How to disable Amazon Sidewalk Neighborhood WiFi sharing
Don’t want to be a part of Amazon’s mesh network? Here’s how to opt-out.
There’s a good chance you have one of Amazon’s smart devices in your home, after all, Alexa is super helpful and Fire TV was one of the first streaming boxes to get wide adoption, to say nothing about how many Ring doorbells have been sold to date. Amazon wants to leverage that saturation of the market, by creating a low-bandwidth mesh network out of all your Amazon devices, called Amazon Sidewalk.
Pretty much every Amazon device sold since 2018 is capable of joining the mesh network, with Echo speakers and Ring doorbells acting as bridges with an effective range of nearly a mile. Yes, a mile.
Amazon is about to turn on the mesh network on every, damn, single device on June 8, so you might want to opt out before that time. Otherwise, it’ll be piggybacking on your home internet to provide things like tracking of Tile trackers or continuing to get Ring camera notifications even if you’re not connected to stable WiFi.
Let’s tell Amazon we don’t want to be stepped on, and turn off Amazon Sidewalk in our homes.
Here’s how to turn off Amazon Sidewalk
Since every compatible device that Amazon makes is about to be enrolled into Sidewalk, you might want to turn it off if you own any Amazon devices and are worried about the potential security risks of sharing your internet connection.
Open the Alexa app on your device
Tap on More at the bottom right
Tap on Settings
Tap on Account Settings
Tap on Amazon Sidewalk
Tap on the toggle button to make it say Disabled
There, now you’ve stopped Amazon from using your WiFi and lending it to strangers. If you don’t mind sharing, Amazon has a whitepaper that goes over the privacy mitigations and potential security issues for staying in Sidewalk, which is probably worth reading.
Sidewalk will go into effect on June 8, so you’ve got time to turn it off before the launch. You’ll be able to disable it at any time after that as well, in case you want to see what it’s all about before deciding.
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