Amazon Alexa Can Now Secure Your Wireless Network With McAfee Voice Commands

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Alexa is constantly gaining new skills with some coming directly from Amazon, and other skills coming from third-party programmers. One of the latest skills that Alexa has picked up is one that can help you control your wireless network. At MWC 2018, McAfee announced a new Alexa skill that lets you check on the security of your router and network without having to launch an app or go to your computer.

The skills enable voice controls for McAfee network security features and include commands like:

  • "Alexa, ask McAfee to scan my network"
  • "Alexa, ask McAfee how many devices are online right now"
  • "Alexa, ask McAfee to block/unblock {Device1}"
  • "Alexa, ask McAfee to pause the internet for {kid1}"

These skills will let parents set limits on how much online time kids can have using their voice among other things. The biggest catch is that you need not only McAfee software running on your network, but you will also need a router that supports the McAfee Secure Home Platform. McAfee says that all routers that support that platform will be automatically updated to support the Alexa Skills. The company doesn’t get specific in naming routers that are currently supporting this but does note that the D-Link AC2600 Powered by McAfee router will support the voice commands and will launch in Q2 2018.

That platform was announced during CES 2018 and will extend desktop security across all devices connected to the network including smart home devices. McAfee doesn't give a timeframe for launch other than a vague "in the coming months" statement. McAfee notes that if these voice commands prove popular with Alexa users, it will roll out similar command functionality for owners of devices running Siri or the Google Assistant. 

"Consumers need to take a proactive stance to moving security beyond the endpoint and into the connected home network," said John Giamatteo, executive vice president, consumer business group, McAfee. "McAfee understands that for consumers to use security solutions, they must fit seamlessly into the way they already live their lives. With the McAfee Secure Home Platform skill for Alexa, we are giving customers the added convenience of simply managing their home’s network security using their voice."