June 3, 2021
Have you heard of Amazon Sidewalk? Many people haven’t, even if they are utilizing a device that may soon automatically use the service. On June 8, Amazon will automatically enroll devices in the Amazon Sidewalk service.
Here are five things to know about the Amazon Sidewalk service.
Basically, Amazon takes a small portion of your internet bandwidth and shares it with neighbors so that everyone’s devices have a stronger connection. According to Amazon, “Amazon Sidewalk creates a low-bandwidth network with the help of Sidewalk Bridge devices including select Echo and Ring devices. These Bridge devices share a small portion of your internet bandwidth which is pooled together to provide these services to you and your neighbors. And when more neighbors participate, the network becomes even stronger.”
Amazon says that the maximum bandwidth of a Sidewalk Bridge to the Sidewalk server is 80Kbps. That’s pretty small (about 1/40th of the bandwidth used to stream a high definition video). Total monthly data used by Sidewalk is capped at 500MB. That’s about 10 minutes of high definition video.
For devices like Ring security cameras and door bells or Echo devices, Sidewalk may help them stay connected and work over longer distances. The service is also free.
Amazon has published a white paper with technical information that may address your privacy concerns. It is a fairly comprehensive document that you can find here: Amazon Sidewalk Privacy and Security Whitepaper.
Disabling Sidewalk is a pretty easy process. Simply open the Alexa app, go to More and select Settings. Then select Account Settings and choose Amazon Sidewalk. You can then turn off Amazon Sidewalk.
Have more questions about Amazon Sidewalk? Visit the Amazon Sidewalk web page for more information.