Amazon makes an incredible range of smart home devices, from the best smart security systems to the best smart speakers, but did you know that many of these can better help protect your home? Amazon security plans include Alexa Guard Plus, Ring Protect Pro, and Virtual Security Guard, but which one is the right plan for you? We break them all down and help you pick the right one for your home.
Alexa Guard Plus
Alexa Guard Plus is the least expensive of all Amazon’s security plans, and it uses the collective smarts of your connected devices to achieve a better sense of security. Amazon maintains a list of compatible devices, which includes your Echo speakers, Ring devices, and even some surprises like Alexa-powered Christmas trees and smart outlets.
Amazon warns that Alexa Guard Plus isn’t intended to replace a proper home security system but can be used to help you feel safer in your home.
The basic Alexa Guard tier is available for all Amazon accounts for free. Alexa Guard Plus is an upgraded service that will cost you $4.99 per month or $49 per year. Amazon sometimes offers a free one-month trial for first-time subscribers, and opting to pay for the entire year upfront essentially gives you two free months of the service.
Ring Protect Plus subscribers can get Alexa Guard Plus by linking their Ring and Amazon accounts. Afterward, open the Alexa app, tap Settings, then Guard, and follow the on-screen instructions to enable Alexa Guard Plus.
You can subscribe by saying “Alexa, try Guard Plus” to any of your Echo devices. Here’s what you get when you subscribe.
A 24/7 Emergency Helpline
Any Alexa-powered speakers connected to your Amazon account can be used to call emergency dispatch personnel by just saying, “Alexa, call for help.” It’s similar to calling 911 on your phone, but with the massive added advantage of not having to find your phone first.
Emergency sound alerts
Alexa-powered devices with microphones, such as an Echo Dot or Echo Show, can be activated while you’re away from home to listen for sounds of activity. The free Alexa Guard tier can detect the sound of a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm going off, as well as the gound of glass breaking. Alexa Guard Plus can detect those same sounds, as well as activity sounds in your home. Activity sounds include things like footsteps or doors opening and closing.
If one of these activities occur, you’ll get a notification on your phone allowing you to listen to the sound, as well as sound an alarm through each of your Alexa-powered speakers. You can also call emergency services if one of these sounds is heard right from the Alexa app on your smartphone.
Deterring unwanted visitors
If you have cameras or other motion detection devices outside your home, Alexa Guard and Alexa Guard Plus can automatically turn smart lights on and off when motion is detected. Alexa Guard Plus ups the ante by letting Alexa play the sound of a dog barking or sound a siren from any of your Alexa-powered speakers when motion is detected. These actions can help scare away a possible intruder.
An extra pair of ears
Alexa Guard Plus
$4.99/mo. or $49/year at Amazon
Keep tabs on your home while you’re away
Alexa Guard Plus can hear the sound of glass breaking or footsteps in an empty home, alerting you that something is up.
If you have Ring devices in your home — whether it’s Ring cameras or Ring Alarm — a Ring Protect plan will add more functionality to your existing devices. None of Ring’s devices require a subscription to operate, but you’ll find that doing it yourself can be a pain. Ring’s cameras also don’t store any video locally, so, without a plan, there’s no historical video recording of any kind.
Ring Protect Basic
Ring Protect Basic is the least expensive Ring Protect plan, designed for homes that just use one Ring camera, be it a video doorbell or other Ring camera. Ring Protect Basic costs $3 per month or $30 per year, giving you a discount if you pay for one full year at a time.
Ring Protect Basic will add video recording functionality to a single Ring camera and store all that video in the cloud for up to 60 days. In addition to recording and storing motion events, you’ll also have access to features like Person Alerts, Rich Notifications, and Snapshot Capture.
Ring Protect Plus
If you have more than one Ring camera — or a whole bunch of them — Ring Protect Plus is the plan for you. At $10 a month, or $100 per year, Ring Protect Plus will add recording and 60-day cloud storage to all your Ring cameras. It’ll also enable the same Person Alerts, Rich Notifications, and Snapshot Capture features as Ring Protect Basic.
In addition to covering all your cameras, Ring Protect Plus extends the warranty for all cameras and gives you a 10% discount on any product purchased through Ring.com.
Ring Protect Pro
If you have Ring cameras and Ring Alarm, Ring Protect Pro is the plan for you. Ring Protect Pro costs $20 a month or $200 a year and adds the same camera recording, cloud storage, and new features from Ring Protect Plus for all your Ring cameras.
With Ring Protect Pro, you’ll be able to opt-in to have professional monitoring added to your Ring Alarm kit. Since rules vary by state, an extra set of costs might be included in the sign-up process, and some states require a permit fee and a false-alarm fee. Professional monitoring services will cover burglary, SOS, Panic, and silent alarm. Your Ring Alarm can also have cellular alarm backup in case your home Internet connection goes out.
On top of that, Ring Protect Pro adds eero Secure and 24/7 Backup Internet to your Ring Alarm Pro. Backup internet can be used as your entire home’s backup internet connection, but be aware that only 3GB of data is included for free with the plan. So if you need extra data, it’s $3 per additional GB.
Cover your home
Ring Protect plans
From $3/mo. at Ring
Cloud storage and so much more
Ring Protect plans don’t just enable cloud storage. They also add advanced motion detection and professional monitoring services.
Virtual Security Guard
Virtual Security Guard is the latest Amazon security service announced at Amazon’s September 2021 event and is Amazon’s top-tier security service. Virtual Security Guard starts at $99 per month per location and is likely a better fit for businesses than homes because of its cost.
To enroll in Virtual Security Guard, you’ll need to have an active Ring Protect Plus or Ring Protect Pro subscription.
Virtual Security Guard includes a third-party professional monitoring service for any of your outdoor Ring cameras. After enrolling, you’ll use the Ring app to select which cameras Virtual Security Guard can access. You can change this list of cameras at any time, and the professional monitoring crew can only access those specific cameras.
When a motion event is triggered by one of your Ring cameras, an alert will be sent to the professional monitoring team, who will then view the motion event footage and take any necessary action from there. Ring developed a series of guidelines for which situations require responses, such as detecting a person. If a person is detected, the professional monitoring team can use the 2-way audio on the camera to warn the intruder of their offense, sound the siren on the camera, and dispatch emergency services, if needed.
Motion events can only be forwarded to the professional monitoring team when your Ring system is Home or Away modes. If the system is disarmed — a setting found right at the top of the Ring app’s home screen — no motion events will be forwarded. Additionally, Ring does not allow these professional services to save, download, or share your videos.
Let someone else do it
Virtual Security Guard
From $99/mo. at Ring
Professional monitoring included
When you need immediate response to any motion event, Virtual Security Guard can be there when you can’t.