When I bought my first Amazon Alexa Echo Dot, I wondered how I was supposed to hook it up.
What kind of connection did it require, and would it only work with a WIFI connection? Would it work if, for some reason, my WIFI connection went down?
And what about those folks who do not have wireless in their home – are they able to use Alexa?
As it turns out, there are two alternate ways to use Amazon Alexa if you do not currently have a wireless connection up and running in your home
If you use a mobile hotspot or connect your Alexa device via Bluetooth, you can avoid having to use a WIFI connection.
But how exactly do you set your device up with either a mobile hotspot or Bluetooth?
Are these processes complex, or can you do them in just a few quick, painless steps?
Let me elaborate a bit more on what I learned when conducting my own search about Alexa needing to be connected to WIFI.
Does Alexa Have To Be Connected To WIFI?
Without an available WIFI connection, Alexa cannot perform certain functions. For example, it will not be able to connect to music streaming channels or Google features. Using a mobile hotspot is one possible workaround for this, but it has some limitations, as does connecting to Bluetooth.
Why is it that Amazon Alexa won’t work without a WIFI connection?
How exactly does your WIFI connection work?
Are you able to use Amazon Alexa as a Bluetooth speaker, and how do you connect to Bluetooth or a mobile hotspot? Read on to learn more.
Why won’t Alexa work without WIFI?
Amazon designed Alexa to work with a WIFI connection.
Most of its functions depend on you having a connection established to that it can work on multiple devices placed throughout your home.
While you can use a mobile hotspot or Bluetooth connection, you will really get the most out of your Amazon Alexa device on a wireless connection.
How does WIFI work anyway?
Okay, here is the deal with WIFI: it is, as of right now, the carrier for approximately 60% of Internet connections around the world, and it is absolutely on the rise.
WIFI – which is the short form for “wireless fidelity” – is basically just a fancy-schmancy way of referring to WLAN, which stands for wireless local area network.
WIFI sends signals between devices using wireless radio frequencies.
A no-WIFI radio runs on Kilohertz (kHz) and Megahertz (MHz).
A WIFI radio connection uses Gigahertz (GHz) frequencies. Hz is a unit of frequency that equals one cycle per second.
Therefore, a single GHz equals one billion cycles in one second.
These days, you can either connect via a 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz (commonly referred to as 5G) wireless connection. Even quicker WIFI connections are being developed.
Can you use Alexa as a Bluetooth speaker?
You can set Alexa up as a Bluetooth speaker.
But this will involve you needing a wireless connection for the initial device pairing process.
You might need to utilize a public WIFI connection to do this if your home does not have a WIFI connection available.
You will definitely want to ensure that whichever connection you use is as secure as possible so that hackers cannot access your info.
How do you connect Alexa using a mobile hotspot?
Is your Internet connection down? You can use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot, although doing so will cost you data.
If you do wish to set your phone up as a mobile hotspot for Alexa, you will need to follow these steps to accomplish this process:
- First, open your Alexa app, then go to Settings.
- Next, select your Amazon Tap and choose Update WIFI.
- You will then see a message come up that says you have not to activated your hotspot yet. Tap on Start.
- Enter the required info for your phone’s hotspot, then tap on Connect.
- As you let Tap go about searching for a signal, you can go ahead and activate your device’s mobile hotspot. If you are on an Android device, you just need to tap the Hotspot option in your Settings. If you are using an iOS device, you will need to turn on the Personal Hotspot from here.
- After Alexa connects to your smartphone’s signal, you can tap on Continue in your Alexa app. Tap will then be ready to chat regardless of where you are located.
How do you pair Alexa up with a Bluetooth connection?
If you decide to go the Bluetooth route, you will need to get onto a wireless connection for the initial pairing process.
Once you are on, you will need to follow these steps to pair your Amazon Alexa to your other Bluetooth-enabled device:
- Go into your smartphone and open up the Alexa app. You will then want to choose Menu > Settings.
- Select the device you wish to pair with it.
- Choose the Bluetooth option, which must be enabled.
- Choose a device from the list that will come up and select Forget. You will need to repeat this step for every other Bluetooth device on your list.
- Then, go ahead and pair your Alexa device.
Are you getting the most out of your Alexa device?
Alexa Echo and Echo Dot devices actually work great as secondary Bluetooth speakers. You get excellent sound quality from them and can crank the volume up pretty high. But if you really want to get your money’s worth and reap all the benefits that Amazon Alexa has to offer, connecting to WIFI is the way to go. A 5G connection will give you seamless streaming and access to features that can control your connected lighting and other electronics.
Amazon designed its Alexa-equipped devices to work seamlessly with WIFI connections. Even on a 2.4 GHz WIFI connection, Alexa is quick to respond to your commands, allowing you to stream music and control your room’s connected electronic devices. (My kids absolutely love being able to turn their connected Echo Dot light on and off with just a few easy vocal commands.)
Of course, wireless connections are still not available everywhere, so you might have to resort to using a mobile hotspot or Bluetooth connectivity. Download the Alexa app and use that from your smartphone to set up Bluetooth or a mobile hotspot for your Alexa device to work off of. It is a painless process that normally takes only a minute or two of your time.