Can You Surf the Internet With a Kindle?
By Daniel Quarnberg
The Kindle, an e-reader produced by Amazon, is a versatile device that allows users to do many things beyond reading e-books. All models of the Kindle can access the Internet. This connectivity makes downloading books, applications and other content convenient and easy. This feature, along with others, makes the Kindle a multifunctional device.
The Kindle comes in three models: Wi-Fi, 3G and DX. According to Amazon, all are compatible with Wi-Fi networks using 802.11b and 802.11g, and will also work with 802.11n if in "b" or "g" compatibility mode. The Kindle supports protected networks using WEP, WPA and WPA2 security, though it will not work with secured networks using 802.1X authentication.
Two models of the Kindle, the 3G and DX, come with 3G connectivity. Using AT&T's wireless network in the U.S. and partner services in other countries, the Kindle can access the Internet in more than 100 countries, anywhere there is coverage. This is a free service that comes with the Kindle, with no contracts and no renewal fees.
Opening the Web Browser
Users can open the Kindle's Web browser via four methods. One is to click a link within the text you are reading. Another way is to click "launch browser" from the Experimental screen. A third method is to simply type a word, which will open a menu screen at the bottom of the page. You can click "google" or "wikipedia" to launch the browser and begin a search with that word. Finally, you can enter a Web address in the Search box on the Home page, then select "go to" to open the browser on that page.
To bookmark a website, press the "Menu" button and select "Bookmark this page." Use "Next Page" and "Previous Page" to scroll up and down on a website. The five-way controller is used to move the cursor around the page. Simply press the controller to select a link once you have moved the cursor over a link.
Because of the Kindle's E Ink screen, Web pages lack color and browsing is not as smooth as on devices with LCD screens. And because the Kindle lacks typical Web-browsing input controls such as a mouse, track pad or touch screen, browsing is slightly more cumbersome. Additionally, keep in mind that this Web browser is an experimental feature, so there will likely be glitches with loading and displaying pages.
Daniel Quarnberg started writing professionally in 2010. His articles have appeared in various online publications. Quarnberg's work on the effects of higher education on worldviews was so well received that he presented his findings at the 2010 Utah State University Languages, Philosophy and Speech Communication Department's undergraduate research symposium. Quarnberg received a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication from Utah State University.