Is Amazon Sidewalk Sharing Your Internet with the Neighbors?
If you are an Amazon or Ring user, be aware, Amazon is going to start sharing your home’s bandwidth with your neighbors and anyone who walks in front of your house.
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Your privacy is important
Privacy is a big concern to a lot of people and Amazon does not have the best track record of keeping your data private.
A great example of that is Amazon’s new feature called Amazon Sidewalk. This is going to allow your Ring and Amazon devices to share a little bit of your bandwidth with the people outside of your house.
If you’re not familiar with Amazon Sidewalk, it is a feature that uses a small portion of your internet bandwidth to extend the range of your Ring and Amazon devices. Now, that sounds pretty cool, right?
This is something that you would want. You’d want to extend the range of your devices, but here is where the problem starts. I’m going to read from an email that Amazon sent out that says, “When enabled, Sidewalk uses a small portion of your internet bandwidth to provide these services to you and your neighbors.”
So this is not taking a slice of your internet and keeping it within your personal bubble; it’s extending your internet for your neighbors to use. So now your neighbors’ Ring and Amazon devices get to use part of your bandwidth.
Going back to the email; “This setting will apply to all of your supported Echo and Ring devices that are linked to your Amazon account. Now, the big controversy with this is, as this is being rolled out, you are automatically being enrolled in this feature?
You don’t have the option of turning this feature on. It is being turned on for you. So if you look right now in your Amazon settings, you probably had this feature turned on, and I’m going to show you how to turn it off.
How to protect your privacy
What we’re going to do is we’re going to grab our phones to load up our Alexa app. In the bottom of our Alexa app, we’re going to click on the more button and then we’re going to go to settings. Once you’re in settings, you’re going to click on account settings and then you’re going to go down to Amazon Sidewalk.
If you see right here, mine is enabled. I haven’t turned this off yet. But we’re going to go ahead and check that off.
Now with this setting here, I’m actually a little conflicted by it because in a way I like the setting. I like that I can extend my internet usage out to all of my devices and help my neighbors too.
So one example Amazon gives is that if you’ve got a pet that has a collar with say a tag on it, and that tag doesn’t have a cell service in it, so it only has Bluetooth or something like that. So it’s only going to connect to your WiFi settings if you’re in a house.
And say your dog runs away or runs down the street, you can’t use that tag anymore because it’s not connected to your WiFi. But with this setting right here, if everybody in my neighborhood has this feature turned on and my dog runs away, say a mile down the road, that device is still going to connect to the person’s house that my dog is in front of. So in theory, I can load up the app and see that my dog is in this vicinity, which is really helpful.
I don’t mind helping my neighbors. I actually prefer to help my neighbors. But what I don’t like about it is that a complete stranger can pull up in front of my house and now their device can connect to my WiFi, and that’s where I have a problem.
I’m not a hacker, but I would assume a skilled hacker could probably use some kind of backdoor to then take that and get into my network, which is a concern for me. So for me personally, I’m going to be turning that feature off.
What do you guys think of that feature? Is that something that you’re going to leave on or are you turning it off? Let me know in the comments below. If you guys want to know anything more about Amazon products or security cameras, anything like that, check out the link below to Reviews.org. If this video is helpful, give it a thumbs up. Let me know that you liked it. I want to thank you for joining me here at reviews.org, and I will see you guys in the next video.