How To Set Up an Echo Dot 4th Gen

Hey Alexa! Set this thing up for me!

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Katie McEntire
Staff Writer, Safety & Security
April 19, 2022

Amazon Echo smart speakers come in an array of shapes and sizes. One of our testers set up an Echo Dot 4th Gen in their home to show how it’s done.

The good news is this process is simple and universal across Echo devices (whether they’re soft-ball shaped or hockey-puck shaped). We’ll walk you through the process and give some tips on what features to opt in and out of.

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

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1. What's in the box?

Amazon Echo 4th Gen

The Echo Dot box contains the device itself, its charger, and some instructions.

This Echo is about the size of a softball, making it much bigger than previous versions but still small enough to fit anywhere in your home (within reach of the charger, of course).

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Which Echo works for you?

Amazon Echos have evolved quite a bit since their release almost a decade ago. If you want simple voice-only interaction with your smart speaker, check out the Echo Dot series. These come in flat disc shapes or spheres (like the one we tested).

Or you can find more advanced features in the Echo Show series. These Echos come with a widescreen and work much better with cameras and smart displays. So you can view security camera feeds or video chat with loved ones.

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

2. Connecting to the Alexa app

The whole setup process starts and ends with the Alexa app.

If you're brand new to the whole Amazon ecosystem, download the app while
you're opening the box to save a little time. Once you're in the app, find the Devices option on the bottom menu. The icon looks like a little house with some lines inside.

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

From the device's screen, you'll click the “+” sign icon to add your new Echo. Choose Echo and Alexa in the top-left corner.

Here, you can see we have a couple of devices like a Kindle Fire that already have Alexa activated.

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

If your new Echo doesn't appear in this menu, make sure it's plugged in and powered up. It should appear in the app soon. Once it shows up in that menu, select your Echo, and start pairing it with the app.

While it's pairing, you'll see the light ring on the base of the device glow orange.

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

It connected to our tester’s Wi-Fi automatically since they already had some Amazon devices activated. If that's not the case in your house, it'll ask for your Wi-Fi network name and password.

The Echo Dot will chime once it's on your Wi-Fi, and your app will send you to an introduction screen where you can select your preferred language and where your device will stay.

Next, confirm your address.

If you already have an Amazon account with your address preloaded, it should appear automatically. You can name this location Home, Work, or wherever you put it. You'll also get a prompt for Alexa to learn your name and voice; just type in your name and listen to it repeat it back.

Next, the Echo Dot will ask for you to speak into the app. These voice prompts will help Alexa recognize you when you speak to your Echo Dot.

Finally, complete the opt-in and opt-out features like Amazon Sidewalk, Drop In, and Contacts.

How do you connect Alexa to your security system?

3. Opt-in and opt-out features

First, there’s Amazon Sidewalk.

Sidewalk is an Amazon feature that shares a slice of your internet connectivity with other Ring and Amazon devices nearby, whether they're in your house or not. So, if you or your neighbors have a Ring camera outside your home, that little piece of Wi-Fi pie can help them stay connected.

Our tester didn’t have any Ring cameras outside their home. And for digital security reasons, we chose to keep our Wi-Fi inside and opted out.

We also opted out of Drop In, a feature that lets you broadcast messages to other speakers in your home. This way, you can tell the kids "Dinner is ready" without yelling upstairs. It has all kinds of uses, but we opted out because there’s only one Echo device in our home.

The Alexa app might also ask you for access to your contacts. We decided against this one too. But if you do say yes, it will give you the ability to call people in your contacts list via the smart speaker.

With your contacts built into your smart speaker, you can call or video chat with anyone listed in your phone through the Echo Dot. This could come in handy if you’re interested in Alexa Together, an Amazon program designed to help you watch over older loved ones like parents or grandparents through your Echo.

However, our tester opted out of this feature.

5. Final word

Now that your Echo Dot is up and running, the possibilities are (nearly) endless. Our Ultimate Guide to Alexa is a great place to start learning about your device and what you can do with it.

Once you add your home security system, security cameras, and smart home gear to the Alexa app, all your devices can work in concert. Setting up routines with all this gear can be as simple as turning on a light to tucking the kids in for bedtime.

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