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Home / Tips and Tricks / Amazon Echo shares your internet with neighbors. You can take out Sidewalk in less than 1 minute

Amazon Echo shares your internet with neighbors. You can take out Sidewalk in less than 1 minute



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If you have an Amazon Echo, you are now broadcasting a small piece of your internet for others to use. You can disable that in an app.

Chris Monroe/CNET

If you have an Amazon Echo or Ring, chances are you’re part of Amazon sidewalk. This new service automatically turned on in your Echo speaker or Ring doorbell when Amazon lit the feature this week. The goal is to tap a small portion of your internet bandwidth from these two devices and create a kind of neighborhood network that allows Amazon equipment to be used a little further away.

The range is not very far. People who own the new Amazon Echo, Ring Spotlight Camera and Ring Floodlight Camera will see greater range for their smart home devices, so they can be further from your router and other equipment, but still maintain a reliable connection. Plus, Sidewalk partners with other Amazon users so anyone near you can contribute to that larger network. In theory, this means that your appliance can be blocks away from your home and still function.

The problem is, not everyone might want to participate, and to opt out involves going through a few steps – it’s not as simple as pressing a button or sliding a switch on your Echo or Ring. In addition, the public aspect has raised some privacy and security questions. Amazon’s Sidewalk network will use three layers of encryption, and Amazon seems confident that security won’t be an issue. But it’s hard to predict what the actual results will be until the feature is tested more thoroughly.

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The new Amazon Echo and the two newest Ring cameras work like Sidewalk Bridges.

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If you’re like me and want to wait and see before hopping on the Sidewalk Express, here’s how to disable the feature until you’re ready to sign up.

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Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

How to disable Amazon Sidewalk on your Echo or Ring

1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

2. Crane More in the lower right corner of the app.

3. Crane Settings.

4. Crane Account settings.

5. Crane Amazon sidewalk.

6. Turn off Sidewalk and exit the app.

Fortunately, the process of opting out of Amazon Sidewalk is simple and reversible. There’s a lot more to know about how it works and what you need to know before joining the service. Our guide on Amazon Sidewalk will have more answers to your questions about reach, privacy and more.


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