This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.
When it comes to where to put your Amazon Echo speaker in your home, the options are nearly endless, from your kitchen counter to your living room shelf or your bedside table. But what you might not know is that there’s also some places you should never put your Alexa smart speakers and smart displays, due to both privacy risks and the potential for damaging your Echo.
You may know that putting your Alexa device near water isn’t safe, but did you know that intruders could access your smart home device from outside if it’s placed too close to a window?
Keep reading to find out where you definitely should avoid placing your Echo devices, and the best spots for them to go instead. (For more Amazon Echo tips, check out which Alexa settings you should change ASAP, the five useful Echo features you should try today and the newest Alexa commands.)
1. Keep Alexa away from your toilet
Placing an Echo near your toilet is, quite simply, gross. Think of all the germs that linger around that area — even in super-clean bathrooms. However, if you must have an Echo device in your bathroom (and, OK, we can 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. Avoid putting 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 your windows
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. Alexa shouldn’t go 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? 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.
More tips for Alexa