The long-awaited Amazon Sidewalk feature was launched on Tuesday (8, June 2021) and compatible devices will automatically be allowed to participate in the program. In today’s guide, I’ll be teaching all you need to know about the Amazon Sidewalk, and how to disable the feature.
What is the Amazon Sidewalk Feature?
The Amazon Sidewalk is developed by Amazon inc., and it’s a low-bandwidth long-range communication protocol. The Amazon Sidewalk network was announced in 2019 and it makes use of wireless Bluetooth Low Energy for short distances and 900 MHz LoRa radio signal and other frequencies (long-range) for long distances. This connectivity method makes it possible to be able to connect to compatible devices in areas where the range of Wi-Fi connectivity will not be able to cover.
How Does the Amazon Sidewalk Feature Work?
Before we discuss in detail how to disable Amazon Sidewalk, let’s talk about how this feature works.
The Amazon Sidewalk creates a network of internet networks that makes use of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth to connect to all Sidewalk compatible devices.
This is great as long as all compatible devices are in the vicinity, none of the devices will be able to lose internet access and in a situation a device losses internet access, it can easily obtain bandwidth from another one in the same vicinity.
According to Amazon, the Amazon Sidewalk in some cases would be able to cover a half-mile distance. The wide range coverage offered by Amazon Sidewalk would be of great help to people that own Tile trackers as it can be also used to connect to tile tracker and help in situations where your normal Wi-Fi range would not be able to cover which in turn helps you locate your missing objects.
Amazon Sidewalk was designed so that, to get the most out of it, it requires that your neighbor also owns Amazon Sidewalk-enabled products. For example, your Echo devices and your neighbors can co-mingle to form a low-energy long-range network over the entire area which makes it possible for a smart device in your house like your Ring doorbell to still function in situations where you lose network. Even though Amazon Sidewalk would be able to connect to other compatible devices in the vicinity, you won’t be able to Amazon Sidewalk to connect to your neighbor’s Wi-Fi with your laptop, use their ISP bandwidth to watch Netflix, access footage from their compatible devices, etc. This is because the company says Amazon Sidewalk offers three layers of encryption and every 24 hours Sidewalk data is deleted from every server.
Which Devices Are Compatible With Amazon Sidewalk?
The list of devices that’ll be compatible with the Amazon Sidewalk are:
- Echo devices (this includes: Echo (3rd generation and newer), Echo Dot for Kids, Echo Spot, Echo Input, Echo Studio, Echo Flex, all models and generations of Echo Show, all generations of Echo Plus and 3rd or newer generations of Echo Dot with Clock).
- Ring Floodlight Cam (2019).
- Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019).
- Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019).
- Tile Trackers.
If you own any of the devices mentioned above, then the Amazon Sidewalk feature will come as a free software update while future/new devices will already have the Sidewalk feature enabled and will require turning them off during setup.
Now you know what the Amazon Sidewalk feature is, how it works, and the list of compatible devices, all that’s left would be teaching you how to disable Amazon Sidewalk. Continue reading to learn how to do this.
How to Disable Amazon Sidewalk
Although Amazon Sidewalk is such a great feature and regardless of the security procedures the company claimed to have set in place, some experts warn that extending the reach of a user’s smart home can make them susceptible to hackers.
Additionally, you may not fancy the idea of your bandwidth being shared with your neighbor. If you have any of the above concerns and you wish to learn how to disable Amazon Sidewalk feature on your Sidewalk compatible devices, follow the set of instructions outlined below.
For Echo Speakers
For Echo compatible devices, follow the set of instructions outlined below to learn how to disable Amazon Sidewalk.
- Open your Alexa Mobile App.
- Tap on More (it’s found at the bottom-right corner of the screen).
- Tap on Settings.
- Tap on Account Settings.
- Tap on Amazon Sidewalk.
- Finally, scroll to the bottom of the Amazon Sidewalk and tap on the toggle bar to disable the feature.
For Ring Cam
For all Ring Cam compatible devices, follow the set of instructions outlined below to learn how to disable Amazon Sidewalk.
- Open the Ring App.
- Tap on More (the three horizontal lines located at the upper-left corner of the screen).
- Tap on Control Centre.
- Tap on Sidewalk.
- Tap on the toggle bar to disable Sidewalk.
- Finally, a screen will pop up requiring you to confirm that you want to disable Sidewalk. Confirm that you wish to disable the feature.
If you have followed the steps correctly up to this point, you’d realize that you have learnt how to disable Amazon Sidewalk on compatible devices (either Echo or Ring). Additionally, if you’d want to enable the feature in the future, follow the steps outlined above to do so.