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Amazon to crowdsource a portion of your internet unless you opt out

Sidewalk is designed to support Amazon devices, like Ring doorbells, Echos and security...
Sidewalk is designed to support Amazon devices, like Ring doorbells, Echos and security cameras, to retain connectivity when the internet signal is weak or stops working.(Pexels.com)
Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 2:16 PM CDT
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(Gray News) - Amazon will start using part of your home internet to create a crowdsourcing network on June 8 to power its new Sidewalk feature.

The neighborhood network is designed to make your devices work better inside and outside your home by pooling a small portion of your home internet with your neighbors.

The goal is to support Amazon devices, like Ring doorbells, Echos and security cameras, to retain connectivity when the internet signal is weak or stops working.

Additionally, Sidewalk will pair with several tracking devices, making it easier to find lost items.

According to Amazon, customers will be asked if they want to join the network when they first turn on a new gateway device.

“Today, total monthly data used by Sidewalk enabled-devices, per customer, is capped at 500MB, which is equivalent to streaming about 10 minutes of high definition video,” Amazon wrote in a whitepaper about the network.

But if you already have an existing Sidewalk capable device, you’ll automatically be connected to the network. You’ll need to opt out if you don’t want to participate. Here’s how:

  • Open the Alexa app
  • Open “More”
  • Select “Settings”
  • Select “Account Settings”
  • Select “Amazon Sidewalk”
  • Turn Sidewalk on or off for your account

Amazon says Sidewalk is designed with several layers of privacy and security to keep customers “safe and in control.”

“Sidewalk Bridge owners do not receive any information about devices owned by others connected to Sidewalk,” according to the FAQs.

Sidewalk is currently only available in the United States and includes these devices:

  • 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 (all models and generations)
  • Echo Spot
  • Echo Studio
  • Echo Input
  • Echo Flex

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