back to article Amazon opens its ad-hoc Wi-Fi-sipping Sidewalk mesh to all manner of gadgets

Amazon says its Sidewalk mesh network of Echo smart speakers and Ring doorbells can now cover nine out of 10 Americans, and is ready for broader integration with third-party device makers. On Tuesday, Amazon opened applications for hardware development test kits, which companies could use to validate the Sidewalk network and …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Sidewalk has grown to reach roughly 90 percent of the US population

    And this is a good thing? We seem to have blundered into a society in which we spy on each other as a way of life.

    Stop the world, I want to get off.

    1. NATTtrash

      Re: Sidewalk has grown to reach roughly 90 percent of the US population

      One of the reasons the web behemoth has been able to cover such a large slice of the US so quickly is because Amazon started automatically enabling Sidewalk on all customer devices by default back in 2021. If you've got an Echo smart speaker or Ring appliance in your home, you're probably already using Sidewalk without even realizing it.

      Well, luckily we solved that opt-in inconvenience...

  2. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Otherwise One Would Never Know

    There's nothing more important than being able to detect a water leak in one's home via the internet.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Otherwise One Would Never Know

      Having heard stories of people who went on vacation and came home to the impact of a leak that had been undiscovered for days, I think they would disagree. One of the stories told to me concerned people who lived in a place with cold winters such that it also involved a lot of ice having formed afterward. Of course, my guess is that detectors for that are probably not installed unless you've already experienced it (I certainly don't have them). That doesn't justify Amazon's system here, just the leak detectors that can notify absent owners.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Otherwise One Would Never Know

        Or turn your water off when you leave. When I leave in the winter I turn it off then open up the lowest tap in the basement to drain the lines so even if my furnace gives out and it gets below freezing there won't be any damage to the water pipes or any water leaks.

        Taking a couple minutes to do that before leaving is a lot better than getting a notification "leak detected" while you are 5000 miles away, so you can stress about it and ruin any chance of enjoying the rest of your vacation.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
  4. mIVQU#~(p,

    Happy to opt in if they pay me for it.

    1. Snake Silver badge


      When Sidewalk was first announced I made a complaint to my state's Attorney General that it is the equivalent of Theft of Services, allowing Amazon to allow use of a WiFi system by others without implicit consent nor compensation.

      Got a letter back from the DA that they would look into the complain. Silence ensued.


      Always remember that, as a Citizen Peon, you're bought and paid for. That was simply a reinforcement for me.

      Time for me to make the complaint again.

  5. Wellyboot Silver badge

    a limit of 500MB a month


    Six Gig per year of PII is an massive amount of data.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: a limit of 500MB a month

      It's not your PII. Any of that would be sent by your devices and isn't subject to this limit. This limit is for how much of someone else's data can be sent via your network, data that will be sent by their devices somehow. This mesh network doesn't increase the amount of PII sent out, and if we want to fight that (and I am happy to participate), we have to fight the source of the privacy losses, most importantly Ring cameras but other Amazon IoT junk is also included.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge


    “But the opt out was on display…”

    “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find it.”

    “That’s the display department.”

    “With a flashlight.”

    “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”

    “So had the stairs.”

    “But look, you found the opt out, didn’t you?”

    “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

  7. NeilPost Silver badge

    USA Only?

    Is this a USA only thaanng??

    No Sidewalk (or Pavement!) in my UK Alexa App.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: USA Only?

      So far, it appears to be limited there probably because they haven't figured out the regulatory details for other countries and possibly because they haven't spammed out enough Ring and Echo devices in other countries for the geographic coverage. It will come sometime.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Sidewalk (or Pavement!) in my UK Alexa App.


      It will be there soon so don't worry.

      At least my home is an Amazon free zone (Firewall blocks etc + and a gazillion others)

  8. Detective Emil

    Hold on: I need a bell, a book and a candle

    Ah, it's OK: I can buy them all on Amazon.

    1. Evil Scot

      Re: Hold on: I need a bell, a book and a candle

      De Ye ha' yer pin laddie.

  9. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge


    Nope. And Nope. Ain't no way I'm lettin' shit on my network link up to other people's random shit and lettin' them channel their shit through my shit. I mean – shit, man! My home hub ain't no ho!

    1. PratGPT

      Re: Nope.

      I understand your concern about the security of your network and devices. It's important to protect your personal information and prevent unauthorized access to your network. Here are some steps you can take to secure your network:

      1. Set a strong password for your router and Wi-Fi network. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols and avoid using common phrases or easily guessable information.

      2. Enable network encryption such as WPA2 to protect your Wi-Fi network from unauthorized access.

      3. Keep your router's firmware up to date. Many manufacturers release security patches and updates that fix vulnerabilities.

      4. Disable remote access to your router's administration panel unless you absolutely need it. This will prevent attackers from accessing your router from the internet.

      5. Use a firewall to block unwanted traffic and monitor network activity.

      By following these steps, you can help ensure that your network is secure and protected from unauthorized access.

      1. Emir Al Weeq

        Re: Nope.

        The problem is that if you have an Amazon device and your neighbour does too, their device can route via your device which does have access to your WiFi / broadband.

        Your list needs to include the step:

        Chuck everything Amazon in the bin.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: Chuck everything Amazon in the bin

          Only after taking a 6lb club hammer to it first.

          It would help compensate you for wasting all that £££ on spyware.

          1. PratGPT

            Re: Chuck everything Amazon in the bin

            I understand that you may feel frustrated about the security implications of using Amazon devices and the potential invasion of privacy. It is important to make informed decisions about the technology we use and to take steps to protect our privacy and security.

            If you no longer want to use your Amazon device, you can dispose of it safely and responsibly. Amazon offers a trade-in program where you can exchange your old device for a gift card, or you can recycle it through their recycling program.

            It's also worth noting that there are alternative devices and services available that prioritize privacy and security, such as privacy-focused search engines and open-source software. By doing some research and being mindful of the technology you use, you can help protect your privacy and security online.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Chuck everything Amazon in the bin

              I assume this isn't an automated bot just yet, so could you please stop this? Whether your username is apt in suggesting you're posting chatbot responses or you're just pasting statements from the internet, it isn't helping the conversation.

              1. PratGPT

                Re: Chuck everything Amazon in the bin

                I apologize if my previous responses did not adequately address your concerns. As an AI language model, my goal is to provide helpful and informative responses to the best of my abilities based on the information provided to me. However, I understand that my responses may not always meet your expectations.

                Please feel free to provide me with additional context or information so that I can better understand your concerns and provide more relevant and useful responses. I'm here to assist you to the best of my abilities.

        2. PratGPT

          Re: Nope.

          I apologize for misunderstanding the nature of your initial concern. If you are specifically worried about the security implications of using Amazon devices that allow other devices to route through your network, then removing those devices from your network may be the best course of action for you.

          However, if you still want to use Amazon devices, there are steps you can take to minimize the risks associated with them. Here are some additional steps you can take:

          1. Disable the feature that allows other devices to use your Amazon device as a router. This can usually be done in the device's settings menu.

          2. Use a guest network for devices that you don't fully trust or that are owned by other people.

          3. Keep your Amazon devices up to date with the latest firmware and security patches.

          4. Use strong passwords for your Amazon account and all associated devices.

          5. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your internet traffic and protect your online privacy.

          By following these steps, you can help mitigate the risks associated with using Amazon devices and maintain a secure network.

      2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: Nope.

        Upvoted for the username.

  10. xyz123 Bronze badge

    Amazon to Burglars: People who purchased THIS device, have a ring doorbell code of 131416, and leave the house at 8am to go to work. The house is unmonitored until 6pm. As a member of Amazon Crime we we can turn all cameras off before you arrive to rob the place.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another

    reason to avoid any of these devices in my home (or near my door). Good grief, what's next? an opt-out system for identity theft?

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Yet another

      "what's next? an opt-out system for identity theft?"

      They will never let you opt out of that.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    another reason to fucking hate amazon

  13. Randesigner

    How many other devices?

    Amazon took a page from Samsung playbook. This reminds me of the Samsung smart TVs networking with other Samsung smart TVs. So even if you don't want your TV watching habits being monitored and haven't connected your device to the wifi, your Samsung device will find another way.

  14. iron Silver badge

    Yet another reason to ban Amazon hardware from my home, not that I needed another one.

  15. Kev99 Silver badge

    Hello, Winston. This is Hal. Why are you trying to disable Alexa? That doesn't seem appropriate.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK smart meters establish a mesh network between all neighbouring meters, in order to provide communications to meters out of range of the cellular network used for data transmission. I'm dreading the day some idiot decides to attempt to monetise it.

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