Do you have a Ring Doorbell or Amazon Echo? You are likely sharing your internet and don’t even know it. If you have an Amazon device like an Echo, unless you turn it off, Amazon is sharing your internet so other Amazon devices can use it even if you don’t use them.
The Sidewalk network is a low-power internet service meant to allow Amazon Ring Cameras and other devices like sensors and smart home gadgets to stay online even when your home WiFi goes offline. This very low-power network is meant to allow your neighbor’s Ring camera to remain online, for example, if their internet goes down by using your internet.
This Sidewalk network has become so large Amazon says it now covers 90% of Americans.
Here is what the network coverage looks like now:
Now that Amazon has built out this network, Amazon says they are ready to start letting other people use the network. The hope is companies like Tile and Pet finders could use Amazon’s Sidewalk network to help you find lost items and pets.
It is important to note that this network is too slow and low-powered to use as a regular internet service. You won’t be streaming Amazon Prime on it or playing games. This is meant for low-data devices that just want to share a location, for example.
Many see Sidewalk as a way for delivers to cheaply have always-on internet access for a wide range of devices. The question now is, what will developers do with this technology.