Amazon Sidewalk is a latest service that divides your internet connection with others in your neighborhood to extend the series and reliability of Amazon Echo, Ring security cameras, and Tile trackers.
Amazon is getting ready to roll out a new service called Amazon Sidewalk. If you have an Echo device, or a Ring Floodlight and Spotlight Cam, there's a good chance you'll start donating some of your internet connection to make this service work.
The idea behind Amazon Sidewalk is that without a reliable internet connection, having a device like a webcam doorbell or a security doorbell is somewhat useless. So, to contest this poor connectivity, Amazon plans to rotate some Echo and Ring devices into Sidewalk Bridges and use your internet connection to help others. Starting June 8 (only in the US for now), Amazon will rotate your devices into Sidewalk Bridges, except you turn off the feature.
Tile will also benefit from this local network
“Amazon Sidewalk helps your devices connect and stay connected. For example, if your Echo device loses its Wi-Fi connection, Sidewalk can make it easier to reconnect to your router. For some Ring devices, you can continue to receive motion attentive from your Ring security cameras and customer support can still resolve issues even if your devices lose their Wi-Fi connection. Sidewalk can also extend the range of your compatible devices with Sidewalk, like smart lights, animal locators or Ring smart locks, so they can stay connected and continue to function over longer distances,” Amazon describes.
The group also specifies that it does not charge any fees to join Sidewalk.
Later this month, Tile will also benefit from Amazon's Sidewalk LAN, expanding the device's capabilities and making it more competitive against Apple's AirTag.
Amazon Releases Security White Paper
How much of your Sidewalk bandwidth will it consume? According to Amazon, it's capped at 80 Kbps, or about 1/40 th of the bandwidth used to stream typical high-definition video, and total monthly usage is capped at 500MB, which Amazon says is equivalent to to broadcast approximately 10 minutes of high definition video.
But is it sure? Amazon responds in the affirmative and has published a privacy and security white paper explaining how it did this. This paper concludes by explaining why users should enable this feature: "By sharing a small portion of their home network bandwidth, neighbors give a little, but get a lot in return".
In the meantime, customers in the United States can also say no to Amazon Sidewalk by following these steps.