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Amazon Sidewalk has been Unleashed on the (unsuspecting?) Public.


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Unless you 'manually opt out' of Amazon's new Sidewalk feature it has been "enabled 'by default' since June 9th" to most Amazon smart devices. 

What is Sidewalk? It can use your neighbor's Wi-Fi to increase the range of your existing Amazon smart devices & visa versa. It works by increasing the range & efficiency of the devices by using some of the neighboring Wi-Fi's bandwidth it can connect to. Amazon said Sidewalk uses just a small fraction of your Wi-Fi bandwidth.

Amazon also claims that measures have been implemented that will ensure that the connections are secure & anonymous but some privacy/security experts have been sounding the alarm that it could also be used for nefarious purposes by tech savvy hackers. 

Here are the devices that are affected by Amazon's decision to go ahead with Sidewalk: 

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

If you're not comfortable with the possible future security/privacy issues that may arise and/or are not thrilled with the idea of sharing your Wi-Fi with your neighbors your only option is go into the settings for each device and manually disable Sidewalk.

To turn off Sidewalk with Echo first open the Alexa app -> navigate to 'More' then select 'Settings' -> open the 'Account Settings' tab -> find the new Sidewalk section -> select 'Off'

To turn it off with Ring first open the Ring app -> navigate to 'Control Center' -> find the new Sidewalk option -> select 'Disable'

Regards, Ritchie...

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