When you connect to the internet at home, you don’t expect your neighbors to tap into your connection as well. However, that’s just what Amazon could start doing in the near future. Customers who use devices like Alexa and Echo are who will likely be impacted the most when sharing begins. Customers have about 10 days to decide if they want to participate in the experiment that Amazon will begin. Those who decide to stay connected could see that some of their personal information is leaked.
All Systems Go
Web host and Amazon will start enrolling devices in a new program called Amazon Sidewalk on June 8. Only a small portion of your bandwidth will be shared with other devices that are participating in the program but that aren’t connected to the internet. You’ll also be able to connect to a fast internet by using other devices if you don’t have a connection for some reason.
Making a Connection
Most devices will connect automatically without you needing to do anything. Customers need to remember to change the settings on the devices that they have if they don’t want to opt into the program. If they don’t change the settings, then Amazon will begin sharing their information with others so that more people are connected to an internet signal. Amazon Sidewalk is only offered in the United States at the moment, but it could spread to other countries if the program is received in a positive way. There are several devices that will work with Sidewalk including Echo Dot with Clock, Echo Input, Ring Floodlight Cam, and Echo Plus.
The basics of Amazon Sidewalk is that it can help more people connect and can help some devices operate better, especially if someone else has a better internet connection than the other. There isn’t a charge for customers to use the service. Setting up new devices can be easier by using Sidewalk, and the program can help enhance the connection with devices that people have when they are trying to find pets or if they want to monitor the exterior of their home. Amazon Sidewalk can keep devices connected for customers when they aren’t near an internet source so that they don’t lose any information that they are viewing. Sidewalk will provide a few security measures for customers and a few tools to help diagnose any potential problems that might arise with devices.
There will be a cap of 500MB each month so that you don’t share too much bandwidth with other people. You can think of this as about 10 minutes of streaming a video. One reason to opt into Sidewalk is that it can help you and others stay connected so that your devices continue working. You’ll get alerts for your Ring devices if there is any motion detected or extend the range of the connection that you have with the devices that Sidewalk is compatible with so that you can venture farther away from home.
Sharing Too Much
Amazon devices offer a variety of security measures for your home. They can show you who is at your front door when you’re not home or let you listen to conversations that are in your home. By offering an opt-out feature, Amazon understands that Sidewalk could invade your privacy a bit more than you want, which is why you should think about the connections that you have and whether or not you want your bandwidth shared along with some personal details.