After months of delays, postponements, and setbacks, Amazon Sidewalk is now live. The program started on June 8, turning on the new feature on the publics’ Amazon Echo, Ring, and other Amazon-connected devices nationwide.
How to Turn off Amazon Sharing Your Internet With Your Neighbors
Amazon calls it “a new way to stay connected” by artificially creating a series of mini mesh networks that work together to keep everyone online past their Wi-Fi network.
What Is Amazon Sidewalk?
Amazon Sidewalk is a new program by Amazon that creates a low bandwidth network with the help of Amazon Echo devices and Ring security cameras to make connectivity possible where it’s ordinarily not.
The sidewalk is free for all Amazon customers to use after they purchase the necessary hardware.
How Amazon Sidewalk Is Problematic
Amazon Sidewalk hasn’t been met with open arms because how it works does appear to be problematic and controversial.
It essentially shares some of your internet‘s bandwidth with your neighbors which creates a wider network for everybody which is great, but security experts have concerns. Here are the perceived negatives about Amazon Sidewalk:
1. Sidewalk capable devices were opted into the new feature by default without asking. Amazon knows that most people rarely dig into any of their connected devices’ settings and hope that they will continue to not bother touching them.
2. Information privacy and security haven’t been as widely tested as they should’ve been before launch. Amazon claims that Sidewalk has three layers of encryption and limits the data shared, but it hasn’t been thoroughly tested.
3. Privacy experts also worry about the sharing location data feature and what could happen with that data in such a largely untested, unproven network.
Amazon Sidewalk Is Beneficial Too
Amazon Sidewalk has caught a lot of heat in the news and online, but not all reports have been bad. There really are benefits to Amazon Sidewalk that all Sidewalk Bridge devices provide to their communities. Here are the benefits of Amazon Sidewalk:
- Amazon Sidewalk keeps enabled devices connected that ordinarily have trouble staying connected, like devices that are outside or located in garages.
- Amazon Sidewalk can help you find valuables lost outside your home with tracking devices like Tile.
How Does Amazon Sidewalk Work
Amazon Sidewalk works by creating what Amazon calls a “Sidewalk Bridge” made up of a small portion of your internet bandwidth pooled together with your neighbors to create a shared connected network that benefits everyone in your community.
Amazon Sidewalk is not Wi-Fi, it uses Bluetooth technology to extend the coverage of all Sidewalk-enabled devices nearby.
Steps to Turn off Amazon Sidewalk
If you have an Amazon Echo device or a Ring security camera, Amazon Sidewalk has been turned on by default. If you wish to have this feature turned off, you’ll have to manually turn it off yourself. Here are the affected devices:
- Echo (3rd Gen and newer)
- Echo Dot (3rd Gen and newer)
- Echo Dot for Kids (3rd Gen and newer)
- Echo Dot With Clock (3rd Gen and newer)
- Echo Flex
- Echo Input
- Echo Plus
- Echo Show (2nd Gen and newer)
- Echo Spot
- Echo Studio
- Ring Floodlight Cam
- Ring Spotlight Cam Mount
- Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
To Turn off Amazon Sidewalk You’ll Need to Do the Following Steps:
- Open your Amazon Alexa mobile app on your favorite mobile device
- Tap on “Go To More” in the bottom right-hand corner of the app
- Tap on “settings” then “Account Settings” and tap on Amazon Sidewalk
- Scroll to the bottom and tap the toggle bar to turn off the Amazon Sidewalk feature
With all the instructions and steps provided above, you’ll be able to turn off Amazon sharing your internet with your neighbors.
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