How to Use Echo Show as Security Camera (Complete Guide)

The Echo Show is a neat little gadget that many homeowners use. Usually for displaying recipes and other things like that, but it can also double as a security camera.

To use the Echo Show as a security camera, you have to turn on the home monitoring option on your Echo Show. Then you can access and connect to your Echo Show from your Alexa app and use it for home monitoring.

Setting up your Echo Show for home monitoring is very easy, and there are some neat ways it can also be used in combination with some other smart home features offered by Alexa. So let’s take a look.

Use Echo Show as Security Camera

How to Set up Echo Show as a Security Camera

To use your Echo Show as a security camera, follow the steps below:

  • Swipe down from the top of the Echo Show’s screen
  • Select Settings
  • Select Camera
  • Turn on Home Monitoring
  • Verify your Amazon account by entering your password
  • Click on Done
  • Enter your 2FA code if the 2FA is activated and press Continue
  • Press Done
  • Next, open the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet
  • Select Devices
  • Select Cameras
  • Select your Echo Show camera

If the Echo Show is not displaying on the Alexa app, there are several things that you can check.

  • Ensure that the Echo Show is set up on the same account as your Alexa app.
  • If the Echo Show does not show up on your Alexa app, try closing the app and restarting it, logging out and logging back in again, or reinstalling it.
  • Lastly, try manually discovering the Echo Show by asking Alexa to discover your devices.


Home Monitoring vs. Drop In

Both the Home Monitoring option and the Drop In option can be used to check in on your home while you are away. They work in a very similar way, but they are not the same thing.


What Is Home Monitoring on Echo Show?

The Home Monitoring option allows you to directly access and view a live video stream from your Echo Show using the Alexa app or another device connected to your Amazon account, such as another Echo Show.

The Home Monitoring option works on Echo Show 2nd gen and 3rd gen.


What Is the Drop in Function on Echo Show?

The Drop In function is very similar to Home Monitoring, with the only difference being that it is intended for live video calls and will stream video from your smart device to the Echo Show.

You can also use the Drop In option on your Alexa app. However, the Drop In option needs to be switched on first.

To activate and use the Drop In function of your Echo Show, follow the steps below:

  • Open the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet
  • Select Communicate
  • Tap on Contacts
  • Go to My Communication Settings
  • Switch on Allow Drop In
  • Go back to the Home tab on the Alexa app
  • Select Devices
  • Select Communicate
  • Select Drop In
  • Select your Echo Show

You can use the Drop In option to monitor your home, but the Echo Show will stream video of you as well.

After activating the Drop In option, the video will start streaming automatically after a 10-second delay, during which time the call can be accepted or rejected.

The Drop In can also be set so that it requires the call to be accepted first before any video or audio is streamed.


How to Use Your Echo Show as a Security Camera

To use your Echo Show as a security camera, switch Home Monitoring on, go to the Cameras section under the Device tab in your Alexa app on your smartphone. Tap on the Echo Show, and it will automatically connect to it and bring up a live video feed from the Echo Show camera.

That way, you can access your Echo Show camera from anywhere. However, you cannot use your Echo Show camera remotely if you have not activated the home monitoring on the Echo Show first.

Anytime somebody is watching through the Echo Show camera remotely, there will be a message popping up on the Echo Show’s display saying that a household member is viewing the camera.

Next to the message notification, there will also be a stop button that can be used to stop the live feed and prevent the person on the other end from using the Echo Show’s camera.

Thanks to the speaker and microphone on the Echo Show, it can be used for two-way communication, too.


Can You Use Echo Show With a Motion Sensor as a Security Camera?

You can use your Echo Show with a compatible motion sensor and set up a routine to stream video feed from the Echo Show or send you a notification to your smartphone when motion has been detected.

The Echo Show 3rd gen comes with a built-in motion sensor and can be used as a motion sensor camera and send a notification on your smartphone if there is movement or sounds. You can even swipe left or right on the Alexa app to make the Echo Show 3rd gen move to the sides.

However, you have to pay for the Alexa Guard Plus in order to have these features available to you.


Can You Use Echo Show to Display the Video From Other Security Cameras?

You can set up your Echo Show to display the video stream from Alexa-compatible smart cameras by telling Alexa to show a particular camera.

For instance, you can use your Ring doorbell or Ring cameras and Nest cameras to stream their video feed to your Echo Show.

There are other smart cameras that are Alexa compatible, like Blink, Arlo, Wyze, Eufy, and more. However, how well they will work can vary as there can be some compatibility bugs, connectivity issues, and inconsistencies, including problems with latency and timeout delay issues.

To make other cameras stream their video feed to your Echo Show, you need to connect them all to your Alexa app and create a routine specifying what you want to happen when one of these cameras detects motion.

You can also use Alexa-compatible smart cameras that are not capable of sensing motion.

You can use cameras that do not have motion-sensing capabilities by pairing a motion sensor with a smart WiFi camera and Echo Show using the Alexa app by creating a routine. Amazon recommends using the Smart Things Motion Sensors and the Philip Hue Motion sensors for the best results.

The routine should be set up to display the camera’s feed on your Echo Show when the motion sensor has been triggered. You can set up the cooldown period after a triggering event and how long the video feed length.


Can You Use the Echo Show to Stream 24/7?

Usually, most cameras are limited to 5 or 10 minutes of video streaming to save bandwidth or for as long as there is movement triggering the camera’s motion sensor.

That being said, some cameras will be able to stream for a few hours before the Echo Show goes back to the home screen. Some owners have also reported being capable of setting up their Echo Show to stream continuously 24/7.

How long the camera can stream for usually depends on the provider of the associated Alexa skill.

However, some cameras can be set up to provide continuous video streaming and stream for as long as you want. However, Alexa calls, remainders, interruptions, or connectivity issues can drop the video streaming.


Is It Worth Using Echo Show as a Security Camera?

Generally, it is not worth getting the Echo Show if you only plan on using it as a security camera. Although it can offer some neat features, it is not as good as a real home security camera.

The main problem with using the Echo Show camera is that you only view the footage in real-time, it does not record or save the video feed, and you cannot view older footage.

This means that if anything happens in your home, you may miss it and not have any footage as proof.

To use all the Echo Show 3rd gen capabilities, you will even have to pay a small monthly fee, which can be used to pay the monitoring fees for a smart home security system.

In addition, the Echo Show does not have any night vision, and the visibility in low light conditions is not great. That said, you can set up a smart light which you can turn on to illuminate the room when using the Echo Show.

Although the Echo Show can be used for home monitoring and even set up to work with other smart cameras in your home, it is not a good alternative to standard home security cameras.

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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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