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Stay Connected with Amazon Sidewalk

written by Liz Sturrock, RCE
Miami, FL      liz@miamire.com   
Jun 18, 2021

Smart Home
The life of a REALTOR® can easily get overbooked—and with such a full schedule, it’s important to invest in tools that make your day-to-day tasks simplified. That’s where smart home technology comes into play!

It’s no secret that Amazon has been investing in smart home technology. To enable the smart home, internet must be always available. Amazon Sidewalk works with the devices in your home and the devices in your surrounding neighborhood to create a low bandwidth mesh network to improve performance and ease of pairing. This new network combines different network types that will allow something like a Ring Mailbox sensor to function even if it is out of WIFI range.

Should you disable it? That is a personal decision. If you are already part of the Amazon eco-system, using products like Ring and Echo, you are already putting your trust in Amazon to handle data correctly. Amazon has shared they are using three levels of encryption of the data.

Amazon states that this technology is safe and compares Sidewalk's security practices to the postal service. In this analogy, Amazon's Sidewalk Network Server is the post office, responsible for processing all the data your devices send back and forth to their application server and making sure everything gets to the right place. But the post office doesn't get to read your mail -- it only gets to read the outside of the envelope. Amazon also says that it deletes the information used to route each packet of data every 24 hours and adds that it uses automatically rolling device IDs to ensure that data traveling over the Sidewalk network can't be tied to specific customers. 

You may be concerned about this eating up already stretched bandwidth. Amazon states that the monthly cap is 500 MB, and the average is 80kbps. This just slightly more than streaming a low-quality 240p video. Devices connected via Sidewalk will never show up in your connected devices.

If you do not want your Amazon devices contributing to Amazon Sidewalk you can disable it in less than a minute.


How to disable Sidewalk on Echo, Ring devices

Should you decide to opt out of Sidewalk, you can do so in just a few steps—and by the way, these settings will impact all your connected Echo and Ring devices.

  1. Open the Alexa app, tap More > Settings > Account Settings > Amazon Sidewalk.
  2. If you want to turn off Sidewalk support completely, toggle off the Amazon Sidewalk setting, and you’re done.
  3. Another option is to allow Sidewalk but disable Community Finding, a feature that lets the owners of Sidewalk-enabled trackers to pinpoint their lost devices or pets. Amazon promises that the Community Finding feature will only let users see an “approximate” location, and that location data won’t reveal any personal information.

Amazon has brought innovation to every project that it has begun, from shipping and warehousing to keeping our homes stocked with fresh supplies. This is the next step in enabling the smart neighborhood. Do you want to be a part of it?

Do you want to learn more about Amazon Sidewalk? CNET has a great guide to all the details.

 


Liz Sturrock is the Chief Innovation Officer of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS. With more than 50,000 total members, MIAMI is the largest local Realtor Association in the nation. In this role, Liz is enhancing Miami’s leading-edge member services offerings and technology department, resulting in expanded opportunities for member success and profitability.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Realtor Association Certified Executive (RCE) and a certified Support Center Manager from the Help Desk Institute.

 

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