This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.
Your Amazon Echo devices are useful in many ways, from helping you set up your preferred music streaming service to updating your Alexa settings. But what your device doesn’t tell you is the best and safest area in your house to place your smart speakers and smart displays. You’re probably thinking, “Does it really matter where I put it as long as I can give an Alexa command from most areas of my house?” The answer is yes.
Placing your Alexa device in certain areas of your house could risk your privacy or even damage your Echo. For example, did you know intruders can access your smart home device from outside if it’s placed too close to a window?
Keep reading to find out where you shouldn’t place your Echo devices and the best spots for them. For more Amazon Echo tips, check out these five useful features you should try today.
Read more: Best Smart Home Devices of 2022
1. Don’t put Alexa near a toilet
Placing an Echo near your toilet is gross. Think of all the germs that linger around that area — even in superclean bathrooms. However, if you must have an Echo device in your bathroom (and, OK, we do see the appeal), try placing it as far away from the toilet as possible.
If you can, mount it on a wall with a sticky strip or a nail. Just make sure it’s secure so it doesn’t fall, and remember to place it near an outlet so you can plug it in. Also, keep it away from the bathtub (duh!). You wouldn’t want to fry your Echo.
2. Don’t put Alexa near a sink
If you’re trying to drown out the sounds of Alexa’s voice, then, by all means, place your expensive Echo by a sink. However, if you want to keep it intact, never place it anywhere near water.
You don’t want to risk your kitchen water sprayer going haywire and soaking your Echo device, or a tall device getting tipped into the sink. Instead, place it on a different counter, like a kitchen island, or tuck it into a corner where it’s farther from splattering spaghetti sauce and water spray. It’ll stay cleaner and might sound better, too.
3. Don’t put Alexa by a window
Keep your Echo away from all the windows in your house. The location could potentially give anyone from the outside access to your Echo, and that could give access to your other smart home devices. For example, if your car is connected to your smart speaker, someone may be able to unlock and start it.
4. Don’t put Alexa under your TV
How many commercials are out there that say, “Alexa, play…” and activate your Echo? Or if the TV says anything that sounds a lot like “Alexa,” take a guess at what’s going to activate.
Not only does this interrupt the show you’re watching, but it also starts recording what’s said after the command. So if you’re having a private conversation and Alexa kicks in, you’re risking your privacy. Placing it on a side table makes more sense and is more likely to keep the voice assistant quiet until you make a command.
So, where should you place your Amazon Echo?
- In the corner of your living room (away from windows)
- A place where it’s easily visible to you, so you can see when the light ring lights up
- On your bedside table
- On the edge of your kitchen counter — far, far away from your sink
- On a mantle or shelf
- Mounted on a wall that’s not facing a window
You can also read our story on the four best uses for your Amazon Echo device in each room of your home to help you decide where to place your Echo.
Ready for more tips on what to do with your Amazon Echo ($30 at Amazon)? Check out these surprising things you didn’t know your Amazon Echo could do and six things you haven’t tried with your Amazon Echo yet.