What You Need to Know About Amazon Sidewalk
- Written by Drew Guthrie
- Category: Articles
If you have an Amazon Echo, Tile, or Ring device, read on. Amazon turned on their Sidewalk service for Echo devices on June 8th and will turn on Tile devices on June 14th. It has been available on Ring Spotlight and Floodlight cameras since late last year.
Remember that they want you to use it; so determine if Sidewalk will really benefit you.
What Is Sidewalk?
It is an internet-sharing network created by connecting Amazon devices (and participating third party devices) to nearby devices. Sidewalk-enabled devices connect to each other using Bluetooth and radio frequencies. This means that your Sidewalk-enabled devices are connected to any of your neighbor's Sidewalk-enable devices that are within range of your devices.
This allows these devices to stay connected to the internet even if they are out of range of their home wifi network, but your encrypted data will be passing through other people's devices and it uses some of your internet bandwidth. Bandwidth usage is capped at 500MB per month.
If you want to know more, Amazon has a detailed description on their website. But remember that they want you to use it; so determine if Sidewalk will really benefit you. And this article from Vox has more information about it, including some red flags.
How to Opt-Out of Using Sidewalk
Here's how to opt-out of using Sidewalk.
In the Alexa app:
- Go to Settings
- Choose Account Settings
- Choose Amazon Sidewalk, then toggle it off.
In the Ring app:
- Go to the Control Center
- Choose Amazon Sidewalk, select Disabled, Confirm.