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Amazon introduces SIDEWALK networking

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Mike Labbe

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Here's another one for discussion :)

Amazon has announced their new SIDEWALK network, which re-transmits your internet to neighbors when their internet goes down (and transmits theirs to you, if theirs goes down)

So if the fiber/internet went down at our house or frame shop, our Amazon cameras, doorbells, and personal assistants would (in theory) keep working by using our neighbor's cable/internet connection.

If their internet went down, or if they didn't pay their bill, they would then be utilizing our bandwidth for their ring cameras, ring doorbells, ring alarm system, and personal assistants.

It uses bluetooth and low frequency radio waves to keep in contact with other neighbors Amazon devices.

They are turning it on later this year. You will be able to OPT OUT if you wish, once it launches.

They assure that it is safe and only for their cameras and other devices, but not for neighbors to use your internet or have access to your shared folders.

I'm not 100% convinced that something like is completely safe from being exploited in the future. Time will tell.

What do YOU think of their new system?

I like technology and think it is cool, but I don't want my internet slow because a neighbor is behind on their bill or doesnt wish to pay for internet to begin with.

Mike


Your Ring camera is getting upgraded with Sidewalk.
Together with Amazon, we’re excited to bring to you a new shared network called Amazon Sidewalk. We believe this is going to truly enhance your Ring experience with amazing features over the next few years.
When enabled, Sidewalk uses a small portion of your internet to unlock unique features on your Ring camera and also benefits other Sidewalk devices in your community.
For example, if your wifi goes down, your Ring camera will use Sidewalk, if available, as a low-bandwidth backup to send alerts to your phone until connectivity is restored.
By participating in Sidewalk, you’re not only helping other Sidewalk devices stay connected, but also opening the door to new innovations like finding lost pets and valuables.
Later this year, we’ll be enabling Sidewalk on your Ring device, but you can choose to disable anytime from Control Center in the Ring App.
If you’d like to learn more about this new technology, check out this link.
Thank you for your support.
Jamie Siminoff

What is Sidewalk?
Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that helps devices work better. Operated by Amazon at no charge to customers, Sidewalk can help simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices, and help devices stay online even if they are outside the range of their home wifi. In the future, Sidewalk will support a range of experiences from using Sidewalk-enabled devices to help find pets or valuables, to smart security and lighting, to diagnostics for appliances and tools.

What are the benefits of joining Sidewalk?
Amazon Sidewalk helps your devices get connected and stay connected. For example, if your Echo device loses its wifi connection, Sidewalk can simplify reconnecting to your router. For select Ring devices, you can continue to receive motion alerts from your Ring Security Cams and customer support can still troubleshoot problems even if your devices lose their wifi connection. Sidewalk can also extend the working range for your Sidewalk-enabled devices, such as Ring smart lights, pet locators or smart locks, so they can stay connected and continue to work over longer distances. Amazon does not charge any fees to join Sidewalk.

How much does Sidewalk cost?
Joining Sidewalk is free and there are no monthly fees or other associated costs charged by Amazon (or Ring) for your device to be Sidewalk-enabled.

How does Sidewalk work?
Sidewalk works by sharing a little bit of your internet bandwidth with your neighbors. By combining it with bandwidth donated by others in the neighborhood, Sidewalk creates a low-bandwidth, low-power network that can be used by neighbors to help one another in new ways. With Sidewalk you can enjoy faster setup of your Ring devices, extend your device's working range, and keep your devices online even if there's a network outage.

What does "sharing bandwidth" mean? Will it slow down my existing internet in my home?
No. Sidewalk creates an additional mechanism that helps devices in a neighborhood remain connected by creating a separate communal network with bandwidth that is borrowed from and shared by neighbors connected to Sidewalk. The amount borrowed from your network is minimal.

This bandwidth is available for devices when your normal internet connection isn’t available. If your home internet goes down or a temporary internet issue causes a device to go offline, your Sidewalk-enabled devices can automatically reroute and connect to a nearby Sidewalk network powered by neighbors in the community, keeping Sidewalk devices operational with limited functionality until normal connectivity is restored.

Is Sidewalk a public wifi network? Can anyone log on?
No. Sidewalk is only accessible via devices that are authorized by Amazon to work on Sidewalk.

Does being connected to Sidewalk mean my neighbors will have access to my cameras or videos?
No. It is not possible for other members of Sidewalk to access your cameras or videos.

Is Amazon Sidewalk a replacement for a home wifi network?
No. Sidewalk Bridges require wifi access for normal operation. When Sidewalk is on, your Bridge can share a low-bandwidth connection with Sidewalk-enabled devices, like sensors and Ring Smart Lights that are installed in locations around and outside your home where wifi may not be available. Amazon Sidewalk does not support high-bandwidth connections like a wifi or cellular network would, so you would still use those connections for streaming movies, posting on social media, or sending email.

How do you protect my privacy while I'm a part of Sidewalk?
Sidewalk is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security to secure data travelling on the network and to keep you safe and in control. There are also controls available that allow you to opt-out of Sidewalk at any time.

Can law enforcement, Amazon, or Ring log on or get any information out of a Sidewalk network?
Data traveling between devices, gateways, Sidewalk, and the Amazon cloud is encrypted to ensure that only you or those you have granted permission to have access to your information.

What specifically can I do with Sidewalk? What are the benefits of joining?
Sidewalk makes it possible for neighbors to work together to keep their devices connected to the internet. Should your device go offline, Sidewalk makes it possible for you to obtain diagnostic information about and continue to have certain functionality for your offline device through its connection to Sidewalk.

Other devices and features are currently under development and will be revealed as they become ready.

Do I have to join Sidewalk if I have a Ring device?
No. Sidewalk and contributing bandwidth is strictly voluntary. You can change your Sidewalk settings at any time. If you are not a part of Sidewalk, absolutely no information is shared by your Ring devices with Sidewalk in your neighborhood.

Click here to learn more about opting in and out of Sidewalk.

What geographic areas have access to Sidewalk?
At the moment, Sidewalk is only available in the United States. As it becomes available in other areas, we will inform our neighbors here and through Ring.com

How many Ring devices do I have to have before I can join Sidewalk?
You only need one Sidewalk-enabled device to use Sidewalk, though the more Sidewalk Bridges that are in the network, the stronger it becomes.

If you have one of these devices, it already supports SIDEWALK networking/internet access to your neighborhood's other Amazon products. (I have several of these in our home and shop)
  • Ring Floodlight Cam (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
  • Echo (2nd Generation, 2017)
  • Echo (3rd Generation, 2019)
  • Echo (4th Generation 2020)
  • Echo Dot with Clock (3rd Generation, 2019)
  • Echo Dot with Clock (4th Generation, 2020)
  • Echo Dot (1st Generation, 2016)
  • Echo Dot (2nd Generation, 2016)
  • Echo Dot (3rd Generation, 2018)
  • Echo Dot (3rd Generation, 2019)
  • Echo Dot with Clock (4th Generation, 2020)
  • Echo Plus (1st Generation, 2017)
  • Echo Plus (2nd Generation, 2018)
  • Echo Show (1st Generation, 2017
  • Echo Show (2nd Generation, 2018)
  • Echo Show 5 (2019)
  • Echo Show 8 (2019)
  • Echo Show 10 (2020)
  • Echo Spot (2017)
  • Echo Studio (2018).


What's your take?
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
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Location
Albany, NY
Last I knew Bluetooth wasn't very secure.
Also, suppliers will likely think that some customer's will cancel service in order to get free access (even if they claim it is not possible)
This will likely lead them to increasing rates.
 
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