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Safety & security

Have a Ring camera? How to opt out of Amazon’s shared wireless network

Creating a collective to make something work better seems like a good idea on paper. But not everybody will be thrilled to make use of it — especially if there are some security and privacy concerns. A good example of this is Amazon’s Sidewalk that works with Ring.

It’s a shared Wi-Fi network aimed at making neighborhood devices communicate better. It’s a free service and allows you to extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices and assists in your devices staying online even when they are outside of your home’s Wi-Fi coverage.

Most will embrace the technology, but some have been concerned about information being shared throughout the neighborhood. Amazon does use triple-layer protection, but it is still service on an open network. Naturally, there are cybersecurity issues. Thankfully, you don’t have to use the service and can opt out when you want to.

Here are the details

By sharing a small portion of your available bandwidth with your neighbors, it allows for all connected Ring devices to function together. If a pet goes missing, it can be tracked through the different Wi-Fi connections from Sidewalk — extending the range.

RELATED: Police could access your security camera feed unless you take this step

Ring security cameras work in much the same manner. If you lose connection to your camera or your Wi-Fi goes down, your Ring makes use of Sidewalk to stay online and keep you protected.

Here is a complete list of Amazon Sidewalk devices:

All the Amazon Sidewalk devices:

  • Ring Floodlight Cam (2019)
  • Ring’s Spotlight Cam Wired (2019)
  • Ring’s Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
  • 2nd Gen Echo
  • 3rd Gen Echo
  • 4th Gen Echo
  • 2nd Gen Echo Dot
  • 3rd Gen Echo Dot
  • 4th Gen Echo Dot
  • 2nd Gen Echo Dot for Kids
  •  3rd Gen Echo Dot for Kids
  • 4th Gen Echo Dot for Kids
  • Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen)
  • 1st Gen Echo Plus
  • 2nd Gen Echo Plus
  • 1st Gen Echo Show
  • 2nd Gen Echo Show
  • Echo Show 5, 8, and 10
  • Echo Spot
  • Echo Studio

How to opt out through the Ring app

You can opt out of Sidewalk through settings in Alexa, but you can also do it through the Ring app. Here’s how:

  • Open your Ring app.
  • Tap the three-lines in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  • Navigate to and tap Control Center.
  • Tap Sidewalk.
  • Tap the Sidewalk slider button.
  • You will see a screen asking you to confirm that you want to disable Sidewalk. Confirm that you wish to disable Sidewalk. 

RELATED: 3 Amazon privacy settings you need to change now

If at any point, you want to opt back into the function, you can repeat the steps above. Amazon is, however, adamant that security is of utmost concern. “Data traveling between devices, gateways, Amazon Sidewalk, and the Amazon cloud is encrypted to ensure that only you or those you have granted permission to have access to your information,” Amazon explains on the Sidewalk website.

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