Important - Amazon Sidewalk
Turn off NOW!
So, in Amazon’s infinite wisdom, they have decided to share your internet bandwidth with anyone in your general area. NO, I am not kidding.
Ok so what is Sidewalk? Amazon is creating a more robust network. Using your lowly Echo speaker (or other compatible device) that is already connected to your home’s private Internet connection. Amazon then transforms it into a so-called Sidewalk Bridge, your device creates a new network of its own that’s not WiFi. Instead, it uses common Bluetooth to connect devices nearby, and another type of signal (using the 900 MHz spectrum) to connect to devices up to half a mile away.
Where “WiFi is constrained mostly to your home; it doesn’t have the range to go into your backyard nor into the neighborhood. Cellular offers long-range connectivity, but it is expensive. “Sidewalk splits the difference between those two and allows us to put billions of things at the edge of the network,” Manolo Arana, general manager of Sidewalk said.
Now he is the part that really infuriates me; Sidewalk authorizes your Echo to share a portion of your home’s Internet bandwidth. Up to 500 megabytes per month — the equivalent of more than 150 cellphone photos. Amazon caps it at a rate of 80 Kbps, which the company says is a fraction of the bandwidth used to stream a typical high-definition video. Still, this traffic could count toward your Internet service provider’s data cap, if you’ve got one. This bill will be paid by you, not Amazon.
Now here is how to turn it off, and I highly recommend you do this IMMEDIATELY!