‘Amazon Sidewalk’ Coming to Twin Falls, ID and Here’s Why We Hate it
It used to be that we would encrypt our home internet wifi with passwords to keep others from using our bandwidth, but now all your home tech may actually do the exact opposite. 'Amazon Sidewalk' is a new feature rolling out to users of Amazon products which will share your internet with your neighbors.
What Is Amazon Sidewalk?
I don't have any Amazon devices in my house. Instead I have Google Home which ties multiple routers in my home together so I can get full coverage around my house without any interruptions. The 'Amazon Sidewalk' idea sounds like a neighborhood sized version of what I have. So, instead of my router just sharing with my other home routers, Sidewalk will share the internet with other homes' routers and devices when they lose connectivity.
Why We'll Probably Hate Amazon Sidewalk
I don't want to say that the idea of bandwidth sharing is horrible, since sharing is a nice thing we can do, but this goes beyond sharing. Many homes pay for their internet and have a cap on data usage before more fees are applied. If Sidewalk decides to use some of your data for a neighboring house, you're the one paying. The Amazon website does say that the max shared internet used from an account will be 500mb, but that's still 'your' internet they are taking.
Why Would I Want To Share My Internet With Amazon Sidewalk?
The positive side to Sidewalk is that you can be a good neighbor, even if your neighbors don't know you are helping them. If you have spotty internet this will obviously benefit you more than others.
What Can I Do If I Don't Want To Be Part Of The Amazon Sidewalk?
If you don't want to share your internet and be part of the forced kindness, you can opt out of Amazon Sidewalk through the Alexa app.
In your Amazon account you can find instructions on opening the Alexa app, choosing Settings, then Account Settings, followed by Amazon Sidewalk. You can then just toggle the option on or off.
Which Amazon Devices Are Included In Amazon Sidewalk?
The Amazon Sidewalk internet sharing can be beneficial to Echo and Ring devices, motion lights and cameras, and Tile trackers using Sidewalk Bridge.