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Author Topic: Alexa  (Read 1526 times)

banger

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Alexa
« on: February 25, 2018, 06:01:25 PM »

Considering an Echo or Echo Dot from Amazon. But one thing puzzles me, how does one connect the Echo to wifi without an Apple or Android phone? I have looked at the Amazon page and it says you can use a web browser to connect to wifi but I cannot fathom how this would work with my current setup (DSL-N55U router with wifi password on 2.4 and 5 g). Or would I have to enable a guest network on the router specifically for the Echo's use.

Also was planning on getting an Echo Dot for my bedroom table for music playback and radio listening and if all went well an Echo for the kitchen for similar use. Is this possible? From what I have read it seems you can link your music via spotify which now has my groove music imported into it as the groove and spotify have joined forces.

Any ideas welcome before I spend any money.
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Tim
www.uno.net.uk & freenetname
Asus DSL-N55U and ZyXEL VMG1312-B10A Bridge on 80 Meg TTB Fibre

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1502566996147131655

Iain

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 06:31:05 PM »

No need for a guest network, you just need the app and an Alexa account from Amazon - the "app" works on a PC/Laptop all you do is sign into your Alexa account and follow the instructions in the settings section.

If you have Amazon Prime you will also have access to Amazon Music, but for greater music options you may want to subscribe to other streaming providers, including Amazon or Spotify.

You can also connect via Bluetooth and play music from your own device that way.

The sound quality is noticeably better on the Echo, but the Dot is not bad.
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Ronski

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 06:59:10 PM »

You can only link Spotify if you have a Spotify subscription, it won't work with a free account. You can also stream music from your PC/server with the My Media skill.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2018, 07:01:13 PM »

What an interesting question, even for me who has no particular interest in Alexa.  How the heck can the initial set up take place, and how can the web setup talk to the Echo begore it has joined the WiFi. :-\

I think I eventually figured out the answer.   The Echo seems to provide its own wireless network, with an obvious name like ĎAmazon-somethingí.   During setup, youíll be given instructions to reconfigure your PCís WiFi , such that the PC connects to the echo.    That would obviously allow the Echo to be configured.

It wonít work I assume, if your PC just has an ethernet cable, and no WiFi card.

That is my understanding.  If correct, it is amazing that Amazon donít explain how it works (only how to do it), or explain that it needs a PC with built in Wi Fi.   If incorrect, I hope a better explanation will be provided.... :D
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banger

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2018, 07:06:21 PM »

So to be clear, this is the Amazon App in the Windows Store that can be used to set up an Echo Dot?

Thanks for the tip about Spotify Ronski I only have a free account but Media Skill sounds the way to go.
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Tim
www.uno.net.uk & freenetname
Asus DSL-N55U and ZyXEL VMG1312-B10A Bridge on 80 Meg TTB Fibre

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1502566996147131655

banger

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2018, 07:19:40 PM »

I think I have sussed it by googling (oh the irony). Apparently you goto alexa.amazon.com on your PC and login with amazon details then have access to the Alexa app. I only got as far as the User agreement but it seems that is the way to set up wifi.
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Tim
www.uno.net.uk & freenetname
Asus DSL-N55U and ZyXEL VMG1312-B10A Bridge on 80 Meg TTB Fibre

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1502566996147131655

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2018, 07:38:43 PM »

I think I have sussed it by googling (oh the irony). Apparently you goto alexa.amazon.com on your PC and login with amazon details then have access to the Alexa app. I only got as far as the User agreement but it seems that is the way to set up wifi.

But your Amazon login cannot possibly allow the Echo to join your WiFi, or allow Amazon to Ďtalkí to the Echo in any way. 

Still pretty sure it works as I described earlier. ;)
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banger

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018, 07:51:44 PM »

Waiting to confirm either way before taking the plunge. If that is the case 7, how does the phone app detect the echo?
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Tim
www.uno.net.uk & freenetname
Asus DSL-N55U and ZyXEL VMG1312-B10A Bridge on 80 Meg TTB Fibre

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1502566996147131655

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2018, 08:21:02 PM »

Waiting to confirm either way before taking the plunge. If that is the case 7, how does the phone app detect the echo?

I would guess, by a similar endeavour, though a dedicated phone App can create the illusion that it is all a bit more seamless than it is.   

Maybe an initial communication by Bluetooth might play a part, too?   I think (not certain) thereís other services that allow a device that already has WiFi access  (in this case the phone) to disclose the stored WiFi password to a second device, using data usage exchanged over bluetooth.  Still not sure how the initial bluetooth connection would happen, mind you.
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Iain

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2018, 09:29:31 PM »

@banger ignore those who don't have the device, the app works - you have a choice via phone or PC, the PC version is just a explorer/edge your favourite browser link to the Alexa login. The app can "see" your echo on on our network, and can transfer  Wi-Fi log in details when it's in setup mode.

Not sure of the technical details, but it works, if you prefer, mabe it's magic  ;)
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banger

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2018, 09:35:23 PM »

Thanks Iain, I like magic.  :D
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Tim
www.uno.net.uk & freenetname
Asus DSL-N55U and ZyXEL VMG1312-B10A Bridge on 80 Meg TTB Fibre

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1502566996147131655

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 09:57:45 PM »

@banger ignore those who don't have the device, the app works

That does appear to be Amazonís pitch, but in adopting that level of detail it does suggests to me that the device is aimed at those of, shall we say, below average technical competence?   And credit to them for that, it seems to be a big success, a clever and very useful gadget, and cleverly marketed.  I might even buy one. :)

Personally though, I seriously doubt whether Amazon have indeed managed to exploit some completely unkown vulnerability in the WiFi security of all home routers, that allows them to compromise everybodyís networks.   If such an exploit were ro be discovered, vulnerabilities like the recent Spectre and Meltdown would pale into insignificance.  :D

Far more likely, it works as explained in reply #3, unless anybody can offer an alternative explanation...
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d2d4j

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2018, 10:28:50 PM »

Hi

@7lm - perhaps it works like like the cargenie from AA and then sets up Wi-Fi from user inputs

This might explain why it does not need Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or internet connection from the user to start with. However, once setup, no data charges to 3/4g inbuilt

I do have to say though, I do not use or have Alexa devices and would certainly not have any internet connected devices in the bedroom - including mobile phone

Iím too suspicious but could be entirely wrong

Many thanks

John
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banger

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2018, 10:43:29 PM »

I think the Echo is always listening as are some Samsung TVs, but all it would hear in my bedroom is my dog snoring or me snoring. :)
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Tim
www.uno.net.uk & freenetname
Asus DSL-N55U and ZyXEL VMG1312-B10A Bridge on 80 Meg TTB Fibre

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1502566996147131655

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Alexa
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2018, 10:45:26 PM »

I do have to say though, I do not use or have Alexa devices and would certainly not have any internet connected devices in the bedroom - including mobile phone

Iím too suspicious but could be entirely wrong

I share your suspicions.   I have weakened a little, otherwise my Apple watch would be of limited use without Siri.   

My current desktop PC (an iMac) has a microphone and built in camera above the screen.   I relctantly accept and use the microphone but the camera lens has been covered, since the day I got it, by a small lump of Blu Tack.  :D
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