June 8 marked the launch of Amazon Sidewalk, a new feature that promises to keep your home devices better connected, especially around the edges of your property. The gist is that select Amazon Echo smart speakers and Ring gadgets will serve as bridges capable of connecting with other Sidewalk-enabled devices at long range using wireless Bluetooth LE or 900MHz LoRa signals -- plus a small fraction of your home network's bandwidth. By doing so, these products will become part of a sort of mesh network, with your Echo or Ring device acting as a middleman between your router and, say, those smart lights in the backyard that sit right at the edge of Wi-Fi range.
But Sidewalk isn't just for your outdoor lights and other smart home devices: It's for everybody's gadgets. If your neighbor uses a Sidewalk-enabled mailbox sensor that's in range of the Sidewalk bridges in your home, that sensor may very well use your network to connect to the cloud.
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