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Tips Amazon is About to Share Your Wireless Network with Your Neighbors

Amazon is About to Share Your Wireless Network with Your Neighbors

Here's What You Need to Know

If you have Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security Cameras, outdoor lights, motion sensors, and Tile trackers, listen up. Amazon is creating a shared network that helps these devices stay online by pooling neighbors’ bandwidth. It’s called Amazon Sidewalk, and it’ll be enabled on all devices on June 8.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say that you and your neighbor each have Amazon Sidewalk compatible devices and neither of you have opted out of using this new feature. If one of your devices loses connectivity or your Wi-Fi signal is poor, your device will use your neighbor’s Wi-Fi network to boost the signal and continue operating. It can also help find pets or lost items using Tile Trackers.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Well, yes and no. According to Amazon, Sidewalk is not a replacement for your Wi-Fi network but may improve the function of your eligible devices. The amount of bandwidth used is designed to be minimal and shouldn’t disrupt the other devices on your (or your neighbor’s) network. That’s the good news.

While there are benefits to sharing the network – like keeping your security cameras up if your internet connection goes down or gets disrupted – it has set off a debate about internet privacy. The company says Sidewalk is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security to secure data traveling on the network and to keep customers safe and in control. There are mixed feelings among technologists and security experts though, and as with any new technology, there may be some unforeseen issues.

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you choose to participate, but Amazon will automatically turn on this feature when it’s launched on June 8.

You can opt in or out of Amazon Sidewalk at any time and doing so is simple. Ring customers who own an eligible device can choose to update their Amazon Sidewalk preferences from the Control Center in the Ring app or Ring website. Echo customers who own an eligible device can update their Amazon Sidewalk preferences 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 your eligible Echo and Ring devices.

Alexa Devices

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app
  2. Select More
  3. Select Settings
  4. Select Account Settings
  5. Select Amazon Sidewalk
  6. Toggle the switch to enable/disable the function

Ring Devices

  1. Open the Ring app
  2. Tap the three lines in the upper left corner
  3. Select Control Center
  4. Select Sidewalk
  5. Toggle the switch to enable/disable the function