If you use smart home devices from Amazon or Ring, like Echo Dot, Echo Show, Ring Floodlight cam and others, your home internet will soon be shared with similar devices in proximity to your home. Users will automatically be opted into this program by Amazon called Amazon sidewalk from June 8.
Source: Amazon Sidewalk FAQ

What is Amazon Sidewalk?

According to the official AmazonSidewalk FAQ Page, “Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that helps devices workbetter. Sidewalk can help simplify new device setup, extend thelow-bandwidth working range of devices to help find pets or valuables with Tiletrackers, and help devices stay online even if they are outside the range oftheir home wifi. In the future, Sidewalk will support a range of experiencesfrom using Sidewalk-enabled devices, such as smart security and lighting anddiagnostics for appliances and tools.”

This feature will use a maximumbandwidth of 80kbps and monthly data usage is capped at 500MB for now.

How it works?

Thesidewalk program uses the ‘Sidewalk Bridge’ that will allow devices eligiblefor the network to contribute a small portion of their bandwidth to gainconnectivity even when they may be disconnected from the main Wi-Fi network. TheFAQ Page states that the network uses Bluetooth, 900mhz spectrum and otherfrequencies to extend coverage and provide the features

Security Risks

Amazon says that the sidewalknetwork is covered by “multiple layers of encryption”. They have not statedwhat type of encryption is being used but want to assure users that the networkis safe.

However, this creates a scenariowhere a person may be able to get access to your home network without actually hacking into it. This is a major security risk and Amazon’s encryptionhas to be really good to prevent such attacks.

Your eligible devices willautomatically be opted into the program from June 8. The company has shared awhitepaper explaining how the data is shared using Sidewalk

Opting Out

If you are worried about thepotential security risks and do not wish to enrol into the program you caneasily opt out from the Sidewalk program using Your Alexa or Ring app settings.

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