On June 8th, the sharing begins. Unless you opt-out, every Amazon device you own will begin sharing your network with every Amazon device other people own. Named Amazon Sidewalk, this new network will share a small slice of your internet bandwidth with neighboring devices that don’t have connectivity. Surprised? Check out this CBSNews report:
What exactly does that mean? Will your private network be open and available to everyone once the sharing begins? Is there enough security built in to protect you from hackers? If you are hacked, will everyone else on the Sidewalk network also be hacked? When the sharing begins, what exactly will be shared?
Unfortunately, that is the great unknown. Amazon has been somewhat quiet on the details surrounding the Sidewalk, including the fact that your Amazon devices are automatically included unless you take steps to opt-out.
The Verge reports that according to Amazon, Sidewalk will use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the 900MHz spectrum, and other frequencies “to simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices, and help devices stay online and up-to-date even if they are outside the range of home Wi-Fi.” It will do this by essentially sharing the connectivity of your compatible devices with that of your neighbors.
Steps to Opt-Out
Amazon hopes most everyone will think this is a wonderful idea and continue to participate in the Sidewalk once the sharing begins. If you are not one of their supporters, Amazon says you can opt-out by using the Alexa app and following the steps below:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Open Moreand select Settings.
- Select Account Settings.
- Select Amazon Sidewalk.
- Turn Amazon Sidewalk On or Off for your account.
Changing Your Mind
If you decide to opt-out when the network sharing begins, then later change your mind and want to opt back in, just follow the steps above turning the Sidewalk back on.