Amazon Sidewalk is a network built from Amazon smart home devices like the Ring, Echo, Echo Show, etc. The idea is that they can create their own WiFi network for other Amazon devices to have farther reaching capabilities and redundant networks. The plan is for Amazon devices to “slice” off a little bit of your WiFi to reuse it for itself. In principal, it’s a good idea but what does that mean for RVers who are on limited speeds and data caps?
On By Default
First things first, Amazon sent out an email this past week and with it was the surprise that Amazon is enabling this by default. Which means, if you don’t opt out, it will automatically be turned on. I share instructions later on how to disable it.
Amazon is limiting the speed of the network, but has stated that they’ll use up to 500 megabytes of your available data. When you’re on limited Internet resources (and most RVers are!), this can be a sizable bite of your available data. Not just that, it’s more traffic going through your network.
Security and Privacy
Look, I’m a pretty trusting guy. I have a couple of Echo devices and my family regularly talks to (with?) Alexa. I get that I’m giving up a certain amount of control but I’m not welcoming a bunch of other people’s devices into my network. Amazon claims it is good and safe and all that stuff, but they have had security incidents in the past. Nope, not for me.
Turn It Off
To turn it off for your account, you need the Amazon Alexa app on your phone:
- Tap the More button at the bottom
- Go to Settings
- Go to Account Settings
- Go to Amazon Sidewalk
- And turn it off!