Sidewalk Created Neighborhood Network on Millions of Devices
Amazon Sidewalk is a shared WiFi network automatically created by certain Amazon devices like the Ring cameras and Amazon Echo. It’s a new feature that uses your WiFi and connects it to your neighbors’ internet connection so it can be shared by anyone’s Sidewalk enabled devices.
Amazon Sidewalk connects Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security Cams, outdoor security lights, motion sensors, and Tile trackers. See the complete list of Sidewalk devices below.
Amazon Tile trackers are small Bluetooth enabled key fobs. They use Amazon Sidewalk WiFi connections. if you lose something that has a Tile Tracker attached, you’ll be able to find it even if it’s past your home WiFi connection.
“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,” says Amazon’s website.
If your Internet connection or WiFi stops working for whatever reason, then Sidewalk enabled devices will automatically connect to your neighbors WiFi. If you are outside and too far from your home WiFi router, then your device will use your neighbor’s WiFi connection instead.
Amazon Sidewalk can be used to find other devices that are connected to the network. This is accomplished with the help of what’s called Sidewalk “Bridge devices.”
What is upsetting people is that eligible Amazon devices have been automatically enabled.
All eligible Amazon devices are opted into Sidewalk by default and are automatically be connected to the shared neighborhood network. Sidewalk Bridge devices include including select Echo and Ring devices.
This also presents a massive opportunity for hackers to compromise the network or routers it uses and steal private information.
How Does Amazon Sidewalk Work?
Amazon Sidewalk uses Bluetooth, the 900 MHz band, as well as other frequencies to extend data coverage.
How Much Bandwidth Does Sidewalk Use?
The maximum bandwidth of a Sidewalk Bridge to the Sidewalk server is 80Kbps. Monthly data usage is capped at 500MB per account. So, if you have devices in the same household under different accounts, then you could go over that limit.
What Devices Use Amazon Sidewalk?
Although participation is optional, eligible Amazon devices are already connected. This presents a serious privacy concern for many device owners.
“Bridge customers are not able to see that Sidewalk-enabled devices are connected to their Bridge. Customers who own Sidewalk-enabled devices will know they are connected to Sidewalk but will not be able to identify which Bridge they are connected,” says Amazon.
Eligible Amazon Sidewalk Bridge Devices are
- Ring Floodlight Cam (2019)
- Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019)
- Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
- 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 Plus (all generations)
- Echo Show (2nd gen)
- Echo Show 5, 8, 10 (all generations)
- Echo Spot
- Echo Studio
- Echo Input
- Echo Flex
All the devices listed will automatically be connected.
Do all Alexa Devices Have Sidewalk?
Amazon Alexa is not using Sidewalk at this time.
For now, Sidewalk is only available in the United States.