Amazon is making headlines today with its new product called Sidewalk, a shared network for specific Amazon devices like the Amazon Echo and Ring security cams.
Today, we’ll be reviewing what Amazon Sidewalk is, and why it’s so great for the future of smart home technology, so keep reading to learn more!
What Is Amazon Sidewalk In 2023?
Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that supports smart Amazon devices like the Echo. When enabled, it can provide benefits for other smart devices in your home, increase the range of your WIFI network, and even locate pets in 2023. Amazon does not charge any fees to use Amazon Sidewalk; however, users may incur data charges depending on their provider.
If you want to find out more about Amazon Sidewalk, and how it can be used to support other Amazon smart devices in your home, keep reading!
How Does Amazon Sidewalk Work?
Amazon Sidewalk allows users to connect all of their smart devices on one network to communicate with each other, without having to use Bluetooth or a similar method.
In other words, users can tell Alexa to turn off their lights, order more dog food from Prime Now, and listen to their favorite song simultaneously.
Amazon devices with internet capabilities form a Sidewalk bridge, which creates a low-bandwidth network that will share bandwidth with other network devices.
Likewise, as more neighbors join Sidewalk, the bridges grow, and this neighborhood network becomes stronger.
What makes Sidewalk innovative is that there are no wires needed at all.
To begin, all users have to do is plug in the device, and it’s ready to go. This new technology has some other perks as well, including:
- Stronger security
- Faster download speed
- Longer battery life
- No more worrying about dead zones
Does Amazon Sidewalk Replace the Need for a Home WIFI Network?
Since Sidewalk bridges require wifi access to operate correctly, they cannot replace a home WIFI network.
When Sidewalk is on, your bridge can share a low-bandwidth connection with Sidewalk-enabled devices in locations around and outside your home that WIFI may not reach.
High bandwidth connections can be used when Sidewalk is off, such as cellular networks or wi-fi.
However, these are typically reserved for things like streaming movies from Netflix, or posting on social media sites.
How Much Does Amazon Charge for the Amazon Network?
There are no fees for joining Amazon Sidewalk, which uses a small portion of bandwidth from your existing internet service for the Sidewalk bridge.
However, standard data rates may apply.
What Devices Can Use Amazon Sidewalk?
Right now, several devices use the Amazon Sidewalk technology like:
- Amazon Echo Devices
- Blink Security System
- Ring Security Cams
- Amazon outdoor smart lighting systems
- Amazon motion sensors
- Tile Trackers
However, Amazon has plans for this new technology to work with other devices in the future.
Why Should Users Join the Amazon Sidewalk Program?
Users should consider Amazon Sidewalk, because it connects all their devices and stays connected.
For example, if an Echo device loses its WIFI connection, or range of WIFI connectivity is compromised, it will be easier to reconnect the device with their router using Sidewalk.
With select Ring devices, users will continue to receive motion alerts on their security devices.
Also, customer support can troubleshoot problems even if the connection between the devices and wireless access points is lost, thanks to Amazon’s Sidewalk technology!
Likewise, if users have any other compatible smart devices (i.e., smart lights enabled by Alexa), their ranges will extend as long as they’re fully supported by Amazon.
How Does Amazon Sidewalk Impact Wireless Bandwidth and Personal Data Usage?
Sidewalk limits the bandwidth to 80Kbps, about 1/40th of what it would take to stream a typical high-definition video.
Today, when users share their bridge’s connection with Sidewalk, the total monthly data used by Sidewalk per account is capped at 500MB, equivalent to streaming 10 minutes worth of high-definition videos.
How Can Users Turn off Amazon Sidewalk?
There are two ways you can deactivate Sidewalk: (1) by unplugging the power cord from the modem, and (2) by manually turning it off via the app.
Even when disabled, Sidewalk will continue to function.
However, disabling means missing out on many of the connectivity and location-related benefits of using a Sidewalk bridge.
Additionally, disabling means you’re not giving internet bandwidth to help support community extended coverage benefits, such as locating pets and valuables with devices enabled by Sidewalk’s software.
Where Is Amazon Sidewalk Available?
Currently, Sidewalk is only available for use in the US.
To know more, you can also read our posts on whether or not Amazon has WiFi, if Amazon owns Ring, and if Amazon Music uses data.
Amazon Sidewalk is a shared low-bandwidth network for Amazon devices like the Echo, Ring, and more. It enables users to enjoy their smart home without worrying about WIFI or Bluetooth connectivity.
With Amazon Sidewalk, there’s no need to worry about forgetting to turn off your lights, or not being able to find your phone. Amazon devices can be programmed to know when you’re coming home and to turn your lights on for you.