If you have Amazon devices lying around your home, you may or may not know that they will be automatically added to an experimental wireless mesh service by June 8. It looks like Amazon is relying on people not changing settings on their devices to automatically co-opt them into joining this program called Amazon Sidewalk that lets you share part of your internet bandwidth with your neighbors or people passing by on your, well, sidewalk.
Your Alexa-enabled device or any Amazon device that is Amazon Sidewalk-capable, you are automatically opted in to sharing up to 80Kbps (capped at 500MB per month) of your WiFi network with Amazon and your neighbors.
If you want to use the service and lend part of your WiFi network to billionaire Jeff Bezos, you don’t need to do anything. You are opted-in unless you do the following:
To disable Amazon Sidewalk, use the Alexa app.
- Open the Alexa app
- Tap “More” (Lower right hand corner of the bottom nav bar)
- Tap “Settings” (Gear icon 3rd from bottom)
- Tap “Account Settings” (Second selection from top)
- Tap “Amazon Sidewalk” (Second up from bottom)
- Tap the “enable” slider to toggle it to “disable” (scroll down to bottom of screen)
According to Amazon: “Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that helps devices like Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security Cams, outdoor lights, motion sensors, and Tile trackers work better at home and beyond the front door. When enabled, Sidewalk can unlock unique benefits for your device, support other Sidewalk devices in your community, and even locate pets or lost items. Amazon Sidewalk creates a low-bandwidth network with the help of Sidewalk Bridge devices including select Echo and Ring devices.
You can read more about it on Amazon.com.