Amazon is now beginning to roll out its Amazon Sidewalk local network system to American customers. This is what you should know.
the first Announce In September 2019, Sidewalk is a new idea and long-term effort to extend smart home to the entire smart community by using various local network options.
From November 24, Amazon began to send emails to Echo device owners to let them know that Amazon Sidewalk updates are coming soon. Although the system will take some time to build, it is now the first step.
With this in mind, here are some important information users should know about Amazon Sidewalk.
Basically, Amazon Sidewalk is a new type of wireless network that can make smart home functions more effective. A sidewalk bridge connects to your Wi-Fi network and fundamentally extends the connection range beyond what the router can output. Amazon said that in some cases, the range may be half a mile.
It works by using various communication protocols (such as 900MHz radio signals and Bluetooth low energy) for communication between devices. The system will intelligently switch between these protocols according to the required range and power.
However, these sidewalk networks work differently from home Wi-Fi. The bandwidth in the Sidewalk network is not only open to your own devices, but also to neighbors. It’s a bit like a local mesh network, but all over the community.
Most Amazon device owners have installed sidewalk bridges in their homes. The recent Echo and Ring devices will soon receive wireless updates, which will enable them to act as bridges.
Benefits of Amazon Sidewalk
As mentioned earlier, one of Amazon Sidewalk’s primary goals is to expand the scope of smart home gadgets. In fact, the actual situation may be different, depending on your smart home settings.
For example, even if the sidewalk network is far away from your Wi-Fi router, it can ensure that outdoor security cameras or lights work properly. If the device is connected to a nearby sidewalk bridge instead of trying to connect to a further router, it may also mean a faster connection.
If you happen to drop the Tile device while walking around, it may still be within range of the local sidewalk network-and it will be able to use the neighbor’s sidewalk bandwidth to connect to the appropriate server.
The sidewalk will also make the uploading of equipment faster and easier.Amazon also envisions other uses, such as Amazon pickup If the user’s pet wanders outside the preset range, an alert will be issued to the user.
Are there any disadvantages?
On the one hand, Sidewalk cannot replace the home Wi-Fi network. The bandwidth available on the sidewalk network is very small-Amazon stated that the maximum bandwidth is only 80Kbps and the maximum upper limit is 500MB. Therefore, it is only really useful for low-power devices such as smart locks, security sensors, and Tile Tracker.
Of course, there are also security and privacy issues. If your dog’s collar has a tag that connects to the sidewalk, it means you might send Amazon where, when, and how often each dog walks.Amazon does have one white paper Explains some safety strategies related to sidewalks.
Of course, there is a shared network problem. Although Amazon said it will encrypt all traffic sent through the Sidewalk network, users will not know who or neighbors in a particular network may send how much traffic through that network.
All in all, users will only have marginal control over their local sidewalk network. The user is currently unable to determine which Sidewalk Bridge the compatible device is connected to.
Can I opt out of the sidewalk?
If it is not enabled by default, the shortcomings and hidden dangers of Amazon Sidewalk will not be so urgent. The system opted out instead of opted in.
Once Amazon actually activates the sidewalk, users will see an information splash screen explaining its purpose. There, they can choose to disable it-turn it on by default.
Users can also disable the local network system through the Amazon Alexa application.This option is in Settings>Account Settings> Amazon Sidewalk.
If the user does disable the sidewalk, his device will not be able to connect to his local neighbor network. On the other hand, neighbors will not be able to use their sidewalk bandwidth.