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AMAZON SIDEWALK

By DC AccessJune 4, 2021Internet

AMAZON SIDEWALKSince the beginning of the pandemic, more people are working from home and using their home internet more frequently. This makes internet insecurity more important than ever. Here at DC Access, we want to keep you alert and help you prioritize your internet security at home. 

On June 8TH, Amazon is launching Amazon Sidewalk, a service providing a shared network that claims to help smart devices work better. Sidewalk will form a shared wireless network capped at 500MB per month by taking a small portion of your internet bandwidth to pool together to provide services to you and your neighbors. Essentially this can take away from the speed of your internet for other devices, such as computer use, streaming, and gaming devices. For more details, see this related article.

Devices included in Sidewalk are Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security, outdoor lights, motion sensors, Tile trackers, pet locators, and smart locks. Sidewalk aims to help the user’s devices when they are out of range of their home Wi-Fi by keeping them online. Amazon believes the network will allow users to locate lost keys or missing pets and set up and fix devices remotely. It also benefits ALL Sidewalk-enable devices in your community, not just yours.

Sidewalk will be a default setting for all Amazon smart home devices, automatically enrolling each device to participate in network sharing. Owners of those devices have the option to disable Sidewalk at any time. You can update your Amazon Sidewalk preferences in two ways, from the Control Center on the Ring App and Settings on the Alexa App. 

Using the Ring App

  1. Open the Ring App on your device
  2. Tap the 3-lined icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen
  3. Go to the Control Center
  4. Turn Sidewalk on or off

Using the Alexa App

  1. Open the Alexa App on your device
  2. Select the more icon at the lower right-hand corner of the screen
  3. Select Settings 
  4. Select Account Settings
  5. Select Amazon Sidewalk
  6. Use the toggle to enable or disable Sidewalk

If you have linked your Ring and Amazon accounts, your Sidewalk preferences on either Alexa or Ring App will apply to all of your eligible Echo and Ring devices. Therefore, if you decide to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk on the Ring App, it will apply to your Echo devices as well.

While there are benefits to this experimental project, DC Access believes that the potential security risks out-way the positives. For now, we would recommend opting out of Amazon Sidewalk.