Alexa from Amazon is among the best smart home helpers without a doubt.
You can do a lot of amazing things with Alexa, such as schedule your day and create reminders, as well as manage the smart home’s appliances.
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So, is Wi-Fi necessary for Alexa to operate?
Yes, to answer briefly. To use all of its functions, Amazon’s Alexa has to be connected to the internet.
However, even without an internet connection, Alexa may still be used as a Bluetooth speaker or mobile hotspot.
In this article, I’ll explain why Alexa requires Wi-Fi, what it can accomplish without it, and how to get Alexa to function even if your home doesn’t have Wi-Fi.
Further reading: What Is Alexa And What Does Alexa Do?
How does Alexa work?
Amazon Alexa is a virtual assistant powered by AI. It’s important not to confuse Alexa with devices like the Amazon Echo that have Alexa built-in. Alexa is an AI assistant that doesn’t exist in the real world (smart speakers).
So, now that you know that, here are some things Alexa can do:
Answering General Questions
Alexa can answer questions about things like the weather, sports scores, the net worth of celebrities, and so on. If you connect your calendar (like Google Calendar) and set your preferences for news sources, you can say, “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing,” and Alexa will give you a quick summary of this and other content like interviews, lists, daily comedies, and so on.
Even though Alexa can only answer factual and general questions, this is a very useful feature for a smart speaker because it means Alexa can’t form an opinion or respond to complicated commands.
Manage Things in Your Smart Home
Alexa Skills let Alexa connect to and control thousands of smart home devices. Think of them as apps that let Alexa talk to and control devices from other companies. Smart LED lights, smart thermostats, smart doorbells, and so on are just a few examples. For example, you can tell Alexa to turn on and off a certain smart LED or to change how other appliances work.
Play radio, music, podcasts, and audiobooks.
Alexa can connect to music streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music. She can also connect to Pandora and iHeartRadio as your default radio station service. Alexa can also stream audiobooks through Audible and, of course, the Kindle Audible app from Amazon. Alexa can be a very useful smart speaker if you like to listen to many different kinds of audio.
Calling and Messaging
Alexa can make these kinds of phone calls:
Alexa-to-Alexa calling between Echo devices or on smartphones with the Alexa app.
Call mobile or landline devices in the UK, US, Mexico, and Canada from select Echo devices
Alexa app calls: As mentioned, the Alexa app can make and receive calls to and from mobile and landline devices, as well as Echo devices.
Echo devices and Alexa apps can make international calls to each other
Timers and alarms
You can set up recurring alarms with classic and custom alarm clock tones, or you can choose to wake up to your favorite radio station or a specific song. You can also set a quick timer for any activity (i.e. cooking or sports activities).
What are Alexa’s pros and cons?
You may also like: Interesting Questions About Alexa That You Wonder
- Voice control means you don’t have to use your hands.
- Alexa is very versatile. Through the Alexa Voice Service, she can answer both general and specialized questions, play music, read the news, play podcasts, give sports scores and schedules, and more.
- On Alexa devices like the Amazon Echo, the sound is immersive and comes from all directions. For the price, it’s pretty loud and sounds pretty good.
- Can control smart home devices from third parties, like smart lights, smart security cameras, and smart thermostats.
- Amazon adds new Alexa Skills all the time. Some are pretty simple, like the Uber skill that lets you book an Uber quickly, and some are very advanced.
- Alexa devices can recognize your voice from across the room, even when music or the radio is playing.
- Great voice control for a number of tasks
- Can connect to music and radio streaming services like Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon Prime Music.
- Echo devices have a voice-training feature that can learn to recognize the voices of certain family members or friends in the house. Very accurate and responsive, so voice commands and controls can be made with precision.
- Can help with a lot of different things, especially for people with disabilities. For example, it can tell the time, automatically update your schedules, make and take phone calls, give you the weather report, help you make doctor’s appointments, and so on.
- Great shopping list feature, and you can keep it up to date as you go.
- Easy to pair with Bluetooth If you want to turn it into a Bluetooth speaker, just say “Alexa, pair Bluetooth,” and it will quickly connect to your audio source.
- Start and stop alarms and timers quickly and easily. This is very useful for cooking and other time-sensitive tasks. Just say “Alexa, set an alarm for…” or “Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes,” and you’re all set.
- You can use your voice to control music and radio, and it works really well.
- This includes being able to change the volume with your voice alone.
- Great at answering your questions, which is especially helpful for conversions like “How many kilograms are in x pounds?” or other questions about facts, like “How much does a gorilla weigh?”
- Can tell jokes and re-enact comedy shows, good fun.
- Alexa is completely free, besides the cost of the device itself. There are no hidden fees or monthly fees, and there are no hidden costs.
- Alexa can only be used and talked to in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Hindi, German, Italian, and French right now, but support for other languages is on the way.
- Only a few devices, like the Echo Show, offer visual information, unlike Google Assistant on Android devices or Siri on the iPhone/iPad. You have to depend on what you hear.
- With the exception of the Echo Tap, most Alexa devices are not portable, so you have to keep them always plugged in. Since they don’t come with batteries, you can’t use them on the go.
- It can’t give good answers to questions like “How can I get richer?” because it can only answer general and factual questions. or “What can I use instead of X bag?”
- Not technically a smart home hub, so you will need to spend more on other smart home devices like smart LED bulbs, switches, smart thermostats, and more.
- It can’t do more than one thing at once without saying “Alexa” between each one. You can’t ask multiple questions in just a single sentence.
- Even though most Echo devices have pretty good speakers, they aren’t really audiophile-grade speakers, so their sound quality isn’t all that great.
- Alexa devices (Amazon Echo) can’t send sound to other headphones or Bluetooth speakers.
Why Alexa needs Wi-Fi to work
Alexa devices let you control them using your voice. Natural Language Processing is used by the device to make this happen (NLP).
NLP is a field of artificial intelligence that uses neural networks to make machines understand what we say.
Small devices like the Echo and Echo Dot don’t have the hardware to run such complex neural networks, so they can’t process voice commands on their own.
Instead, the audio clips are sent to web servers at Amazon, where they are processed.
After the audio clips are processed, the servers figure out the best answer and send it back to the device so Alexa can tell you.
Because this process involves connecting to a remote web server, it needs a working internet connection, usually a Wi-Fi network at home.
But it is possible to connect to the internet through a mobile hotspot, which we will talk more about later in this article.
Things Alexa can do that don’t require Wi-Fi
Alexa needs a working internet connection to do cool things like play music from streaming services, play music on multiple Alexa devices, and use the Drop-In feature, which lets you call another Alexa device in a different house.
There are some simple things you can do even if you don’t have the internet.
For example, you can use your Alexa device to control the smart home devices in your home and take specific, pre-programmed actions.
Some devices, like the Amazon Echo, have a smart home hub built-in. This lets you control lights, switches, and plugs that work with it.
You can also check things like the date and time without having to connect to the internet.
You can also use your Alexa device to set alarms and reminders and change the volume.
If you want to know what else you can do when you’re not connected to the internet, just ask your Alexa device what it can do when it’s not connected to the internet.
Does Alexa Need WiFi?
A WiFi connection is required for Alexa devices to operate effectively. An audio recording of your query or command is delivered to Amazon’s cloud over your WiFi connection when you speak to Alexa. After processing, it is returned to your smartphone through WiFi so Alexa can respond to your query or carry out your request.
How To Make Alexa Work Without WiFi
As was mentioned earlier, in order for Alexa to function correctly, you must have an active internet connection.
The best way to do this is by using a router and a Wi-Fi connection. If your home does not have Wi-Fi, there are some alternatives you can take into account.
Implement A Mobile Hotspot
Using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot is the greatest option if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.
The gadget you connect to your phone when you use it as a hotspot treats the cellular network like it’s broadband.
It uses your phone to connect to the internet by sending data to it as if it were a Wi-Fi router.
The hosted network’s speed and performance will be noticeably inferior when utilizing your smartphone as a mobile hotspot because the data packets must traverse an additional layer.
In comparison to Wi-Fi, using your cellular data might also end up being more expensive over time, so you should be cautious to only use it when absolutely required and to keep it off when not.
Using Alexa As A Bluetooth Speaker With Your Device
By connecting your Alexa device to your smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth, you can also use it as a Bluetooth speaker.
Once the devices are associated, you may utilize this connection to stream music, like from SoundCloud, from your phone to your Alexa device.
However, you won’t be able to use many of Alexa’s functions, such as voice commands, as you won’t be connected to the internet using this technique.
How To Use Alexa On A Mobile Hotspot
You only need a smartphone and a subscription to a plan with any cellular network that offers a data internet connection to utilize Alexa on a mobile hotspot.
Follow these instructions to link your Alexa device to a mobile hotspot:
- Find the Network Settings option under Settings on your smartphone.
- Configure your mobile hotspot and enable hotspot and tethering under network settings.
- Open the Alexa app after this is done.
- Choose Echo and Alexa.
- Find and choose your device.
- To establish a network connection, choose the change option next to the Wi-Fi network.
- Find the name of the hotspot network on your smartphone and connect to it by following the instructions on your screen.
- To proceed, enter the password for your hotspot.
- You can now use Alexa because your Alexa device is connected to your mobile hotspot.
How To Use Your Alexa Device As A Bluetooth Speaker
The procedures listed below can be used to pair your Alexa device with your smartphone and turn it into a Bluetooth speaker:
- Go to the Pairing screen in the Bluetooth settings on your smartphone.
- Open Settings on iPhones. After opening Bluetooth and turning it on, navigate to Other Devices by scrolling down.
- Open Settings on an Android device. Select Bluetooth under connections. Turn Bluetooth on, then use your screen to locate the device you wish to connect to.
- Speak to your Alexa device by saying “Alexa pair” or “Alexa Bluetooth.”
- Your smartphone’s pairing device list will then show the device.
- To associate the speaker with your smartphone, tap on its name.
- As with a Bluetooth speaker, your Alexa device will begin to stream audio from your smartphone as soon as you are connected
Questions and Answers
Can I use my phone to link my Echo Dot?
Yes, you can use Bluetooth to connect your phone with Echo Dot. To do this, just open the Alexa app, go to Settings, choose your Echo Dot, and then select Pair a new device under Bluetooth.
Your Echo Dot can function as a Bluetooth speaker once you’ve paired it with your phone.
Can Alexa be connected to two phones at once?
Yes, you can use one Alexa device to connect several phones. Alexa will only react through one device, though, as she uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone.
Is anyone able to access my Alexa?
There have been incidents of users connecting their Alexa devices with unknown individuals.
This may occur if your Bluetooth settings are improperly configured, such as if you start pairing and leave it on.
If this occurs, go to the Bluetooth settings and choose Toggle Forget All Devices. Then, re-pair the gadgets you want to link to your Alexa device.
Does Alexa require a phone to function?
Even while you may register your gadget online by simply logging into your Amazon account, you’ll still need a smartphone to download the Alexa app and set up the device’s first configuration.
Additionally, if you don’t have a smartphone, you won’t be able to use many Alexa capabilities.
Does Alexa have a monthly fee?
No, using Amazon’s Alexa does not need a monthly cost. Only an Alexa device and a reliable network are required.
However, if you have Amazon Prime, you can use Alexa with a ton of extra features and advantages.
To sum up
The short answer is no; you need a WiFi connection in order to use all of Alexa’s features.
Without WiFi, you can still set reminders, manage smart home appliances, use it as an alarm (provided it was previously set when connected to WiFi), and make calls using Echo Connect via a landline.
By pairing an Echo speaker with a smartphone, tablet, or another Bluetooth-enabled device, you can also use it as a Bluetooth speaker. So you can still play your party music without sacrificing sound quality when the WiFi goes out but you still want to keep the party going.
Ask Alexa, “Alexa, what can you do offline” to learn more if you’re still unsure of what she can and cannot accomplish without a WiFi connection.