Amazon Sidewalk will share your internet connection; here’s how to opt out

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The updated Amazon Alexa Plus,is on display in Amazon’s Day 1 building in Seattle on September 20, 2018. (Photo By GRANT HINDSLEY/AFP/Getty Images)

A new program from Amazon will allow customers to share their internet connections from their home devices, and the deadline to opt out is quickly approaching.

According to the company, Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that’s supposed to help its devices (Amazon Alexa, Echo, Ring doorbell, security cameras, tile trackers, etc.) retain connectivity, even if a home’s internet signal is weak or not working. It’s effectively a version of a mesh network that allows a device to “borrow” an internet connection from somewhere else.

Sidewalk is currently available only in the U.S., according to the company’s website.

From Amazon:

Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network designed to help customer devices work better, both at home and beyond the front door. Operated by Amazon—with no charge to customers—Sidewalk helps simplify new device setup, extends the working range of low-bandwidth devices, and helps devices stay online, even if they are outside the range of the user’s home wifi.

The company said customers will be automatically enrolled in the program on June 8, which means customers who want to opt out need to do so within the next few days.

Amazon said total monthly data used by Sidewalk-enabled devices, per customer, is capped at 500MB—the “equivalent to streaming about 10 minutes of high-definition video.”

Existing users who want to opt out can do so by following these steps:

  • Open the Alexa app
  • Open “More”
  • Select “Settings”
  • Select “Account Settings”
  • Select “Amazon Sidewalk”
  • Turn Sidewalk On or Off for your account

You can learn more about Amazon Sidewalk here and review the directions to disable it here.

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