- Amazon Sidewalk is completely optional, and you may opt out at any time through the Alexa and Ring apps.
- Sidewalk is a neighbor-created network that extends the connectivity and reliability of low-powered, low-bandwidth smart devices.
- To create this shared wireless network, Amazon shares portion of your internet bandwidth with others.
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Amazon Sidewalk is a shared public mesh network developed to extend the connectivity and reliability of low-bandwidth smart devices, even if they’re out of range or your Wi-Fi goes down.
To accomplish this wide-range shared network, Amazon takes a small portion of internet bandwidth from homes with Sidewalk-enabled devices, ultimately creating one, big public mesh network.
The service runs by turning devices, like Echo speakers and Ring cameras, into what the company calls Sidewalk Bridges. Think of them as network bridges that keep everything connected.
Here is a list of devices that double as Sidewalk Bridges:
In terms of data, Amazon says that the maximum bandwidth shared between neighbors is small. Amazon is capping the total monthly data used by Sidewalk to 500 megabytes, which is the same as streaming 10 minutes of HD video.
By sharing a sliver of your internet bandwidth with your neighbors, the idea is your devices can work over a much greater range. But it’s also this aspect of Sidewalk — sharing your home’s internet bandwidth with strangers — that concerns some users.
How to turn off Amazon Sidewalk
By default, compatible devices will automatically have Sidewalk enabled. But if you want to opt out of the service, you can turn it on or off quickly through the Alexa and Ring apps.
On the Alexa app
1. On your phone, open the Alexa app and tap More.
2. Select Settings and then tap Account Settings.
3. Tap Amazon Sidewalk and tap Disable.
On the Ring app
1. On your phone, open the Ring app and tap the three lines in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.
2. Select Control Center and then tap Sidewalk.
3. Tap the Sidewalk slider button.
4. Confirm your decision in the screen that appears.