- Amazon will soon be automatically enrolling customers in its Wi-Fi sharing service called Sidewalk.
- Amazon Sidewalk is a new wireless mesh service that shares internet bandwidth between neighbors.
- How to opt out of this new Amazon Sidewalk program is relatively simple.
- More tech news here.
In case you had not heard yet, Amazon is introducing a new service called Sidewalk which aims to create a new wireless mesh service by, as they put it, sharing a “small portion of your internet bandwidth which is pooled together to provide these services to you and your neighbors.”
The idea behind this new program is that Sidewalk will utilize select Echo and Ring devices and the more neighbors that participate, the stronger the Wi-Fi network becomes, helping its devices work better.
Amazon promises this Sidewalk network is designed with “multiple layers of encryption” to secure the data traveling that is traveling on it.
They also state that users will not be able to see or receive any information about devices owned by others connected to Sidewalk. Neighbors with Sidewalk-enabled devices won’t be able to see the exact street address of your Sidewalk Bridge. They will only see an approximate location.
According to Amazon, “Sidewalk can help simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices to help find pets or valuables with Tile trackers, and help devices stay online even if they are outside the range of their home wifi. In the future, Sidewalk will support a range of experiences from using Sidewalk-enabled devices, such as smart security and lighting and diagnostics for appliances and tools.”
As far as how much bandwidth we’re talking about being siphoned off your Wi-Fi network, Amazon says it will be “equivalent to streaming about 10 minutes of high definition video.”
This new Sidewalk feature goes live on June 8th and unless you decide to opt out of the program and are the owner of an Amazon Ring, Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Echo Studio, Echo Input, Echo Flex, Ring Floodlight Cam, Ring Spotlight Cam, and Tile trackers, you will be automatically enrolled (at no charge).
Here’s how to do that…
Ring customers who own an eligible device can choose to update their Amazon Sidewalk preferences anytime from the Control Center in the Ring app or Ring website. Echo customers who own an eligible device can update their Amazon Sidewalk preferences anytime from Settings in the Alexa app. If you have linked your Ring and Amazon accounts, your Sidewalk preferences on either your Alexa or Ring app will apply to all of your eligible Echo and Ring devices.
Amazon has also published a white paper that further explains Sidewalk’s privacy and security, which can be read here.