Wouldn’t it be amazing if your new device instantly connects to your network and is ready to go in seconds, no messing with logins or security codes? And they worked for a complete neighborhood or community? That’s what Amazon Sidewalk does.
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Amazon introduced it in September 2019, it was an ambitious effort to increase the stability of smart home devices. Moreover, it will become available for United States users on June 8th. It is important to note that Sidewalk is only available in the United States right now. According to Amazon, there’s no word yet on whether Sidewalk will be available in other parts of the world.
Now, if you are excited to know more about the Amazon Sidewalk and its functions then you are at the right place. We will discuss everything about Sidewalk ranging from its meaning, function, supporting devices, opt-out methods, and much more.
What is Amazon Sidewalk?
It is a shared network that allows you to keep your smart devices connected to the internet even if your internet connection is weak. Furthermore, this technology extends your home’s internet connection to the sidewalk, allowing IoT gadgets to operate more efficiently and correctly across a greater distance.
Sidewalk achieves this by sharing a small amount of your internet with nearby Amazon devices, resulting in the creation of a crowd-sourced mesh network. It works in the 900 MHz LoRa (Long Range) spectrum; and is marketed as a free option for extending the range of low-cost, low-bandwidth devices that can stay online even when they are not linked to the home network.
How Does Amazon Sidewalk Work?
Amazon Sidewalk has five main components like Sidewalk Bridges, Sidewalk Endpoints, Sidewalk Network Server, Application Servers, and Packets. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Sidewalk Bridges or Sidewalk Gateways connect to Sidewalk’s Network servers and the Endpoint. These are Amazon Echo devices that use the 900 MHz LoRa spectrum and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) with Frequency-Shift Keying (FSK).
Endpoints, or Sidewalk-enabled devices, connect to the bridges and use the Sidewalk network. Low-power smart goods, such as door locks are examples of Endpoints. Sidewalk Gateways can also operate as an endpoint, which is worth noting.
Sidewalk Network Server
The Sidewalk Network Server checks the authenticity of incoming packets and directs them to the appropriate destination. These Sidewalk network servers are run by Amazon.
Application Servers and Packets
Application servers or packets used to host by Application servers. The Sidewalk endpoints are hosted by Application Servers. The application servers are managed by Amazon or any third-party server; according to Amazon’s official FAQ website. Finally, packets are messages sent between endpoints.
You’re probably wondering how it all fits together. Sidewalk bridges (Echo devices or Ring cameras) link to Sidewalk-enabled devices, including yours as well as others. Because of Amazon’s wireless network, your security camera, item tracker, or smart light would continue to work even if you were out of the Wi-Fi range.
This wireless technology, as already said, shares a small portion of your internet with other Sidewalk-enabled devices. The maximum bandwidth of a Sidewalk Bridge, according to the business, is 80Kbps. Furthermore, Sidewalk devices are limited to 500MB of bandwidth per month.
To put that in context, Amazon claims it’s about the same as streaming around 10 minutes of HD video.
Amazon Sidewalk: Supported Devices
Initially, Sidewalk will only work with first-party devices, such as Echo smart speakers and Ring cameras. However, from June 14th, the popular item tracker Tile will be available on Sidewalk. The following devices are compatible with Amazon Sidewalk.
How To Opt Out Of Amazon Sidewalk?
You can opt out of Amazon Sidewalk from the Ring or Alexa app if the privacy issue concerns you. Check out the area below that applies to the app you’re using:
Disable Amazon Sidewalk from Alexa app
- Initially, Open the Alexa app, go to the bottom navigation bar and tap “More“.
- Then tap on “Settings.”
- After that Tap “Account Settings” on the Settings tab.
- Then “Amazon Sidewalk.” You’ll now be able to turn off Sidewalk for your account.
Under the disabled Sidewalk toggle, there is now a “Community Finding” option. It improves the effectiveness of Tile trackers and other compatible location-tracking devices by increasing their range and making them easier to locate if lost. As when you enable this function, Amazon claims it will “reveal the approximate location of your device and other Sidewalk bridges you own.”
However, it is also possible that the Sidewalk option in the Alexa app settings isn’t available for you. Don’t worry, it happened with several people as they have complained on Twitter or Reddit. Moreover, Amazon appears to be aware of the problem and a remedy should be available soon.
Disable Amazon Sidewalk from Ring App
- To access the Control Centre, open the Ring app and select it from the Hamburger menu in the top left corner of the screen.
- Further, the Sidewalk option can be found in the Control Centre.
- You can disable the function by tapping the sliding button. Your move to opt-out of Sidewalk will be confirmed by the Ring app.
So, there you have it: everything you need to know about Amazon Sidewalk. While the concept is intriguing, Sidewalk’s success hinges on user adoption, and forcing the feature on users is not a great idea. From the user’s point of view, it matters a lot.
Now tell us, how do you feel about this topic? Is Amazon attempting to create Bluetooth 2.0 or a privacy nightmare? Do share your point of view in the comment section below.
To turn Sidewalk On/Off, open the Alexa app > More > Settings > Account Settings > Amazon Sidewalk.
The devices that have Amazon Sidewalk are Echo Slow 10, Echo (4th Gen), All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen), Ring Floodlight Camera Motion-Activated HD, and many more.
The devices that connect to Sidewalk bridges to access Amazon Sidewalk are Sidewalk-enabled devices.