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Amazon’s neighborhood Wi-Fi mesh network goes live

11 June 2021
Amazon Sidewalk would create an ad-hoc mesh network using the Wi-Fi from homes in a neighborhood to create a shared public network. Source: Amazon

Amazon has launched its Sidewalk crowd-sourced wireless network that will allow communities to become smart neighborhoods.

Amazon Sidewalk is intended to simplify device setup, expand the range of low bandwidth applications and provide functionality when devices are offline. The network is designed to work not just inside the home but outside as well. Amazon Sidewalk uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE), the 900 MHz spectrum and other frequencies such as long range (LoRa) to expand the range of home Wi-Fi.

The result would be an ad-hoc mesh network using the Wi-Fi from homes in a neighborhood to create a shared public network.

Amazon said Sidewalk is available at no charge to customers and can be used with a range of devices to help find pets or valuables with Tile trackers or help consumers use mobile devices on the streets during community events, mowing the lawn, throwing a block party and more.

Sidewalk will also support a range of other features such as smart security and lighting and diagnostics for appliances and tools.

The devices that connect to Amazon Sidewalk include:

  • Echo Flex
  • Echo Input
  • Echo Studio
  • Echo Spot
  • Echo Show (second generation or newer)
  • Echo Plus (all generations)
  • Echo Dot (third generation)
  • Ring Floodlight cam
  • Ring Spotlight cam wired
  • Ring Spotlight cam mounted

How to opt out

The good news is that if users don’t want part of their Wi-Fi network to be used for Amazon Sidewalk, they can opt out of the network.

Users can open the Alexa app, tap on the More menu, tap settings, tap Amazon Sidewalk and toggle the slider to “off.”

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