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Amazon Sidewalk will share your internet with others soon unless you opt out

Have no idea how to opt-out? Don't worry. We explain all below.

Published onMay 31, 2021

Amazon Alexa vs Google Assistant
  • Amazon Sidewalk goes live across the US next month.
  • The crowdsourced internet sharing service uses Amazon devices to create a free mesh network.
  • Supported Amazon devices will automatically form part of the service unless users unenroll.

Amazon Sidewalk, the company’s crowdsourced mesh network program, will be switched on across the US next week. But, if you own an Amazon device and don’t want to be part of it, you have just a few days left to opt out.

Amazon devices will automatically enroll in the program unless users explicitly visit their settings menu to withdraw. These include devices in the Alexa series, the Echo line, the Ring family, and other smart home equipment.

Sidewalk uses these devices as nodes that form the cornerstones of a crowdsourced Amazon mesh network. The service employs Bluetooth connections and other spectrum bands with network speed limited to 80kbps. A data cap of 500MB per month is also standard.

Amazon’s plan for Sidewalk

Amazon’s grand design for Sidewalk is simple. The free service allows the company to easily broaden the coverage and connectivity of smart home devices beyond a Wi-Fi network. “For example, if your Echo device loses its Wi-Fi connection, Sidewalk can simplify reconnecting to your router,” it explains. “For select Ring devices, you can continue to receive motion alerts from your Ring Security Cams, and customer support can still troubleshoot problems even if your devices lose their Wi-Fi connection.”

While Amazon does provide documentation (h/t Ars Technica) on how it uses the service, the encryption it employs, and user privacy, it’s likely many users aren’t too thrilled by the concept. Some might find it beneficial. Those who don’t want to take part do need to visit the Alexa app’s settings menu.

How to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk

Thankfully, it’s simple enough to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk. To do so:

  • Head to the Alexa app on your device.
  • Open More and hit Settings
  • Select Account Settings
  • Select Amazon Sidewalk
  • Turn Amazon Sidekick Off

Sidewalk goes live from June 8 across the US. Amazon hasn’t yet published availability plans for other regions.

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