Amazon Sidewalk is coming to your Echo soon. Here’s why it’s important


Amazon Sidewalk will be available this month.

John Knighton / CNET

Earlier this month, some people noticed something unusual – some Amazon Echo devices without fun has enabled the new Sidewalk feature, a free neighborhood network sharing service announced last year. While Amazon doesn’t plan to launch this feature until sometime later this month, that didn’t stop the new feature from being enabled in some people’s Alexa apps.

We’ll tell you what Amazon sidewalk means for your Echo device, how you use it, and how to turn it off if you wish you did not have it.

What is Amazon Sidewalk and how is it used?

Amazon Sidewalk is a free neighborhood-wide network sharing service that uses Echo devices as bridges to share a small chunk of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth with devices similar to Sidewalk. Data intervals are in place of no more than 500MB, or a quarter of your bandwidth. Sidewalk uses Bluetooth power, 900Mhz spectrum and other frequencies to create a low-bandwidth network in your neighborhood.

Each Echo is capable of extending coverage for up to half a mile. For every Echo in your neighborhood with Sidewalk turned on, the internet bandwidth is combined to create a larger shared network. It’s basically like sharing Wi-Fi with your neighbors when you’re out of reach on your own network. The more people who contribute, the stronger the local outdoor network for you and your neighbors, Amazon says.

You can use the service to keep appliances out and about in your garden or garage – for example, a luxury garage door opener. Also, if you missed something connected to Sidewalk – like your dog that has a Fetch or Tile tracker attached to its collar – it can help you find it.

slab controller-2740-010

If you do something wrong with a tile detector attached, Sidewalk can help detect them.

Josh Miller / CNET

How does Amazon Sidewalk affect my Echo speaker?

Your Echo speaker acts as a “bridge” from your home’s Wi-Fi to offer bandwidth to other devices outside your home. This means that others can pull from your network, and vice versa. For example, if your Echo device loses a Wi-Fi connection, Sidewalk can help you stay connected by connecting up to a neighbor’s Sidewalk connection.

When will Sidewalk start working on my Echo device?

Although you may already see Sidewalk in the Alexa app, the service itself is not active, so you still can’t use it. Amazon has not announced a specific launch date, but says it will be available before the end of 2020. With it now December, it looks like you can expect to see inside weeks.

Amazon has not said which devices will first go online at launch, but as with most new features, it will be rolled out to people at different times. . Amazon will notify you when the service is available.

Can I turn off Amazon Sidewalk? How come?

Gu turn off Amazon Sidewalk, open the Alexa app and tap on it More > Circumstances > Account settings > Amazon sidewalk and take the version off. Note that it could be automatically turned off for you, as it was for me. There is also a version called Find Community, which you can turn on or off to help your neighbors find their Sidewalk-related products.


You can disable Amazon Sidewalk in the Alexa app.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Amazon Echo tools that work with Sidewalk

Here is a list of Echo speakers that are compatible with Sidewalk. Note that only the Echo Show 10 and the new spherical Echo are the only speakers that can send low-bandwidth signals on the 900MHz band (in other words, the most efficient on sharing a connection from longer distances).

  • Amazon Echo (second-gen, 2017, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo (third-gen, 2019, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo (fourth-gen, 2020, BLE and 900MHz)
  • Amazon Echo Dot by the clock (first-gen, 2019, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot by the clock (second-gen, 2020, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (first-gen, 2016, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (second-gen, 2016, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (third-gen, 2018, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (fourth-gen, 2020, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (third-gen, 2020, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Plus (first-gen, 2017, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Plus (second-gen, 2018, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo display (first-gen, 2017, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo display (second-gen, 2018, BLE only)
  • Exhibit 5 Amazon Echo (2019, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo 8 Showcase (2019, BLE only)
  • Exhibit 10 Amazon Echo (2020, BLE and 900 MHz)
  • Spot Amazon Echo (2017, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Studios (2018, BLE only)

For more new tips on Amazon Echo, here you are how to turn your Fire TV into a bigger Amazon Echo Showcase. Also, here they are five amazing music hacks to try with your Amazon Echo and the four best things you can do with more than one Echo speaker.

Now playing:
Watch here:

Amazon Echo Dot Review (4th gen): Dot, Dot, Dot …