The Amazon Echo works great as a bedside alarm, especially if you have an Echo Spot (which is pretty much designed for just that purpose). However, if you’re worried that your alarm won’t go off when Wi-Fi is turned off, then you have nothing to worry about.
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Lifehacker recently posted a PSA urging readers not to use their smart speakers (like the Echo and Google Home) as an alarm because a friend of the author once had an alarm that didn’t go off the same morning when Wi-Fi went down.
There are many reasons why this could happen, but it probably wasn’t Wi-Fi — Echo alarms are designed to work even when Wi-Fi is unavailable.
I tested it myself using the regular Echo and Echo Spot (which I use every morning as an alarm clock and it works great). I started by setting an alarm using Alexa, then turning off all internet connection in my house. I went to bed and woke up the next morning with my Echo Spot’s alarm going off without a hitch.
I even tested it again by setting an alarm and telling Alex to wake up some streaming Spotify music. Surely that would confuse my Echo and make anxiety catatonic without Wi-Fi, right?
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Turns out the Echo waits one minute to try and establish a Wi-Fi connection to play the song, and if it can’t, it will instead play the default sound that came with the Echo when it was sent. At worst, you wake up a minute later without your favorite tune.
Also, «Alexa, Stop» worked to turn off the alarm even without a Wi-Fi connection, but phrases like «Alexa, Snooze» or «Alexa, cancel» won’t work. (Your mileage may vary in this regard, one of my colleagues tested it with his «Echo» and while the alarm went off saying «Alexa stop» didn’t.)
Amazon’s support page even says that «if your device is disconnected or not connected to Wi-Fi, timers or alarms still turn off.»
After all, you probably don’t need to worry about a possible Wi-Fi outage that puts you to sleep due to an alarm not firing on your echoes — things like alarms and timers all get done locally on the device itself and do not work. Internet connection is not required for proper operation.