Amazon smart home devices is a must have tech for your home and when working correctly, Alexa can really spice up your life. But things sometimes don’t go as planned and the creators of such devices are humans after all and humans make mistakes.
You might face some problems after setting up your Echo device and those problems are sometimes very frustrating. So to help you with that, here are some common problems along with their solutions:
Inconsistency in Wi-Fi connection
The device has LED lights denoting the connectivity status, with white meaning a good Wi-Fi connection and orange meaning no connection at all. If you are not getting any connection or the connection is inconsistent then follow these steps for a possible solution:
- Firstly, try rebooting your router and turn your Echo off and then on again.
- If rebooting doesn’t help and other devices are working well (In terms of connectivity), then try changing the location of your device and position it away from any other electronic device that might be interfering with the signal. Also try placing Echo and your router somewhere higher in your room and closer to each other. Try placing Echo away from walls and Metal objects (at least 8 inches away).
- If you have a dual-band router, try connecting the Echo with the 5 GHz channel. This is supposed to decrease interference, strengthen the connection and increase the range of the signal.
- The last option is to Factory Reset, but remember it does not solve the problem, it just gets rid of the symptoms and the problem is prone to come again in the future. If you are looking for a hassle free solution then and only then you should go for the factory reset option.
Can’t Detect Other Smart Home Devices
Alexa is known for her talents of operating other devices by just the user’s voice command. But for that ability to work one has to first connect those devices with Alexa. Now if you are having trouble connecting your smart home device with Echo, then first make sure that the device is compatible with Echo.
There are many devices that are now compatible with Echo, including the devices like Ecobee 3 and other devices from companies like Nest, Philips Hue, Wink, Insteon, Lifx and Honeywell. However there are many other devices that have added official Alexa Support by the use of Skills.
If the device is not supported, then you can use the If This Then That (IFTTT) to help bridge the compatibility gaps. Alexa has an official IFTTT channel as well. Some of these steps might help you get a smooth set up:
- Firstly make sure that your smart home device and Echo are connected over the same Wi-Fi, although it is very basic but highly necessary.
- Secondly make sure that your devices have all the latest software and firmware updates and don’t forget that some smart home devices would have to be enabled as a skill in the Alexa App.
- Check the command you are using for invocation. The commands can differ a lot between different devices and some of them are oddly specific i.e. even small differences in the naming of the device can cause a problem.
- If nothing works then try the good old rebooting method and try removing the smart home device and adding it once again.
Alexa doesn’t understand
If you are a regular user of Echo then you might have heard, “I am sorry, I don’t understand the question” and sometimes more than often. Although Alexa gets used to your voice and pronunciation but there is a way in which you can avoid repeating yourself.
- You should start by using the voice training tool in the Alexa app by going to settings and then voice training. You will have to speak 25 pre-defined phrases that will help Alexa learn your speech attributes.
- Physical factors like noisy appliances in the room might increase the ambient noise levels that may cause a problem for Echo in receiving your voice. So try moving it to a more silent location.
- You can actually see what Alexa heard when you gave it the command. Alexa app keeps the note of all your commands in the History section under You can thereby identify some common misheard phrases and try expressing them more clearly.
Now nobody wants the Echo device to wake up when someone calls a character named Alexa in your favorite TV show. Although it is harmless, if you don’t care about Alexa eavesdropping on you, but it is a real headache when Alexa starts giving unwanted responses. To prevent that:
- You can change the wake up word from Alexa to Echo, Amazon or Computer.
- Press the mute switch on the top of your device while watching TV.
Problems with streaming
Alexa has the ability to stream media from multiple sources like Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Tuneln. But if you are experiencing problems in streaming it can be due to 2 major reasons:
- Wi-Fi interferences.
- Firewall and internet speed.
If the connection speed is less than 0.5 Mbps then I am sorry but streaming might not be possible.
These were some of the common problems that you might be facing while setting up or using your Echo device. If these problems are still not solved then it is better to call at Amazon or any other technical support personnel to get more personalized solution to your specific problem.
Neil Smith is the outreach senior executive of Alexa Echo Help. He has held just about every position possible in the technology world, from tech support to marketing head. He is a tech enthusiast who has a great interest in smart home technologies.
He and his team have been applying their vast Amazon Alexa Echo Support experiences to create world learning solutions in tech world.