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Route Amazon Sidewalk traffic through the Eero Guest SSID

Everyone is anxious about Amazon Sidewalk, launching today using existing Echo and Ring devices and defaulted to "on."  For most people, the concern is giving strangers access to the home network.  ...and I can see why they would be concerned.  This is a route past the router's normal firewalls designed to keep strangers out.

Many routers, including Eero, already have a function to deal with this concern.  Guest mode sets up a public wifi access point outside of the home network that still protects the home.  Especially since Eero is an Amazon company, it's the best positioned to take advantage of this -- have Sidewalk enabled, but the traffic gets routed through the router's guest wifi.  Meaning, Wifi can be offered to nearby devices that need it, but the router still protects the home network.

 

A similar configuration might be to set up all of those Amazon devices on the guest network so that the only network that gets shared is the guest, but then that limits what the Amazon devices have access to in terms of managing smart home devices.  Managed light switches, sprinkler timers, and Alexa-managed TVs would then also need to be on the guest network for them to respond to Alexa commands.  Which could be done, but it means in theory, a malicious app could monitor those unprotected light switches to determine when someone is home and provide information to a potential burglar.  I know, I know, paranoia, but automation makes life simpler... for the bad guys too, so that needs to be protected.

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  • I wrote this a year ago, and stumbled on it recently, at first wondering who the idiot is that thought Amazon sidewalk could be routed through the guest side of Eero, turns out it was me.

    Amazon sidewalk was designed to work with Bluetooth low energy devices. That means it's using its Bluetooth stack to communicate with those devices, not Wi-Fi. They also means you can't connect Amazon sidewalk to the guest SSID of Eero, but in theory that means the traffic is just as sequestered from regular Wi-Fi traffic as it would be if it was on a guest SSID.  It would be difficult to drill through the Bluetooth side of an Amazon device and into the Wi-Fi side of it. Not impossible, but difficult.

    As for me, I've decided that I'm fine with offering the Amazon Sidewalk service in my neighborhood.  If a neighbor needed to borrow some butter or a cup of flour I would be equally inclined to help out.  

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