent event clip on your Echo Show, Spot, Fire Tablet, or Fire TV. Unfortunately, some older Ring products are not supported by the Skill including Ring Video Doorbell (original version) and Stick Up Cam (original version). On the bright side, supported Ring Doorbells support Alexa Announcements. When someone rings your doorbell, Alexa will announce the event. Ring and motion alerts are also supported by Alexa Routine triggers. For example, if motion is detected, Alexa can make a custom announcement.
Arlo is a camera brand most famous for their wire-free, battery-powered cameras. If you’re an Arlo user, the good news is all of their cameras are supported by the Arlo Skill, including Arlo Wire-Free, Arlo Pro and Pro 2, Arlo Go, Arlo Baby, Arlo Q and Q Plus, Arlo Audio Doorbell, and Arlo Security Lights.
The bad news is that the Skill’s camera-related features are only available for Alexa devices with screens. You can watch a live stream on your screened Echo device. You can also watch the most recent event recording, provided that you have a cloud subscription (free or paid).
Arlo’s Alexa Skill does have some features that can be accessed using a non-screened Echo device, but those features are reserved for controlling Arlo Security Lights.
Nest is one of our top-rated security camera brands, and all of their cameras are compatible with Alexa. In fact, Alexa even integrates with Dropcam and Dropcam Pro (cameras released in 2014). Other cameras currently sold by Nest include Nest Cam, Nest IQ, Nest Cam Outdoor, Nest IQ Outdoor, and Nest Hello, not to mention the products the company sells in the smart home and home security department.
Unfortunately, the Nest Camera Skill doesn’t let you do much beyond watch live video feeds on your ‘screened’ Echo devices.
Logi Circle – Live
Not to be confused with the Logi Circle – Control Skill, Logi Circle – Live lets you watch live video streams and the most recent video recording from your Logi Circle and Logitech Circle 2 cameras. This Skill is exclusive to Alexa devices that have or connect to a screen. If you have a screen-less Echo device, you should use the Logi Circle – Control Skill. I’ve featured this Skill in the next table.
TP-Link Kasa is TP-Link’s smart home brand that includes smart lighting products, smart switches, and security cameras. The TP-LINK Kasa Alexa Skill only offers camera features exclusive to Alexa devices with a screen. More specifically, you can watch live videos and review the latest event recording.
Wyze is a camera brand we love, mainly because their cameras are inexpensive but come with exceptional software and support.
Currently, the company sells Wyze Cam v2 and Wyze Cam Pan, but there are whispers about an outdoor camera version coming soon. I’ve tested both Wyze Cam v1 (still works but no longer recommended) and v2, while Rose has tested Wyze Cam v2 and Wyze Cam Pan.
Take note that the Wyze Skill only works with Wyze Cam v2 and Pan. Also, you can only use the Skill if you own an Alexa device that has or connects to a screen with an exception: Fire TV Stick isn’t currently supported.
Skills Currently Not Recommended
As for the remaining Skills mentioned in the table, I decided not to elaborate on them for several reasons. Some of them have very low or no reviews, indicating that the Skill is either not useful or that the hardware is underwhelming. Some, such as Honeywell Home, are focused on non-camera related features. EZVIZ is a decent brand, but I don’t recommend the Skill as enabling it requires you to turn off your camera’s image encryption, which might have some effect on your camera’s privacy. And then there are others, like Amcrest, that are free to enable but require a subscription to use the Skill.
Security Cameras That Work With All Alexa Devices
|Skill Name||Compatible Cameras||Voice Commands||Other Features||Check Prices|
|SkyBell||SkyBell HD, SkyBell Trim Plus||Arm/Disarm Motion Sensor, Change Modes, Record Video, Take A Snapshot||Turn On Quiet Mode (silences the indoor chime)||Amazon|
|Remo+ Voice||DoorCam, RemoBell||Check Battery Status, Check Wi-Fi Status, Ask Details (time, type, etc.) About Latest Alert/Event||Amazon|
|Logi Circle – Control||Logi Circle, Logitech Circle 2||Start a Recording, Disable Privacy Mode, Turn On Camera||Amazon|
|Yi Home Camera||Yi Home Camera Series, Yi Dome Camera Series||Turn On/Off Camera||Amazon|
|Kuna||Smart Security Light, Camera Floodlight, Toucan||Discover New Devices||Turn On/Off Smart Light||Amazon|
|SmartCam+||SmartCam D1, SmartCam N1, SmartCam N2||Ask Event/Alert Information||Amazon|
|Chk-In Cam – Smart Home Skills||ConeC Cam||Turn On/Off Camera||Website|
SkyBell used to be Ring’s toughest competitor in the video doorbell department, but has since lagged behind. Still, SkyBell Doorbells offer useful features, and although they’re not as popular as Ring in the DIY smart home market, many professionally monitored security companies use SkyBell doorbells.
If you happen to own a SkyBell Doorbell, you can integrate it with Alexa via the SkyBell Skill. The Skill lets you arm or disarm the Doorbell’s motion sensor, change arming modes, or even command your Doorbell to take a snapshot or short video recording. You can also enable Quiet Mode with your voice, which temporarily silences all indoor chimes connected to SkyBell.
Remo+ (or Remo Plus) is another brand that sells products in the doorbell department. Currently, only two of their products work with Alexa: RemoBell (a doorbell) and DoorCam (a camera that hangs on your door, perfect for renters).
The Remo+ Skill lets you do three things: Check the battery status of your doorbell or DoorCam, check their Wi-Fi status, and ask for details about recent alerts. The last feature gives you information such as when the alert happened and what type of alert it was (doorbell ring, motion, sound, etc.).
Logi Circle – Control
As mentioned earlier, Logi Circle has two Skills. The second Skill is Logi Circle – Control. If you own a Logi Circle or Logitech Circle 2 camera and non-screened Alexa devices, this Skill is for you. You can also use it to access features not offered by the other Logi Circle Skill.
Logi Circle – Control, as the name implies, lets you control certain camera features. For example, you can use the Skill to start a recording, turn on your cameras, or disable privacy mode. However, it can’t turn off your cameras or enable privacy mode for security reasons.
Yi Home Camera
Yi Home is a budget security camera brand from the Chinese company Xiaomi. The company offers several security cameras, but only their Yi Home (indoor camera) and Yi Dome (dome-type outdoor camera) are compatible with Alexa. Disappointingly, you can only turn your camera on and off with the Skill, which is one reason why we ranked the camera lower than Wyze Cam v2 when we compared the two to several other inexpensive security cameras.
I’m a fan of the brand Kuna. They offer security cameras with built-in security light features, which is a great way to enhance outdoor security. Unfortunately, Kuna’s Alexa Skill falls below my expectations. Although it works with all the company’s products, it only controls the security light features of the device, letting you turn on and off your outdoor lights. Many users have already requested that Kuna add camera features to their Alexa Skill, but the Kuna Skill remains stagnant.
If you own SmartCam cameras such as D1 (doorbell), N1, and N2 (security cameras with person detection and facial recognition) but not an Alexa device with a screen, the SmartCam+ Skill is for you. It lets you ask for information like time, type, etc. as related to previous alerts and events, which is somehow an alternative to event playback. If you think something out of the ordinary has happened based on the information provided, you can use the free SmartCam+ smartphone app to watch a recording.
Chk-In Cam – Smart Home Skills
Finally, Chk-In Cam’s Smart Home Skill lets you turn your ConeC Cam on or off. Chk-In Cam also has a skill for ‘screened’ Alexa devices, but it fell on the “Not Recommended” list as it doesn’t have a single review. Unfortunately, the same is true with this Skill. Do I recommend this Skill? No. But it is the only Skill on our second chart that is not recommended.