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Author Topic: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors  (Read 2958 times)

wraith808

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From ghacks.net:

Amazon plans to enroll many of its hardware devices that are operated in the United States, including many Echo devices and Ring Spotlight and Floodlight Cams, into its Amazon Sidewalk system on June 8, 2021.

Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network. According to Amazon, it is used to make devices work better, e.g. by extending the working range of devices, keeping devices running even if outside the range of the wireless network of the home, or finding pets.

One of the ideas behind Sidewalk is that devices may continue to operate even if they lose access to the local wireless network; this works best in neighborhoods with lots of Amazon devices in the vicinity that all share some of their bandwidth.

Another key element of Amazon Sidewalk is that it creates a network for roaming devices, e.g. devices similar to Apple AirTags, that Amazon could utilize to provide the functionality.

Amazon explains:

Amazon Sidewalk uses Bluetooth, the 900 MHz spectrum and other frequencies to extend coverage and provide these benefits.
Each device, called Sidewalk Bridge by Amazon, shares up to 80kbps with the Sidewalk server when the feature is active. Amazon notes that the total monthly bandwidth is capped to 500 Megabytes for an account.

Neighbors will see the approximate location of Amazon Sidewalk devices, and not the street address.

Amazon Sidewalk will be enabled by default by Amazon on supported devices on June 8, 2021 in the United States. Amazon customers who operate Echo or Ring devices, need to opt-out of the program if they don't want their devices to join the shared network and spend some of the home bandwidth.

More at link above.

This reminds me of xfinity/comcast enabling it on their routers- didn't like it then, don't like it now.

Deozaan

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Re: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2021, 12:40 AM »
I kind of like the idea of having a more decentralized, mesh-style network for everyone to have access to the internet and reduce the chance of a single point of failure preventing you from being online. But IMO it needs to be an open standard and not tied to any one hardware or software company.

In my mind, a mesh network combined with something like IPFS would be amazing!

But yeah, I'm pretty leery about big companies trying to sneak in ways for their hardware or software to get a free ride off of my infrastructure to provide "better service" to their other customers. It reminds me of Windows 10 essentially making everyone's PC a BitTorrent client (or whatever) to help spread Windows Updates around the internet.

I might be more likely to be a bit altruistic and share my resources for things like this, even if there was no real benefit to myself, but for the time being it's an automatic no-go for me if for no other reason than because data caps are still a thing, so I can't allow freeloaders to use up my limited resource. :(

mouser

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Re: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2021, 05:40 AM »
I find it kind of infuriating that this was enabled by default.  And how inconvenient it is to disable.

sphere

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Re: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2021, 08:08 AM »
I kind of like the idea of having a more decentralized, mesh-style network for everyone to have access to the internet and reduce the chance of a single point of failure preventing you from being online. But IMO it needs to be an open standard and not tied to any one hardware or software company.

Agreed ... I have been a part of a few projects to create a mesh-style network and the hurdle is the investment in infrastructure.  Chances are someone on your street have an amazon device (camera, alexa, echo) product. Now it is being repurposed under the guise of "service." 

I am not a fan of these types of things either.

   


wraith808

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Re: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2021, 08:55 AM »
As long as idiotic data caps are a thing, this is a non-starter for me.

sphere

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Re: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2021, 02:28 PM »
As long as idiotic data caps are a thing, this is a non-starter for me.

The devices are also using electricity you have to pay for :D

Dormouse

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Re: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2021, 05:56 PM »
Luckily I'm not in the US so wouldn't affect me anyway (yet) & I don't have any Amazon speakers or doorbells etc (ditto).
And now, for sure, I never will.

wraith808

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Re: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2021, 10:02 PM »
As long as idiotic data caps are a thing, this is a non-starter for me.

The devices are also using electricity you have to pay for :D

Actually, the devices that I'm using don't.  :P

And in any case, that's a false equivalency, as data caps are different as you pay a flat fee for data under the cap.

sphere

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Re: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2021, 10:19 PM »
Actually, the devices that I'm using don't.  :P

And in any case, that's a false equivalency, as data caps are different as you pay a flat fee for data under the cap.

Agreed. What irks me is that not only is it using someone else's data, it is also using someone else's electricity.  What ever they are doing to extend their services and reach, is being done on someone else's dime and without the paying party truly consenting.  I do not have any amazon devices.

wraith808

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Re: Opt out of Amazon sharing your bandwidth with your neighbors
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2021, 05:24 PM »
My devices that I'm talking about use Solar Power- so no electricity there. And to be honest, the extra electricity required for the increase in bandwidth is minimal.