If you’ve been lusting after Google Wifi and the new Nest Wifi’s voice-activated features, good news: Alexa will soon enable something comparable. Amazon today announced that Alexa Wi-Fi Access, a feature that allows customers with supported routers to add Alexa voice control to their devices, is now rolling out to owners of Eero routers and network extenders.
Starting today, Eero customers can add Alexa control by navigating to the Devices tab in the Alexa companion app, adding their router, and following the on-screen prompts. Once it’s set up, they’ll be able to use Alexa via a smart speaker, smart display, or app to pause or unpause Wi-Fi access for individual devices or groups of devices, and to schedule Wi-Fi access times and control guest access.
Amazon says additional support for TP-Link, Asus, Arris Surfboard, and Linksys routers will arrive in the coming months. Here’s a few examples of supported commands:
- “Alexa, pause the Wi-Fi for 30 minutes”
- “Alexa, turn off the Wi-Fi for Sarah”
- “Alexa, unpause the Xbox Wi-Fi”
- “Alexa, turn on the guest Wi-Fi”
Of course, Alexa control for routers and networking devices isn’t completely unheard of. Indeed, Netgear, Asus, TP-Link, Linksys, and other manufacturers offer voice apps with much the same functionality as Amazon Wi-Fi Access. For example, Netgear’s Alexa skill lets customers switch on or disable guest networks, reveal a network’s password, reboot a router, or surface Wi-Fi configuration settings with voice. The idea behind this new Alexa feature, then, is to eliminate the need to invoke a third-party app or skill.
Also worth noting: Google Assistant supports similar commands (.e.g., “OK Google, turn on the guest network,” “OK Google, what are my Wi-Fi settings,” “OK Google, reboot the router”) on select third-party devices. However, certain commands — like those governing parental controls and network speed tests — are only supported on products in the Google Wifi and Nest Wifi families.