How to Turn Off Amazon Sidewalk in 6 Steps

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How to Turn Off Amazon Sidewalk in 6 Steps

Have you heard about Amazon Sidewalk? It is a shared public mesh network that Amazon developed to extend the range and reliability of smart devices like Amazon Echos or Ring products, even if you are out of range of your Wi-Fi or it goes down. To accomplish this, Amazon takes advantage of other compatible products with Sidewalk enabled to create an extensive public mesh network.

Although this sounds amazing, some people are concerned about the security risk that comes with opening your network to a public mesh. In this article, we will go over how to turn off Sidewalk on Alexa in 6 steps.

What is a Mesh Network?

Before we go too much further, we want to go over what a mesh network is. Simply put, a mesh network is a group of internet-connected devices that act as a single network, such as routers. Most of the time, this is accomplished through products like Google Mesh or Nest Wi-Fi extenders.

These mesh networks wirelessly connect as long as they are within range of each other, and if they are, they can boost your Wi-Fi range and reliability. In addition, if you have a Mesh network in your home, you will have multiple connection points under the same Wi-Fi network so you will not have to reconnect constantly.

How is Amazon Using a Mesh Network for Sidewalk?

Using the same concept, Amazon Sidewalk extends your Wi-Fi range and reliability outside your home. However, instead of having full access to everyone’s Wi-Fi network, Amazon says that they cap the internet bandwidth with your neighbors to a minimum. The total monthly data usage by Sidewalk is 500Mb, or about 10 minutes of HD video streaming. So. although Amazon Sidewalk technically gives your neighbors access to some of your internet services, they do not have access to connect to your Wi-Fi directly.

You might be asking yourself, why would I share my internet access with people that are not paying for it? Amazon’s tactic to spread this service is through the kindness of people’s hearts. But ultimately, Sidewalk might seem superfluous until someone can find a family member with a Careband tracker through a Sidewalk mesh network.

Is Sidewalk Safe?

Amazon has multiple security measures in place to protect both the network owners and the users on devices that are passing by. One of these security measures is a three-layer encryption protocol for all network usage that uses complex algorithms and rotating device IDs to minimize the amount of device data for Sidewalk users. The only exception to this rule is the person who uses the device and also owns the Sidewalk device it is connecting to.

The important part and what puts some people on edge is minimizing. Amazon can do its best to secure the data of its users, but unfortunately, that cannot promise 100% protection. Even most consumer internet service providers or ISPs cannot promise 100% protection from data leaks. That being said, if you are concerned about your internet security already, we do not recommend using Amazon Sidewalk. This is a new service, and there tend to be bugs with new services. Try checking back in every so often to see where Amazon is with it and if it lives up to your standards.

All that being said, if you like to like to be at the forefront of technology, Sidewalk is a really cool concept that offers a type of service never seen before. For example, with Sidewalk enabled, you can get home alerts like a motion sensor from the edge of your property instead of inside your house.

What Products Work with Sidewalk?

Since launching in 2021, Amazon has added a good amount of its products to the Sidewalk line. We have made a list of the current compatible products with Sidewalk. There are over 20 devices that you can enable Sidewalk with, but these are the most common products you will probably be using:

  • Amazon Echo (third and fourth generations)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (third and fourth generations)
  • Amazon Echo Show (5, 8, and 10 models)
  • Ring Floodlight Cam (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019)
  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro
  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
  • CareBand Tracker

How to Turn Off Sidewalk on Alexa

By default, most Amazon products now come with Amazon Sidewalk turned on. Luckily, you can reasonably opt out of the service.

Step 1. Open the Alexa App

On your phone, open the Alexa app.

turn off amazon sidewalk
Open the Alexa app.

Step 2. Tap More

In the bottom right-hand corner of the app, tap on the More option.

turn off amazon sidewalk
Tap on More.

Step 3. Select Settings

From the More page, tap on Settings. It should be towards the bottom of the screen.

Step 4. Account Settings

Next, tap on Account Settings, which is the second option in the Settings menu.

turn off amazon sidewalk
Click on Account Settings.

5. Amazon Sidewalk

In the Account Settings page, tap on Amazon Sidewalk.

turn off amazon sidewalk
Click on Amazon Sidewalk.

Step 6. Turn Off Sidewalk

Finally, you will see a page explaining what Amazon Sidewalk is. To turn it off, tap on the blue switch next to Enabled. The text will now read Disabled, and the slider will be grey. Now, Sidewalk will be turned off on your Alexa device.

If, at any point, you want to go back and turn Amazon Sidewalk back on, follow these steps again and switch the option back over to Enabled.

turn off amazon sidewalk
Toggle the Disabled switch, making the switch turn grey.

For a simple walkthrough on how to disable Amazon Sidewalk, check out this tutorial video. It guides you through the necessary steps to protect your privacy and control your internet bandwidth sharing with Amazon’s network. Take charge of your data usage and online security by following the instructions in the video.

Wrapping Up

Overall, we think Amazon Sidewalk is an excellent service in its early days. When the service launched in 2021, Amazon made all of their compatible products have Sidewalk turned on by default, which reasonably made a lot of people angry. Since then, Amazon has rectified this, so when you set up a new Alexa device, you are asked if you want to turn it on.

This small change might appeal to a lot more people, but the inherent security risk Sidewalk comes with is a bit too much for some people. We think that entire neighborhoods connected via a mesh network are in our future, but it might be a couple of years before everyone adopts it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you don't see Amazon Sidewalk?

The Sidewalk setting only appears when you have a compatible Echo device linked to your Amazon account. If you are looking for the setting on the website. The website version of the Alexa app doesn’t show this setting. The same setting will be applied to all your devices when you turn Amazon Sidewalk on or off.

Can Amazon Sidewalk be hacked?

As with all internet-connected devices, theoretically, Amazon Sidewalk can be hacked. As a result, Amazon has put a considerable focus on the security risks that come with a service like Sidewalk. We will say that because of the service, there is slightly more security risk than a traditional internet connection.

Do people get hacked on Amazon?

Because of Amazon’s massive popularity, there is, unfortunately a good amount of hackers and scammers that will try to get information from you through your Amazon account. The best way to stay secure is to have a strong password and be wary of suspicious emails that can be phishing for your login information.

Can someone in your Amazon household see your purchases?

With the holidays on top of us, shopping for gifts is on many people’s minds. If you share an Amazon Prime membership with others in the household and plan to buy gifts for them, they could easily see which gifts you purchased for them, ruining the surprise and fun of gift giving.

Does Amazon call you if your account is hacked?

If you recently received a call from Amazon asking you to verify a purchase or any other reason, there is a good chance that it is a scam. Amazon will never call you to verify any information. They only communicate through email or notifications through the website. That said, do not trust every email you receive saying it is from Amazon. There are plenty of email scammers out there as well.

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