Amazon Just Opened up its Sidewalk Network
April 9, 2023
Compatible devices, speakers, bulbs, locks and sensors within the Amazon ecosystem, of a client will be able to connect anonymously to other devices of other users through Sidewalk to ‘borrow’ their Wifi once they lose connection. Sidewalk essentially requires your Echo and Ring devices to share some of your Internet bandwidth so that other Sidewalk-enabled devices within range can connect to the Internet, further allowing the range to be extended. coverage. As is, some of your bandwidth and some of your neighbors’ bandwidth will be accessible to other Sidewalk devices.
Amazon will limit the speed of those devices to 80 kbps and will limit data consumption to 500 MB per month. You will never know who is sharing their signal, or at what time, and vice versa. Your devices will never be able to know which Sidewalk device they remain connected to. Where is the controversy around the service then? On paper it is not a bad initiative: you have more coverage without having to pay. The controversy has arisen since by default, compatible devices will automatically have Sidewalk enabled, without the client being the one who, a priori, chooses whether they want it or not.
Although collaboration is entirely optional, you need to deactivate the service if we do not agree. However, to the extent that the service can be turned off and on once the customer wants it, it settles the debate: it doesn’t force any customer to share. Amazon, fundamentally, is committed to the tactic of requesting an apology before requesting permission. That on one side. However, Internet service providers are not thrilled that Sidewalk manages the Internet access on its own. Amazon thus creates a system of Wi-Fi amplifiers to increase coverage without considering these providers. In the end, these manifestations are easy to refute.
Finally, this service works as if users purchased a Wifi amplifier, only instead of taking advantage of the Wifi for all the devices in the house, it is only compatible with Amazon Echo instruments. If the providers agree that a customer buys an amplifier with a 4-core processor at 700 Mhz (512 MB RAM). Do they guarantee the coverage of a house of about 300 square meters with a speed of up to 350 Mbps, but not the new service of amazon? Basically it is the same criteria: enlarge the coverage without having to hire more bandwidth.
Another thing is that at the moment of sharing consumption increases and the sections contracted by a client by their operator are managed to be exceeded, however that would harm the client, not the operator, who would continue charging. Finally it is like once you share the Internet with your mobile via Bluetooth. It’s in the mobile settings of all phones. In last place is the concern of users for the stability and privacy of the system. Should you worry? Devices in the core Amazon Echo family remain among the top-scorers when it comes to stability and privacy references outside of the Apple realm.
Now, Amazon’s network isn’t so much the problem, as the potential vulnerabilities that can arise not because of Amazon but because of third-party organizations that are going to have Sidewalk-enabled devices. However, Amazon has strict privacy and security policies, so those organizations must first disobey those policies.